It is a long way until a delivery reaches its intended recipient. Once loaded on the truck, the last step of the delivery has begun: The Last Mile Delivery. We call it the Last Mile Delivery because it is figuratively the “last mile” right before knocking on the recipients’ door. In other words, it is that part of the transport process where goods are delivered to the end customer. What seems trivial at first is actually an important part of the whole customer experience, with delivery often being the only physical contact moment between a customer and a supplier.
These days, companies must adapt to changing customer demands in both B2C and B2B (and even C2C) markets, as the arisen expectations have created new possibilities for deliveries that go much further than shipping a box from A to B. We are taking home deliveries, same day deliveries, time windows, delayed deliveries, alternative locations, unmanned pack-stations at offices, neighborhood stores and in-public transport stations, customer centric return processes for products and packaging and just-in-time deliveries to service-engineers and building sites. But how to manage and keep track of all these services?
Software as the key to a successful Last Mile and happy customers
To understand the how companies ensure positive customer experiences while completing their Last Mile Delivery, we take Aventeon’s Logistics.ONE solution as a prime example: It acts as a central system and provides drivers with all the necessary information, presents a logical workflow, guarantees uniform capturing of data, offers monitoring and feeds the central systems with all the necessary data. The user interface is intuitive and simple, and lets the driver focus on the task. As a modern application, it runs on mobile devices with the Android operating system, taking advantage of device-specific modules such as cameras and integrated barcode scanners.
So, back to our box that is about to be handed over to the recipient. When the driver arrived at the desired delivery location (For example, front of the door, unmanned pack station, neighbor, and so on), the right shipment will be identified and unloaded from the truck. At the same time, in the Logistics.ONE application, the driver chooses “Unload” from the open task list. In case additional services have been booked, the next window will give the driver further instructions, such as to verify with the client if there is any damage. Last but not least, the proof of delivery has to be collected, or in other words, the signature of the customer. After completing all these tasks, the driver is off heading towards the next location.
Driver relies on precise and up-to-date information
Of course the software alone is not the only factor that plays a role when deliveries are fulfilled. The ability to adapt quickly to changing customer demands is another very important aspect that companies in this business have to keep in mind. Also, having up-to-date information and constantly informing all those involved in the supply chain is decisive for being successfully active in the Last Mile. Adapting new processes, good staff training and professional resources must not be missed either.