Archive for May, 2021

There has been an exponential growth in online shopping over the years that has continuously pushed businesses to improve their logistics. It is estimated that last-mile delivery accounts for almost 53% of the total delivery costs, according to an article by PwC in 2019. This makes it extremely important for logistics providers to look for any significant challenges in this process and figure out their solutions.

Here are the top 3 challenges in the last-mile delivery industry and their solutions:

#1 HIGH SHIPPING COSTS

Costs are important to every business operation. And the last-mile delivery often gets expensive due to lack of planning, delayed delivery penalties, and other inefficiencies in the process. The increasing demand for same-day or quick deliveries by customers may also result in higher shipping costs.

Solution

Since the cost of delivery is directly related to the distance between the pick and drop points of the packages, the delivery routes should be optimized to prevent any unnecessary delays. Courier and dispatch software and GPS tracking can be used for route optimization which can significantly bring down the shipping costs, according to a blog published by Key Software Systems.

#2 DELAYS IN DELIVERY

In this fast-paced age of same-day deliveries, businesses can lose their customers if there are any delays in the delivery schedule. Its importance can be seen from the fact that nearly 13% of customers said that they may not order again from the same place in case of a late delivery, according to a survey by Oracle in 2019. Several factors can cause delays in the last-mile deliveries such as road closure, transport glitches, etc.

Solution

Advanced dispatch software allows businesses to find the most optimal route using GPS technology. It considers things such as traffic density, road blockages, and any stops the driver is required to make faster deliveries. Maintaining prompt and timely deliveries is the sure-shot way to ensure customer satisfaction.

#3 RETURNED DELIVERIES

Packages are often returned due to customer unavailability, an incorrect address, or maybe the customer didn’t like it. It increases the delivery’s potential costs and adds a burden on the logistics company.

Solution

Companies should have a proper returns management plan in place to minimize the costs of product returns. They should also ensure robust inventory management. These measures will reduce the capital tied into inventory and will improve the overall transparency of the delivery process.

The last-mile delivery landscape is rapidly changing. Companies have to constantly adjust to this transforming industry and overcome the challenges that come with it. The sooner the automated delivery systems and highly planned solutions are put in place, the sooner their productivity and efficiency will improve.

Route optimization means determining the most efficient routes in terms of cost, resources, and time for a mobile workforce. It plays a crucial role in reducing overall costs in the logistics industry by saving both time and money.

The total market share of couriers and local delivery services in the United States crossed 114 billion dollars in 2020, according to the data published by Statista. This market has been witnessing steady growth since 2017 even despite the coronavirus pandemic. For every player in this market, route optimization software has been the key to calculate the fastest and most fuel-efficient route while taking into account multiple stops and limited delivery time windows. It offers several important benefits and must be a part of the delivery process.

BENEFITS OF ROUTE OPTIMIZATION SOFTWARE

Improves Efficiency and Reduces Cost

With dynamic route optimization software, managers can promptly plan the best routes for deliveries and adjust them at the last minute with real-time data. It also helps in identifying inefficiencies to take corrective action, reducing vehicle wear and tear, and minimizing overtime payments, thereby lowering overall operational costs, according to a blog published by Key Software Systems. It also helps in bringing down fuel consumption with specific delivery time windows and backtracking and improves the efficiency of the entire process.

Ensures Driver Safety

Apart from route optimization, the safety of drivers is also an important concern in this industry. There were 7.3 million highway vehicle crashes and accidents of all levels of severity in the United States in 2017, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2018. Additionally, highway fatalities accounted for almost 95% of all transportation fatalities and highway injuries and more than 99% of transportation injuries. Using route optimization software, delivery schedules can be prepared in advance and drivers can be given an optimized and easy-to-follow route with turn-by-turn directions. It will help in reducing driver stress and the risk of stress-induced road accidents.

Enhances Customer Experience

The easiest way to ensure customer satisfaction is by providing them accurate and real-time updates on delivery schedules. Using route optimization software will eliminate the problem of incorrect ETAs and also accommodate any last-minute customer requests by modifying the existing routes. It will help in delivering an amazing experience every time and retaining customers over time.

Performance Analytics

With route optimization software, companies get access to every little detail of the delivery process. They can compare completed routes to those that were planned and check for order status history, distance traveled, duration of the delivery, arrival accuracy, etc. It helps them in making more informed decisions about their business in the future.

Route optimization improves every aspect of the delivery process, right from planning routes and efficiently managing delivery operations to ensuring timely deliveries. As the couriers and local delivery service market grows, so does the competition to be the best in the market. That is why it is important to use route optimization software and match your customer expectations with efficient deliveries.

Driving business forward.

How Pinnacle Logistics migrated to a new software platform while experiencing major growth in their start-up phase, all while continuing their high levels of service expectations for their customers. Leveraging Key Software Systems’ on-boarding process, and technology that delivered automation for their Pricing, Operations, and Communications to Customers and Drivers, were critical factors to their success.

The Xcelerator migration team that we worked with helped us get up and running in a few weeks. Xcelerator helped put us in position to scale quickly as we took on new business…it was a huge advantage for us.” – Craig Meindl of Pinnacle Logistics

With a company mission of providing customers with speedy same-day, specialized, mission critical deliveries, it was imperative in Pinnacle Logistics’ search for a dispatch technology platform to find a partner that would not only help remove the complexities of their custom pricing needs, but to have the most seamless migration possible as not to disrupt their daily business routine. That is when Pinnacle came across Key Software Systems.

In partnering with Key Software Systems, Pinnacle not only removed human error, but they were able to build and automate a specialized pricing matrix that they could not find elsewhere, enabling them to put customer focus first instead of wasting critical time on manually pricing jobs. They eliminated a countless number of manual tasks with a single, feature filled platform that had them up and running in only a couple of weeks.

Here is how Pinnacle Logistics moved their business forward to increased productivity, strengthened customer relationships, and more, simply by integrating Key Software Systems dispatch management platform solutions, Xcelerator & MobileTek, into their business.

Tell us how you got started…

  • Pinnacle Logistics was started at the end of 2020, out of demand. With over 20 years of experience in logistics, we built solid relationships with customers and delivery partners, and we had contacts reaching out for us to pick up their work, because of our reputation for coming through for people. After our first location was opened, we took off and are opening new hubs to accommodate customers as we speak.

What type of verticals are you serving? Target customer?

  • Our target customers are Air Freight Forwarders. We are focused on helping our customers with same day, mission critical deliveries focusing on highly specialized cold chain movements, pharmaceuticals, and lab animals like mice. Every delivery is a customized hot-shot, not next day distribution or scheduled, routed, or routine delivery.

When you began to search dispatch technology platforms for your business, what was some of the criteria you were looking for in a vendor, and in a solution?

  • While dispatch platforms all have dispatch management and standard tools, a lot of what we do has to be custom rated, automatically, with complicated variables. We needed a solution that was able to handle the complexity of our custom pricing needs, while automating it so we can remove human error, the need to remember. We did not want to touch every order.

How did Key Software and the Xcelerator Delivery Management Platform help you achieve that?

  • Within Xcelerator we found the nuances we were looking for that enabled us to handle our complicated rating and apply rate rules automatically to every order. Since we were able to build a pricing matrix with your system, we have been able to focus on our customers instead of focusing on pricing jobs, which in some cases would take quite a while to figure out.
  • The rating structure in Xcelerator also helped put us in position to scale quickly as we took on new business. We were able to use the tools to copy and customize pricing in minutes to get a customer going. Since we do not worry about that aspect of our business, we can be hyper focused on servicing customers and working new opportunities.

With your business taking off quickly, how did you manage migrating to a new platform while running your business?

  • The Xcelerator migration team that we worked with, helped us to get up and running in a few weeks. They adjusted their training schedule to accommodate our shifting schedules. It really helped remove the stress of potentially missing a training session. It was a huge advantage for us.
  • You guys are always a phone call away, and the direct relationship with the Xcelerator team brought piece of mind that we were taken care of while we are running in so many different directions. Very agile.

What would you say to someone who feels a migration to new technology would be too disruptive to their business?

  • It is a challenge but working with a team like yours who has done this hundreds of times, helped ease my concerns. So, I would let them know if you are working with folks like Xcelerator who specialize in migrations, they know what you are going through and care enough to work with you to help you achieve success. The system itself and the driver app, MobileTek, is also very easy to use, even for someone who may not be as tech savvy as others. The learning curve is not as large as you think.

Once you went live with the technology what features had the most immediate impact on your team?

  • With the specialized deliveries we do, the rating capabilities we talked about was key, but operationally, the driver app, MobileTek, and the customized dispatch board made a big impact on our operations. MobileTek helped simplify the steps drivers took, making it a seamless experience for the driver, our customers, and consignees. GPS tracking from the app is a great tool for us so the dispatchers can identify drivers in real time. GPS software with other companies, in our experience was always a lagging and unreliable. Feels great that can trust yours. The custom dispatch board enables each of our dispatchers to create their own views and alerts, that supports the specialized nature of work we do. We see exceptions before customers do and it has been invaluable to us to server our customers.

Which features had the biggest impact on your customers?

  • Two things. We can provide a standardized level of service and expectation for our customers, across the board, regardless of who the customer is, and where they may be located, and the communication side of the system has been awesome.  The great thing about your application is the Delivery Center aspect and how we can leverage the ease of it to provide the same format on pricing and a carbon copy of it for various locations which makes everything very seamless. We can handle deliveries for our customers in the US or internationally and the experience will be standardized, with no guess work for our customers, providing a ton of reliability that makes customers feel secure in our services. Even back to pricing, the one thing clients hate is getting variable pricing, so having that streamlined makes it a nice clean approach and accommodating to customers.
  • When it comes to the communication end of it, we have been able to reduce calls by 10% and that is big because each call isn’t a 1-2 min call. With specialized deliveries, if our customers call, they need to know specifics. With being able to leverage custom notifications, we have become more productive, and our customers do not need to contact us so much. Strengthens our relationship with them and that makes us all happy.

How has our product / service improved your day-to-day life?

  • Operationally, with specialized deliveries their tends to be lots of paperwork. The efficiencies of getting paperwork removed by technology and relayed in real-time to customers, has removed so many man hours in processing paper, it has been great for our team and customers alike. Before, a driver would have to come to the office to turn over the paperwork and we would need to create emails with attachments, etc. Happy we do not have to do that anymore!
  • Accountability has gone to another level. We can use the technology to quickly validate things like waiting time, for example, helping us proactively work with our customers. Not everything goes perfect either. Now we can provide visibility to customers, so they know we are doing what we say we are going to do. It protects us and our customers.
  • The Accounting side of your system has also helped us improve how we work with customers and the drivers. Invoicing customers is a breeze, and the driver settlement process out of one central location is key for us to make sure drivers are treated the way they should be, while also helping us scale. In a small business we are all wearing lots of hats so have the accounting element with invoicing customers, paying contract drivers, accounts receivable, and collections, save lots of time and a ton of work. Again, we can focus on what we do best and that is specialized delivery.

How did the drivers take to the MobileTek Core, driver app?

  • The app is great. When it comes to drivers, they do not like change, and some tend to push back. But the app is easy to use, and the drivers acclimated really well with a simple training. Even the more technically challenged drivers got going fast.

Have we made it easy?

  • Absolutely, the best thing is MobileTek walks the driver right through the steps they need to follow for each customer. From scanning air bills and house bills, collecting images from the app and emailing to customers, or attaching the images to invoices, it really simplifies a lot of steps for us and our customers when they reconcile. We are not a typical delivery business so anytime we can use technology to simplify our process, it is a game changer.

What are some of the features that you are excited about implementing in the future?

  • The dispatch automation is interesting. We would be looking at that system to help automate about 10% of the orders we do. When you can help the dispatch team remove the smaller tasks and enable them to focus on what is critical, you increase performance quite a bit.
  • The Warehouse inventory that is in Xcelerator. We keep inventory of resources we need for deliveries among other customer products, etc. We are excited about diving into that portion of the system soon.

Some feel migrating to a new technology platform may impede on business routine. With the right provider, it does not have to. Pinnacle Logistics was confident that Key Software understands how critical efficiency is in the migration process, considering they have been a trusted migration specialist for hundreds of delivery companies since 2000.  They were tap dead center on that assessment. Minimizing the impact of migration speed bumps and potholes along the way was vital, making what seemed like a complex migration process but a turn signal on their journey to onboarding a new technology platform. Pinnacle Logistics gained traction right away and have not looked in the rearview since.

ABOUT PINNACLE LOGISTICS

Pinnacle Logistics was founded in 2021 by a group of industry veterans with 60+ years of combined experience knowledge, and professionalism with one simple idea in common — deliver excellent specialized service to the customer. We have not lost sight of that simple idea the customer and our performance remain our focus. We take care of the customer first and believe that everything else in our business flows from that commitment. Communication is the essential element that allows Pinnacle Logistics to deliver outstanding performance for our customers. Our customer service department, dispatchers, and billing department all listen to our clients and respond with timely, accurate information. We utilize state-of-the-art technology to enhance our dispatching and communication capabilities, through Internet Order-entry for customer convenience, GPS Global Positioning System for real-time driver status. Driver interactive app for real-time updates. By utilizing this experience and technology we specialize in the detail-oriented delivery of highly critical and valuable shipments including cold chain, pharmaceutical, GCT, blood/plasma, transplant organs, AOG parts, and much more.

ABOUT KEY SOFTWARE SYSTEMS

Key Software Systems, LLC is the developer of the industry leading Delivery Management and Optimization Platforms, Xcelerator, MobileTek and Nexus. As the only complete system in the delivery space, Key Software’s solutions handle the full spectrum of a delivery business, from order creation, optimization, tracking, warehousing, full accounting, settlement, and analytics. For more information visit www.KeySoftwareSystems.com or call 732-409-6068 to speak with a representative and see a live demo.  Follow us on Twitter for up to the minute technology information @KeySoftwareSys.

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Key Software Systems LLC IconKey Software Systems LLC

5100 Belmar Boulevard, Farmingdale

4.8 21 reviews

  • Avatar Excel Group ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Key Software has been our vendor since 2009. We've been able to evolve the solutions we can provide to our courier clients because of the constant developments they make to their product. They have proven time and time again to be … More easy to work with. We truly value this partnership!
  • Avatar Mahir Butt ★★★★ 3 months ago
    Great company to work with have been a customer for a long time and I can honestly say that our experience has been great with this company thus far !
  • Avatar Adam Autera ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Key has developed a truly amazing system. In the 15 years that I have been a user, the system has improved and expanded in many useful ways. It is an integral part of my company's growth, and is a selling point with new clients, both … More local, as well as international.
  • Avatar Zip Logistics Dispatch ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Excellent product, Awesome Support and open to hearing new ideas.
  • Avatar Kyle Stewart ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Outstanding courier and delivery software. Always on the cutting edge of the industry and open to customer feedback and ideas. The Key Software team is the best!!