In 2018, Food Logistics wrote, “The final leg of transportation represents a chance for organizations to win over customer perception as well as achieve cost savings in order fulfillment.” However, meeting customer expectations while keeping costs efficient can come with certain challenges.
In this blog, we’ll go over five ways technology can help address common challenges in final mile delivery, resulting in satisfied customers and cost-effective operations.
Addressing The Need For Faster Delivery
As the world Economic Forum stated in a report this January, faster delivery is the new normal.
According to Transport Topics, “Delivery windows have shrunk — in some cases to the same day as the purchase — and now it is the retailer and its last-mile delivery provider who must adjust to the consumer’s schedule and meet higher expectations for visibility and flexibility.” Similarly, according to the Future of Digital Sourcing, “Expectations on the B2B side are also rising, with buyers demanding the same convenient experience they are used to as consumers. 55% of those surveyed in a Capgemini Research Institute report claimed they would switch to a competing brand if it offers a faster delivery service.”
Tools like RouteiqueTM give drivers easy access to everything they need to make efficient, accurate deliveries during the final mile. You can be sure your deliveries are as efficient as possible by determining the most efficient routes based on customers' locations and delivery windows, allowing drivers to re-optimize their orders throughout the day, and providing turn-by-turn directions to the customer's location.
Helping To Reduce High Costs of Final-Mile Delivery
According to the 2018 study by the Capgemini Research Institute, last-mile delivery is the most significant cost driver in the supply chain, taking up to 41% of the overall costs. Other estimates from Supply Chain Dive and Business Insider range from 28% to 53%.
While we know many factors affect the costs of final mile delivery, reducing unnecessary mileage is one way to make your operation more cost-effective. Research shows out-of-route miles account for 3% to 10% of a driver’s total distance. Our recent case study demonstrated a 25% reduction in fuel costs when using our route optimization technology.
Helping To Reduce Environmental Impact
According to a January 2020 World Economic Forum report, “the number of delivery vehicles on the road will increase by 36% between 2019 and 2030 (top 100 cities globally). These vehicles will emit an additional 6 million tonnes of CO2, putting additional pressure on cities’ and automotive OEMs’ decarbonization targets.”
Many last-mile delivery companies are conscious of this and seek to lower their emissions, taking steps such as using optimized routes, using parcel lockers for e-commerce delivery to reduce the number of stops needed, and investing in augmentation technology that monitors drivers’ habits and makes recommendations.
Equipping Staff To Succeed At Customer Service
One expert, quoted in Transport Topics, discovered a clear message in a recent survey. They found that "providers of last-mile delivery services are becoming the face of the retailer."
“Oftentimes large, bulky, expensive equipment or products need to arrive within a specific timeframe, in perfect condition, and even assembled and installed. Business performance and customer care depend on it,” according to one delivery service provider. Similarly, increasing numbers of individuals are ordering large-format goods, requiring assistance from the delivery team.
Transport Topics expands on this further and notes: “[Because of this] the driver or delivery person must have a level of presentability, customer service, product knowledge and communication skills, all oriented to the consumer,” he said, adding that these skills — including the ability to quickly and accurately assemble or install a product — are not necessarily inherent in the traditional truckload or less-than-truckload driver.”
In this area, investing in technological solutions that allow drivers to invest more time and effort into customer service is a popular approach. For example, vehicle augmentation features can take the burden of a significant number of driving tasks from drivers. This allows drivers to focus more on their customer service skills, or for distributors to hire drivers with a greater focus on customer service.
Adapting To The Need For Contactless Delivery
In light of COVID-19, many businesses have had to cope with shifts to their supply chain and operations.
One of these was the shift to contactless delivery options. “Many direct-from-store or fresh meal delivery companies that are app-driven rolled out the ability for shoppers to select contactless delivery,” writes InboundLogistics.
Our technology supports AlbertaGrocery.ca with contactless home delivery with text alerts to notify customers when their groceries are placed at their door.
Putting It All Together
Last of all, as Supply Chain Dive notes, “last-mile delivery connects, depends on and is relied upon by various stakeholders in the supply chain. Carriers and shippers’ marching orders are a seamless customer experience.” It takes the active efforts of all participants, as well as the right technology, to fully succeed.
That is why at Routeique, we’re dedicated to creating a supply chain solution that fosters communication and synchronization of all levels of your supply chain.
To learn more about how our tools can benefit you, get in touch through the contact form below. One of our team members will be in touch as soon as possible.