How Route Optimization Enhances Final Mile Delivery
"In other words, all last-mile deliveries are not necessarily alike. However, given the nature of the process – requiring an individualized, often urban mode of transportation – most deliveries suffer from the same problems, which have earned the process infamy for its inefficiency." - Supply Chain Dive
Last-mile delivery is often seen as the most inefficient part of retail.
Customers expect faster delivery than ever before.
Route optimization and real-time directions can shorten routes, save drivers time, and enhance the customer experience.
In our blog earlier this summer, we covered five broad ways technology can help solve well-known final mile delivery problems. This week, we're diving deeper into how Routeique's Route Optimization and directions features can help businesses overcome two of these critical challenges: keeping their costs manageable and making deliveries quickly.
In 2020, this topic is more important than ever. According to the World Economic Forum, "A new era of online presence has begun, and consumers are fully embracing online sales. Globally, 82% of all consumers have shopped online within a three-month period. A total of 2.1 billion people are expected to buy goods online by 2021." Plus, these numbers were collected before the COVID-19. According to Fleet Owner, when asked what part of the supply chain has been most impacted for them during the pandemic, most participants pointed to last-mile delivery and demand forecasting.
Solving Challenges of Final Mile Delivery
Numerous publications highlight that final mile deliveries often lack efficiency. Supply Chain 24/7 calls last-mile "The Most Inefficient Process for More than Half of N.A. Logistics Companies", and here in Canada, Retail Insider calls last-mile delivery "the most inefficient part of retail in Canada."
According to a survey by Statista, 35% of the respondents said that cutting down on logistics expenses is the main challenge they have in offering last-mile delivery.
When it comes to B2C deliveries, efficiency is especially important since the costs of fuel and time need to be borne by a lower volume of items per stop. Supply Chain Dive also addressed this, saying "higher opportunity costs follow lower volumes," and quoting an industry expert who said that last-mile delivery providers are seeking delivery density in response to this.
Faster Delivery: The New Normal
Whether you are delivering to companies or individuals, last-mile delivery needs to be fast and accurate to meet customer expectations. One recent source stated, "55% of your customers could switch to a competitor for much faster delivery service." Another found that roughly half of customers dislike waiting more than two days for a parcel.
In the Statista study quoted above, the second-highest answer among manufacturers and retailers (16%) was that providing timely deliveries was the biggest challenge. For businesses in this situation, investing in the right technology can help bridge the gap between what you offer and what your customers expect.
Our customers often found--and you've probably seen in our case studies and blogs--that the Route Optimization features help reduce fuel and time costs by creating routes based on the most efficient ordering of stops.
Learn more: Route Optimization
But the Delivery Management System App doesn't just provide drivers with the ideal route to deliver orders while eliminating wasted time and fuel. Our app also helps drivers reach their destination by giving map directions to each location.
This tool can help alleviate the challenge of navigating congested urban areas and even suggests alternate routes depending on conditions.
New drivers or drivers unfamiliar with a specific route can still follow the optimized route effectively.
Experienced drivers can have the peace of mind that they're following the most efficient route.
Learn more: Delivery Management System App
Additional Feature: Reporting
Once a company has implemented route optimization tools, analyzing the results can also help reduce the costs while increasing efficiency. Inbound Logistics has stated that benchmarking and reviewing progress can help you spot trends and opportunities.
Routeique offers delivery sequencing reports, which allow you to see the delivery time, the time since the last delivery, and the delivery sequence number and optimized delivery number. Administrators or fleet managers can review routes to ensure everything was delivered as it should be, and spot opportunities for improvement.
Putting It All Together
Routeique has many additional tools for drivers, ranging from digital proof of delivery and order editing to cold-chain compliance features. To learn more, get in touch with one of our experts via the contact form below.