With rapid tech evolution, new consumer patterns that lead to digitalization, and space for new emerging markets, 2018 seems to be the year of productivity for logistics players.
With regards to the last-mile delivery landscape itself, there are research-based findings that put emphasis on creating an ecosystem where companies of all sizes enter this space in a more sustainable way.
And some of the key areas that are part of this productive ecosystem would be visibility and transparency, which allows operations teams to work in a better way, as well as of utilization of delivery resources to increase fulfilment (but also offer flexibility and scalability) — and ultimately, the collected delivery data, which turns out to be a great resource for mapping out future delivery operations.
Putting emphasis on the power of data in operations
Data may sound complex but it can be easily utilized for the purpose of improving and offering accuracy and efficiency to your operations. It also provides live insight into addressing current issues and problems before they evolve into more complex situations for your company.
Last-minute delays, changes and errors can easily happen in this industry but logistics companies need to have the ability to quickly react to these changes regardless of the nature of the disruption.
Whether it is a change in a driver’s schedule or a delayed delivery, it is essential that when these unpredictable events take place, it is easy to take action and become instantly aware and updated about these changes.
This is where technology, optimization and data come into play. While technology represents the backbone of this entire operation, allowing you to automate and optimize, the data behind every action taken is incredibly valuable to identify potential patterns and forecast a better flow for your next delivery.
At the end of the day, the ideal situation is for your company to align its strategy and execution and come up with a seamless experience. And this is where we can say that technology has always been the medium for such strategic disruptions — with the key performance catalyst being the entire data flow.
Through technology that includes smart algorithms like geofencing, knowing the driver activity, AI and machine learning, your team will be able to automatically and accurately match orders to drivers thus minimizing the workload, automating processes, and ensuring your resources are efficiently utilized.
Maximizing deliveries this way doesn’t always mean being more efficient for the day, but also thinking ahead, collecting historical data of your deliveries and identifying the patterns that will help you plan your next deliveries with accuracy, ensuring fulfilment and scalability.
By having access to historical data, companies can quickly identify all sudden or recurring bottlenecks from the exact time when demand is at its peak to resource performance and all the touchpoints in between this process.
The company can then use this information to forecast future requirements. This means that each day the system would learn new things which can help the company create a better delivery operations flow in the future.
The ultimate goal is to create a sustainable same-day delivery solution that enables you to fulfil orders by using a routing system that ensures each resource has as many locations as possible while delivering on time and driving the most efficient route.
Simplifying the process has a significant impact on operational efficiency and creates a frictionless experience for all parties. This has a huge impact on the entire supply chain, providing everyone with accurate real-time information on orders.
Enabling visibility and open lines of communication
Tracking deliveries live does not only provide a top-notch customer experience but also translates into significant efficiencies for companies that need to deal with friction issues.
By creating a transparent ecosystem, companies, drivers and customers can quickly become aware of the status of their deliveries and have the ability to be in control at every step of the way.
All the optimizations, efficiencies and visibility throughout the supply chain are ways to remove barriers and bring you closer to your customers and retain them for the long-term.
Although customer visibility over the delivery process is of paramount importance, the ability to communicate and track your fleet of drivers is of equal importance.
One without the other will not work given the many moving parts involved, opening up opportunities for complications and confusion. It is now crucial to have full visibility over your fleets – where all drivers are at any given time, when they finish deliveries and when they will return back to their home base.
Efficient operations will get orders to their destination on time, but only if an open line of communication is established between all relevant parties.
And because you will have access to relevant alerts, you will be enabled to rectify the situation as quickly as possible and learn from previous mistakes to ensure they don’t happen again.
At the end of the day, companies with fleets of drivers need to have a centralized system that tracks the distance drivers travelled, ensuring fewer mistakes and closer management to ensure that a quality delivery experience.
As more companies will continue to be enabled by tech, there are a series of innovative ideas which further revolutionize the world of logistics.
It’s important to remember that a way to make operations more efficient and scalable would be by creating a platform which works towards fully automated process through data algorithms that determine the most optimal delivery routes and the idea of democratizing in-house driver fleets that other companies can tap into.
This means, more companies can work with an automated and sustainable platform which gathers data from everyday activities like vehicle allocation done at the most optimal rate of resource utilization. By knowing such data patterns, it’s easier to forecast how future deliveries will take place and how your team can better manage them.