Last-mile delivery is an essential step of supply chain management as it takes care of the transportation process of the product to its final destination. When it comes to Last Mile delivery, there are many challenges that need to be addressed to ensure transparency and increase efficiency. Delayed delivery times not only influences customer satisfaction but also the reputation of the brand. To ensure better customer satisfaction, brands should constantly improve their last-mile delivery, and it should be considered a priority rather than an option. Thus there should be effective planning and implementation of it.
Last-mile delivery is a costly business, and delays in delivery during the last leg can devalue the brand. It will also increase the costs of the organisation as last-mile delivery is said to account for 20% of the shipping cost. As it includes everybody and everything from technologies used to track data, shipment, and method of shipping. Without further ado, let us have a look at the steps to improve Last-Mile delivery, but before that, let us understand what is Last-Mile Delivery.
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery is defined as the final step towards the movement of goods from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. The last mile delivery is also referred as final mile logistics, last mile logistics and last mile distribution. It focuses on delivering the products to the customer as soon as possible.
5 Steps to Improve Last Mile Delivery:
E-Commerce markets are like the speed of lightning and things can change in seconds so analysis of one’s own procedures is imperative to the success of a business and this includes smooth experience of last mile shipping. By evaluating brands existing last mile delivery procedures, brands can stay informed about their ability to provide a successful delivery to their customers. Below 5 solutions will help a brand address the need for enhancing the last mile delivery performance.
1. Identify Standard Procedures : To plan for the future, brands first need to understand where they stand now. Brands should set out the standard procedures and they need to analyse the previous last mile deliveries and understand what worked in the past and what didn’t work.
Based on the past they have to provide adequate benchmarks to process the performance of the future. They have to list out the processes that worked in the past, and based on that best practices they should provide a bench mark. After setting up the benchmarks, brands should compare the planned versus actual results to check the results and pinpoint areas of the delivery schedule needs to be adjusted to meet customer demands more efficiently.
2. Ensure Efficient Tracking System: One of the main challenges in last mile delivery is to ensure a proper tracking system, so as to track productivity of delivery executives and to continuously optimise routes. Failing on either of the aspects can adversely affect the customer experience and inflate the operating costs.
Additionally, If packages are frequently lost or misplaced throughout last mile delivery, there needs to be an effective tracking system in place even before the product leaves the warehouse, this ensures proper tracking of the product from placement to delivery. Tracking system allows the brand to know the exact location of the product, and brands can further compare the performance with standard procedures to have a complete understanding of the product.
3. Monitor customers: Monitoring the customer’s performance is way more valuable than it seems. Sometimes the history of customers can help identify and highlight delivery problems caused by the customers. Many times, customers don’t realise that they are the actual source of a delivery problem and by having this information, logistics & supply chain can work with customers to eliminate these problems in future deliveries.
4. Prioritize Customer Communication: Just monitoring the customers is not sufficient, brands should also prioritize the process of communication with the customers. In addition to providing the customers the power to choose delivery times, brands should also ensure proper communication with the customer, such as when the order was packed and when was it transported from the warehouse and so on. Keeping the communication channels open is a crucial aspect of delivery which keeps the customer informed about the location of their package throughout the supply chain and final mile distribution process which inturn increases trust in the brand.
5. Auto-Allocation of Resources: With the help of AI and Machine learning algorithms, brands can auto allocate resources like transport, drivers, and inventory, which saves time and money, while increasing turnaround time (TAT). Without automation the result is a huge group of confused and overwhelmed employees. So brands should work from the ground to the top, from the first mile of the supply chain to the last in order to optimize warehousing facilities and inventory so that packing and deliveries are streamlined appropriately.
Finally, a last mile delivery strategy is successful when performance is measured; because whether it is cart abandonment, or excessive shipping fees, or even charges on returns, these could be negatives and are not good ways to manage the business. These core fulfillment tasks are integral to the success of an Ecommerce business because a smooth experience with a streamlined last mile delivery ensures that customers are happy, leading to a generation of revenue.