Last mile delivery poses a fair amount of challenges in this modern-day retail world against giants like Walmart and Amazon. Most large companies are using middle mile delivery, but last mile delivery is still feasible if you have the right tools at your disposal. The key is taking advantage of technology to eliminate inefficiencies and inaccuracies. Last mile delivery software such as route planning and fleet tracking is necessary for this day and age, no matter the size of your fleet. Find out the best practices for last mile delivery and what technology is best for getting the best out of your fleet.
What is Last Mile Delivery?
First, we need to break down all of the steps in last mile delivery. There are five steps in every last mile delivery, and each must happen every time to ensure success. We will break down these five steps for you.
- Digitally enter orders.
You should have a system where customers or recipients can review their orders after placing them. The customer should be able to track their order through a tracking number. The more updates they can get, the better!
- Receive orders at the transportation hub.
This is the first step of last mile delivery. Once the order arrives at the transportation hub, be sure to alert the customer that it has arrived. Now, it’s your job to ensure that this order gets to the customer both quickly and efficiently to save you time and money and increase customer satisfaction.
- Assign delivery drivers.
Create delivery routes and assign drivers based on different recipients’ addresses. This is a vital step as if it isn’t done correctly, you can waste an immense amount of time, fuel, and staffing hours getting the job done.
- Load delivery vehicles.
This is another step where you’ll want to update the customer on the status of their order. Be sure to scan the order as it is loaded onto the trucks so that customers know exactly where each package is. Tracking at this step also helps ensure that the items don’t get lost or mismanaged along the way.
- The customer receives their order.
Once the customer receives their order, the last mile delivery process is done. Be sure to mark the order as delivered, so there isn’t any confusion later down the line.
Best Practices for Last Mile Delivery
Last mile delivery can be expensive and time-consuming if not done correctly. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of best practices for you to use in your last mile delivery operations to ensure you don’t fall into any traps.
Use Route Optimization Software
Route optimization software is a must when it comes to last mile delivery. Route optimization software helps delivery drivers get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way possible, accounting for all necessary stops and other drivers. It uses algorithms, machine learning, and traffic data to ensure delivery drivers can reach their destination without wasting fuel or time. In turn, you’ll save money and be able to make more deliveries faster, bringing in more revenue. Route optimization software is vital to ensure your customers are satisfied.
Give Customers Real-Time Tracking
As mentioned previously, the more updates the customer gets, the better, and what’s better than real-time information on where their order is? Once their order leaves the transportation hub, real-time updates will tell customers when they can expect to see their package on their doorstep or at their retail location. Huge arrival windows can be inconvenient and aren’t good customer service. To-the-minute updates make customers feel secure and confident in your business.
Set Up Automatic Dispatching
Automatic dispatching can take the guesswork out of determining which driver is best for which route and what package needs to be on what truck. Either make informed decisions based on real-time data from your fleet management software or let the software do it for you and set up auto dispatching. This reduces the possibility of error.
Most fleet management software will gather data each day and package it into neat reports where you can quickly pinpoint problems, issues, or inaccuracies with your operations. Reports make it easy to make informed decisions for the good of your fleet and help optimize processes across the board.
Overall, to make last mile delivery work, what you need is state-of-the-art fleet management software. Azuga offers top-of-the-line software that has all of the features mentioned in this article and more to streamline your operations and make last mile delivery not only possible but easy. Find out more today and try out a demo on our website.