In a world of technological wonders, it seems that businesses need to have an ever-increasing holistic view of their entire supply chain. That means what was once understood to be out of the view of the business is now required to be tracked. Shippers face a slew of challenges today that seem to compound by the day: in a recent study, 1/4 of shippers stated that supply chain visibility was the top challenge facing them today.
Technology has become the major tool used to improve supply chains. According to a study conducted by Korn Ferry, 60% of respondents stated they were using technology to gain greater visibility within orders.
While this challenge relates to the entire supply chain, it is even more compounded when it comes to the “last mile” – the final link in the supply chain.
In order to avoid being “Last Mile Blind” businesses need to focus on 5 key areas which, if tracked correctly, can provide full visibility over the last mile.
- Task Assignment
Assignment of delivery tasks can be done in multiple ways, including in real-time (as orders come in – on-demand) or pre-determined routes.
For either model, a fully visible last mile requires that businesses know exactly who a specific task was assigned to at all times. While both have their challenges, on-demand is more problematic, for obvious reasons.
Like all challenges relating to last mile visibility, technology is the key to success. To deal with real-time incoming task assignment, a centralized dispatch platform that keeps track of all drivers and tasks is needed.
For the pre-determined route assignment model, the assignment of those tasks needs to be done based on route optimization – a critical aspect of modern logistics. Once created, those tasks need to be tracked at all times within a centralized platform.
- Tracking Items on Trucks
Trucks aren’t just trucks – they are moving warehouses. And just like warehouses, the items that have been packed on trucks need to be tracked at all times. That means knowing where each item is at any given time, what truck its on, who is driving it and when it will arrive at its final destination.
- Real-Time Driver Tracking
Possibly the most detrimental blind spot during the last mile is on-going activity of driver fleets. Real time driver tracking means that a dispatcher can at any moment know where a particular driver is (latitude/longitude and on a map), if they are on-shift or off-shift, or if they have arrived or left a location.
- Electronic Proof of Delivery
For businesses that do millions of deliveries per month, or just a few hundred, it’s incredibly important to have proof that deliveries were received by their intended recipients. In the situation that someone calls and claims they never received their delivery, having proof of that delivery is the only way to insure you’re protected.
- Customer Satisfaction
A happy customer makes for a returning customer, which is why it’s important to know if the end-customer is pleased with the overall delivery experience they have received. If customers have rated their deliveries poorly on a regular basis, it means that a business needs to reassess their process – are they not delivering on time? Is there poor communication? Maybe it’s a particular driver?
The only way to answer those questions is to have a way to measure customer satisfaction.