Streamline, automate, optimize and measure the entire delivery operation.
The last mile is the final step of the supply chain – the hand off between the business and the end customer. However, in order to get to that point, a business needs to have the infrastructure in place to facilitate operational efficiency needed to meet customer demands.
In order to create this kind of efficiency, and lay the groundwork for successful engagement during the last mile, there are 6 keys for all businesses to consider.
Inventory tracking has traditionally ended once the inventory gets on a truck – the last mile is invisible. It’s imperative to leverage technology to extend this visibility all the way to the final destination. Scanning items once they enter a truck and then tracking them to their end-point can turn a truck into a moving warehouse, where businesses are able to extend their visibility all the way through the last mile.
With this kind of infrastructure in place, businesses can know which driver and truck have a certain item and where it is at all times.
Visibility isn’t only necessary for the customer, but the business itself. Creating visibility over the supply chain, particularly the last mile, gives businesses a leg up and acts as a great competitive advantage.
From large companies to small ones, the ability to track where all drivers are at any given time allows for greater efficiency, on both the cost and operations sides. A centralized system where all data on driver locations is fed into allows businesses to keep track of drivers’ locations on map in real time and receive proactive smart alerts (e.g. idle, out of route, late) of their progress.
Route optimization has always played an important part in logistics. However, often times there is a missing piece – the ability to use real-world data to help optimize those routes. For example: Connecting data such as what was delivered and what wasn’t as well as how long it took to get to each location allows businesses to better plan their routes going forward.
Data like this can also be used for creating more effeciency around staffing. With real world data about delivery route and order volume on given days, businesses can predict that on certain days of the week, or certain times of day, the demand will be lower and therefore wouldn’t need to have as much staff on hand.
Managing Third Parties
Businesses that deliver, whether they are shipping companies, restaurants, or retailers, often have a variety of types of drivers. Many now utilize third parties as well as independent, crowd-sourced drivers as part of their local delivery fleets. Being able to manage drivers from third party sources on the same dashboard and through the same system as your own fleet is crucial for scaling this type of operation.
Proof of Delivery
Generally, proof of delivery was based on having a signature, however this might not be enough for some. Being able to attribute a time and place, such as using a time and lat/long stamp, gives greater security and proof that a package was in fact delivered.
In the age of on-demand services and delivery, having the ability to assign deliveries on-demand to the right driver at the right place and the right time is critical. Dynamic on-demand dispatching, driver assignment as opposed to fixed routes and orders, businesses should be able to assign orders on the fly, as they come in, to the driver that is best suited to deliver the item in a timely fashion.