What is the most important step in logistics? Is it the first moment when order goes through to a warehouse, resulting in the tech from a warehouse worker? Or, does it involve the tendering of a shipment to get the customer order to the final destination on time? These questions reflect the importance of last mile delivery service in the modern world, and despite disruption, last mile might be the most important form of logistics and existence. Shippers need to understand the current state of the last mile during disruption and how proactive measures can improve last mile delivery service.
The Challenge of Maintaining Last Mile Delivery Service Despite Disruption
The value of improved last mile delivery service is nothing new. However, major companies around the globe, including Amazon, have re-focus their efforts on improving last mile services during times of grand disruption. According to Debra Lockridge of Truckinginfo, “The company in mid-March put a halt on incoming shipments of non-essential supplies to its warehouses so it could focus on critical supplies, and announced it was hiring 100,000 more workers. As it has prioritized those essential shipments, delivery times for other items have stretched to weeks rather than days, according to published reports.
Amazon isn’t the only company struggling to meet the increased e-commerce demand during the pandemic. UPS and FedEx both suspended service guarantees, citing the impact of COVID-19.”
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Such unprecedented times require a reevaluation of current processes to ensure delivery continues and builds positive customer experiences. Unfortunately, maintaining the last mile delivery service during disruption represents a new threat. Instead of simply getting customers’ orders on time, shippers need to find a better way to ensure customers get what they expect, at the price they pay for, and without exception. Ultimately, the failure of the company to maintain visibility into the whole shipping process, including last mile, will inevitably result in complaints and poor customer experiences.
Effective Last Mile Logistics Hinge on the Use of Technology
The application of technology in the last mile allows companies to better understand the final step of logistics. Regardless of what companies expect, the final mile can account for up to 20% of the total shipping cost of the product. Failures within the last mile will result in adverse customer experiences, and as last mile moves to combine with my glove services to offer a better, bigger experience, the last mile is more important than ever.
Last mile carries an unusual aspect of logistics processes. It is the interaction between the carrier and the customer that defines the last mile. It is the point of actual connection, and in an age where omnichannel supply chains dominate everything, failures within the last mile amount to failures within your total supply chain. Furthermore, customers expect convenience, speed, aesthetic, efficiency, professional conduct, and clear communication throughout the last mile, explains DC Velocity. Thus, shippers must turn to technology to make it possible.
Best Practices to Improve Last Mile Delivery Service During Disruption
The first step is simple; pay attention. During times of disruption, last mile service will inevitably change. Changes have occurred as customers grew to recognize that contactless delivery was the best option. Customers realized the importance of maintaining social distancing measures and more. In the last mile, delivery is everything. So, it falls to a basic premise; how can individual shippers ensure customers get their orders? To achieve those goals, shippers should follow these steps:
- Include customer expectations in your last mile delivery strategy. This might include offering increased transparency into the final mile, such as delivery windows and real-time driver location.
- Automate notifications. Customers want to know when something unexpected happens. Clear, concise communications will reduce upset customers.
- Make last mile service a standard inclusion. Customers expect the best, so deliver on it. Do not promise what your organization cannot uphold. Also, implement new processes to give customers the best experience possible.
- Optimize transportation. Optimized logistics leads to faster and lower-cost delivery. It’s a win-win for all involved.
- Track data, applying metrics and key performance indicators to continuously improve. Not every company can win every time, but those that apply metrics at least have a guide in figuring out weaknesses and strengths in the final mile.
- Partner with experts in the last mile. Last mile is usually an afterthought, but through partnerships, companies can offer delivery, setup, installation and even debris removal without breaking a sweat.
Rethink Your Last Mile Delivery Strategy Now
There is no time like the present to re-evaluate business processes. For shippers, maintaining control over logistics implies a direct need to better manage the most important interaction with customers—the final mile. Gain the end-to-end visibility and white glove capabilities needed to wow customers in the final with Cerasis. It’s a simple solution to an age-old problem; your company can build better experiences with dedicated, personalized services.