How E-commerce Is Leveraging The Potential Of Last Mile Delivery

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What is the Last Mile Delivery?

Last mile delivery is the final stretch, one faces in the supply chain. In this step, the customer finally gets access to the product after the delivery. If you consider the whole delivery procedure in detail, Last mile delivery is the most exorbitant, tricky, dubious, less efficient part. Though LMDs go soft in developed countries, they have their set of distinctive challenges in countries like the US, even. While most of them revolve around control over brand interaction, cost issues, retailer’s rapture, there are few more specific challenges that are to be confronted.

Last Mile Delivery

Challenges in Last Mile Delivery:

If we go across the chain, the first one is the parcel delivery. With different companies like FedEx, Postal and UPS delivering tons of packages on the daily basis, the shipping rates hiked and the control over dispatching solutions has been disrupted. Taking this as a case study, you can buy a Coca-Cola anywhere throughout the world.

On the other hand, there are other affordable products like lights or water treating services that don’t reach the rural communities across the globe. Through last mile distribution, some entrepreneurs have actually decided to take this an opportunity to meet the basic needs. If we take the parcel delivery challenge, for example, an alternative solution is being used by Amazon.

To control the last mile, Amazon created its own fleet of trucks to gain control over the deliveries.  Therefore, Amazon started creating flexibility in shipping costs along with desirable time frames. This is not the first time; the company has created an innovative dispatching solution to meet people’s needs. The basic idea of this solution is taken from the reviews and the feedback that has been served on the company’s website.

Using the Internet, it also experimented with bike messengers who can instantly take up the order in the same city and deliver the items within a single day.  However, there are many such challenges that are to be confronted.

How E-commerce Companies Are Taking Advantage Of Last Mile Delivery:

With many numbers of shoppers going online these days, the E-commerce players are learning to leverage technological advancements to benefit their businesses.  They started finding ways to optimize and elevate the last mile delivery procedure along with the whole supply chain methods, right from understanding the requirements of the customer to the scheduling of products and choosing vehicle’s route for the delivery. Additional considerations came with selecting TMS for radical optimization of deliveries including:

  • Scheduling: The Scheduling Software agendum is included in order to make the purchase, more customer-friendly. Through this, a customer can select time window for the delivery along with the routing patterns. To make the deliveries easy, the e-commerce companies started luring customers by providing them with cash back or reward points when they schedule the delivery through Scheduling software in an odd time, say in mid-afternoon. This way, they can take the advantage of light transportation and increase the company’s hit density. This way, even the last minute deliveries are served in an efficient way as the fleet capacity is equalized with respect to the time frame.
  • Real Time Tracking: The second phenomena that help in simplifying the last minute delivery challenges are courier tracking. Through Delivery Management Software like FarEye connected to the E-commerce firms, the customers can create patterns and track them anywhere they want at any time they want. It not only helps in network optimization but also gives a clear view of the courier tracking and, therefore, avoids, any kind of obstacles in last minute delivery in the time frame.
  • Heat Map Analytics: Through Delivery Management Software, one can have a clear view of customer’s interaction with the page. In a recent study, it has been discovered that the online grocers protests complaining and persistent customers in a rudimentary way. Based on the mouse clicks, they can invent new ways to make the product more appealing and luring based on the customer feedback.
  • Payments/Cash Reconciliation: The ones who ask for cost reimbursements constantly are treated in a controverted way where the specific customer’s profile is updated against the product through the dispatch software statistics. So, when they browse for the product, it displays “Out of Stock” sign, while the same product shows “In stock” to rest of the customers who want to purchase. This way, Software like FarEye can help in scraping the unnecessary customer activities and enhance the business.
  • Enhancing Worker Productivity: E-commerce companies prefer to pick and pack employees to get their job done quickly than to loiter over the floor and wasting time. Therefore, by giving these employees handsets with dispatch software, they will be guided by the task with improved efficiency and aesthetic time management.

Though there is a misconception of the last mile being a problem faced only in under-developed countries, even the developed western part is also facing this. The only reason for any kind of challenge regarding the last mile is due to the isolation, lack of adequate information, transportation, and mobility issues. Therefore, technology is being pragmatic and contributive in solving these problems and making last mile delivery, an easy errand.

Engineering student by education and Entrepreneur by choice. Asish is a TCS Best Student Awardee, NDTV featured student entrepreneur and International School of Entrepreneurship Education awardee. He also worked with many startups and big companies for their business development and strategical growth. Asish has been heading The Startup Journal since its inception in 2014.