Consumer drive for ever-faster delivery continues to grow. No longer satisfied by 2-day delivery, shoppers are increasingly ready to pay for preferred options like one-hour or same-day delivery. To match these expectations for reasonably-priced speed and convenience, businesses have been turning to dedicated delivery management solutions. These different software systems address different parts of the delivery supply chain, from back-end operations management, all the way through to last mile touchpoints with customers. But businesses should keep in mind that any management software must factor in the entire delivery process—not just a single component – to make a sizeable impact on your KPIs.
Employing different software for different elements of the delivery operation is doable, but a patchwork of standalone solutions that don’t work together in sync will severely limit the degree to which businesses can improve and optimize their operations.
When it comes to delivery management, businesses need to think bigger.
Delivery Management Done Right
To truly help manage delivery operations end-to-end, businesses should explore tools that improve efficiency and the customer experience across the entire supply chain.
Here are four examples of how a platform approach—as opposed to a software approach — can broaden the impact of improvements and efficiencies.
Dispatch and Routing
Software for dispatch and routing management often involves calculating the best routes for drivers, assigning the optimal driver or provider for a specific delivers, and more. A holistic approach to dispatch and routing through a delivery management platform will take variables from the entire supply chain into consideration, including inventory availability. It will also go bigger and broader for enterprises that use multiple delivery providers or fleets, assigning not only a driver to a delivery, but the best fleet, based on availability, pricing, performance, and dozens of relevant variables.
One of the most important values of visibility is the opportunity to get data on different components of your delivery operations. Delivery management software can make it simple to track and generate data from different components of the delivery service— inventory location, order location on route, customer visibility into order status, etc. – but businesses won’t necessarily know how to leverage that data. The work of using data to understand exactly where adjustments are needed then becomes more difficult, despite the use of technologies for gaining visibility. With this in mind, a platform that incorporates data and machine learning can not only generate real-time visibility, but also translate that data into key insights that help you improve your delivery and logistics.
Executives and operational teams alike rely on good reporting and dashboards to manage and understand complex delivery operations.
The delivery supply chain involves so many different professionals—including internal and external teams like contracted fleets—each requiring unique dashboards with different insights and permissions. For example, a regional manager should be able to see KPIs per location and fleet, while a contracted fleet dispatcher should only be able to see their drivers.
A delivery management platform can equip professionals across the supply chain with the appropriate permission levels and data through dashboards designed specifically for them. The same goes for reporting capabilities catered specifically to different players across the supply chain.
Optimizing your customers’ experience doesn’t only mean focusing on last-mile factors such as package tracking, real-time updates and on-time delivery. The customer experience begins with their experience on the checkout page, where they’re faced with different delivery windows and costs. Will they be offered less pricey delivery options that take longer, as well as faster options that more consumers are now looking for? Will your delivery management solution generate accurate quotes and delivery windows for them to choose from? And will it help positively impact your on-time delivery rate?
These are all questions to consider. Look for a platform that allows you to control and improve all of the elements – across the entire supply chain – which go into creating the customer experience.
Delivery management means moving from a software to platform approach
Delivery management in today’s competitive market is about more than one step in the flow. It’s about addressing operations from the warehouse all the way through to the customer’s doorstep. It’s about moving from software that solves specific delivery pains, to a platform approach that lets you manage, perfect, and expand your delivery and logistics.
Looking for more information about last mile delivery? Access the free eBook, Delivery in the Age of Amazon.