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Automation is rapidly transforming almost every aspect of the entire parcel delivery chain. You will find businesses of all shapes and sizes implementing Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as RFID chips for automated transportation tracking, delicate warehouse management systems, etc. They are constantly investing in new technology to automate the last-mile delivery process so that they can reduce costs and increase efficiency. A crucial aspect of automation is the use of last-mile delivery platforms that seamlessly integrates various parts of this delivery stage to optimize operations.

IMPORTANCE OF LAST-MILE DELIVERY PLATFORMS IN AUTOMATION

An efficient delivery management platform provides automation and tracking visibility to the logistics businesses so that they can effectively close last-mile delivery gaps. The fewer tasks that are handled manually, the more efficiency you will find in the entire process.

One big advantage of using such a platform is that it unifies delivery and fulfillment models onto a single platform that allows you to grow, respond to market demands, and leverage data insights. For instance, you can use it along with an automated dispatch software. It will help you automate the flow of valuable, customizable, and time-sensitive information to ensure accuracy, accountability, and greater profits.

You also get access to Big Data from these platforms with which you can create personalized customer journeys, learn consumer behaviors, and accommodate customers’ purchasing habits. It can significantly boost your revenue and ensure customer satisfaction.

PRIMARY AREAS FOR AUTOMATION

If you are looking to introduce technology to automate the last-mile delivery stage, you should focus on these three core areas for optimal benefits:

Routing and Dispatching

The primary goal of automation in the last-mile delivery process is almost the same as the goal in the rest of the delivery chain – to reduce costs, minimize human error, and promote efficiency. When you automate, you can quickly calculate efficient routes and automatically dispatch drivers for those routes and handle all orders, especially same-day deliveries. It is estimated that the demand for same-day and instant deliveries may reach a combined share of 20%-25% of the entire last-mile delivery market by 2025. So, it becomes extremely important to be able to handle such deliveries and maximize your revenue from this growing market.

Customer Communications

A recent report revealed that 73% of customers would like to receive their parcels in a convenient time slot rather than receiving them quickly. So, simply prompt deliveries won’t be sufficient to keep them happy. This is where automation of the process becomes important. If you can plan the deliveries effectively with automated dispatch software and keep your customers apprised of their order status at all times, you can rest assured that they will choose your services the next time as well.

Invoicing

It is hard to ignore the truth that labor is expensive, and you can’t depend on manual processes if you want to save money. Automating the pick-up process from the warehouse and invoicing at the time of delivery will ensure nothing but better cash flow, fewer errors, and significantly reduced labor time spent on these processes.

The recent wave of technological advancements across the world of parcel delivery offers a wide range of benefits. If you want to make the most of these benefits, then you should encourage automation and technological adoption at almost every step of the delivery process.

Courier companies are under constant pressure to improve the order fulfillment experience of their customers. While the value of same-day delivery sales has grown exponentially from practically zero in 2013 to over $4 billion in 2018, nearly 65% of companies have been pushed to offer same-day delivery to their customers. This has encouraged them to turn to innovative solutions for reducing delivery times while optimizing delivery operations.

Here are six tips that you can bring into practice to streamline your delivery process:

1. OPTIMIZE DELIVERY ROUTES

There have been continuous efforts to optimize the delivery routes to prevent any unnecessary delays since the delivery costs are directly related to the distance between the pick-up and drop points. So, you need to invest in the latest technologies to be aware of real-time scenarios such as traffic, weather, construction, etc. For instance, with the help of GPS tracking software, you can ensure route optimization and bring down the shipping costs.

2. FOCUS MORE ON AUTOMATION

Being in this industry, you can never underestimate the importance of automation in the delivery process. With the help of advanced innovations like autonomous vehicles or delivery drones, you can improve your delivery time and accuracy. Although these radical solutions are slowly being adapted into the delivery process, you can always use other efficient technologies like augmented reality solutions to offer your drivers more information about their environment and the packages still on board.

3. IMPROVE COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR WAREHOUSE

Warehouse communication is often neglected by logistics companies. Quick communication is a crucial part of maintaining prompt deliveries. It will help you not only manage stock but also ensure the influx of orders doesn’t come at you unexpectedly. You can even arrange for additional members of staff to be on hand to ensure all your parcels are sent accordingly.

4. USE SCANNING DEVICES TO LOCATE YOUR ITEMS

For smoother deliveries, you should be able to identify the exact location of each item in your warehouse. Otherwise, it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. This is why it’s ideal to deploy scanning devices wherever possible. They will help you locate items quickly and let you know how much stock you have. These devices are great time savers and reduce the risk of human error. Plus, you can save hours of labor and money.

5. USE ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is ideal for businesses that have a lot of paperwork to process. This technique will replace paperwork with more efficient electronic data. It will help you make the entire shipping process quicker as well as convenient since your delivery agents will not have to carry around countless pieces of loose paper. Another advantage of using EDI is that it boosts productivity while minimizing errors.

6. ENSURE REVERSE LOGISTICS

You should have a proper reverse logistics plan in place to minimize the costs of product returns. This way you can reduce the capital tied into inventory and enhance the overall transparency of the supply chain.

Maintaining your dominance in this market can be challenging. That is why you should constantly upgrade your delivery process with the advancement in technologies. These smart tips will help you bring down the costs and improve the overall delivery process.

September 9, 2021

keysoftwaresystems

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Dispatch management is one of the most crucial tasks of a service company aiming to provide fast and efficient delivery operations. The task involves matching customer and equipment needs with appropriate field service workers. Organizations are increasingly choosing to use dispatch software that automates and optimizes field workers’ schedules across geographies thereby boosting productivity.

Dispatch software replaces the earlier manual system of using whiteboards, email systems and online calendars to schedule deliveries thereby saving a lot of time and effort.

The use of dispatch software allows identification of personnel with specific skillsets and finding the nearest workers by using a routing tool. The software also uses historical data and traffic patterns to create more accurate and realistic schedules. The software can even be connected to mobile devices, allowing people to access it from anywhere.

BENEFITS OF USING DISPATCH SOFTWARE

  • Better Management: The use of dispatch software allows service providers to become more organized and say goodbye to cluttered workspaces, constant follow-ups and reminders. One single software takes care of all the aspects related to the dispatch function.
  • Simplifies Dispatch: The software allows optimization of schedules by matching the most suitable personnel to a specific task or delivery. Instant availability of information allows for better use of time and personnel.
  • Saves Time and Efforts: The software saves time and resources by eliminating wasteful overhead spending on overtime, extra travel and downtime.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Courier and other dispatch services can retain their customer base and attract new ones only by offering the best services. The use of software allows them to plan the fastest routes and ensure that deliveries are on time. It also allows sharing of real-time information between the customers and the dispatch team.

CONSIDERATIONS IN CHOOSING A DISPATCH SOFTWARE

While looking for dispatch software for streamlining delivery operations, do check these features:

  • Ease of Use: The software should be simple to use and customizable to harness and leverage the power of your business.
  • Dynamic Route Optimization Feature: The inclusion of this feature allows a business to reduce vehicle operation costs, boost dispatcher productivity, improve customer service and build a loyal workforce.
  • Customizable Email, SMS/Text Message Alerts: These allow consignees and customers to have an excellent experience from start to finish.
  • Auto-Dispatch and Assisted Dispatch Facilities: This feature allows hands-free dispatching besides assisting dispatchers to find the best worker for an order based on a set of user-defined rules, real-time conditions and artificial intelligence.
  • Inbuilt Accounting: This feature allows the faster generation of error-free invoices.
  • Analytics: Apart from providing real-time information, the software should allow stakeholders to customize detailed reports for enhanced decision making. In fact, you can choose a solution with a free mobile reporting app to make it even more convenient.

Systems that automate the flow of time sensitive information are important. However, systems that can streamline operations, maximize the use of your resources, provide accurate information in well-defined reports, and ensure an excellent customer experience help your company attract new business, increase efficiency and boost profits.

September 2, 2021

keysoftwaresystems

AllNewsletter

The increasing popularity of mobile and its instant connectivity feature has led to a dramatic shift in the way logistic operations are carried out around the world. With a large percentage of the world population using smartphones and accessible 24/7, businesses have had to change their working to include mobile-friendly technologies in the provision of their services. Recognizing the power of mobiles, more and more companies are incorporating apps that integrate and connect directly to business systems.

Powerful software solutions that can be integrated with mobile phones allow logistics providers to streamline communication to their mobile workforce, customers and consignees across various business models. These solutions are designed in such a way that they can run on all major mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Windows mobile.

MOBILES BENEFITS BOTH SERVICE PROVIDERS AND CUSTOMERS

Mobiles have emerged as excellent tools to enhance the level of connectivity between various parties involved in a logistics business. The development of logistics management apps that connect and integrate directly to business systems not only allows the service providers to keep track of the movement of the goods but also allow customers to check the status of their deliveries. The use of mobile apps allows businesses and their employees to manage everything from a single device.

Some major trends in the logistics segment are:

  • Use of GPS Tracking: The inclusion of an integrated GPS system in the mobile allows all logistic providers to accurately locate and track the movement of all the drivers and the delivery personnel. This also helps in avoiding transportation delays besides better managing customer expectations. Adequate contingency plans can also be developed with the help of the available tracking data.
  • Automation of Processes: This allows mobile apps to generate reports and monitor performance metrics. These apps can provide alerts and notifications of key information thereby boosting data flow.
  • Inclusion of Modern technologies: The incorporation of modern technologies in mobile phones allows them to be used as cameras, handheld computers, barcode and label printers, scanners, RFID tags, GPS, voice recognition software and shared logistic networks. Smartphones are fast replacing ruggedized devices and combining several technologies to offer complete mobile solutions for logistics management.
  • Geofence Automation: This feature leads to better accountability and compliance by identifying pickup or delivery locations for arrival and departure timestamps based on the entrance and exit of an address specific Geofence.
  • 5G: This offers higher network capacity and lower latency than its predecessor. With 5G, mobile phones will become even more powerful for getting work done with efficiency. With broader coverage and more stable connections, there will be increased visibility into the logistics of moving items.

With the onset of the pandemic, manufacturers, retailers, participants of supply chains, and consumers have become more dependent on smartphones.

Mobile technologies allow businesses to get greater visibility in the performance of their supply chain and identify opportunities to improve productivity and reduce costs. The technology has made it possible for logistics companies to work defensively and instead enabled them to take preemptive measures by analyzing the data to make informed forecasts.

The global courier, parcel, and express market is consistently growing along with rising demand and customer expectations. This market has increased from $157 billion in 2010 to $330.34 billion in 2019, according to the data published by Statista. With the growing volume, the demand for quicker and more reliable deliveries has increased as well.

If you are in this industry, then here are 3 amazing hacks to ensure more efficient operations and on-time deliveries:

1. FOCUS MORE ON WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT

You may be tracking your parcels during delivery. However, it is also important to keep a track of your inventory inside the warehouse. If you can’t identify the exact location of each item in your warehouse, it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So, you can use delivery management software with an integrated warehouse management feature. It will enable efficient management, improved protection of data, and real-time information through a single dashboard, according to Key Software Systems.

You can also encourage automation at other steps in the process. For instance, try barcode scanners and wireless scanners to save time and reduce the risk of human error.

2. OPTIMIZE ROUTES

It may sound like a cliché but route optimization is essential for increasing service delivery efficiency. You should have access to all the necessary information about the orders, routes, vehicles, and drivers. With optimized routes, you can send the right vehicles and drivers at the right time to the right locations. It is an efficient way to boost production delivery efficiency without adding more vehicles and/or drivers.

Additionally, if you know about the driver’s availability and your fleet, you can avoid space wastage in the vehicles and assign the right tasks to your drivers.

3. PRIORITIZE

It is a simple yet efficient hack to optimize your delivery process. You know that all deliveries are not equally important and with limited resources, you may have to leave certain things for another day. That is why setting priorities for orders based on the on-site location, urgency, equipment available, servicing requirements, and delivery time is extremely important.

For same-day deliveries, you need better solutions. Deploy an order management software that allows you to make changes and adjustments to be made at a moment’s notice and proactively offer solutions to potential client issues, says an article published by Accenture. It will allow you to re-route your team and re-prioritize work orders instantly.

Constantly working on improving your delivery operations processes is crucial for both the customer and your business. These simple hacks can help you boost productivity, monitor real-time data at each step, and keep every member of your organization updated at all times.

The key to improving delivery management is working on improving operational efficiency at each step of the delivery process. It is essential regardless of whether your company is a startup, a global brand, or anywhere in between. Your delivery operations should always be aimed at achieving optimal customer satisfaction while using minimal resources, despite high volumes of deliveries.

Here are some helpful tips to optimize your delivery management process:

1. ENCOURAGE AUTOMATION

You need to constantly work on automation if you want to run an on-demand delivery service. The same-day and instant deliveries are expected to reach a combined share of 20%-25% of the entire last-mile delivery market by 2025, according to an article by McKinsey & Co. So, if you want to maximize this opportunity, invest in an automated dispatch solution. It will automatically assign orders to the nearest drivers, enabling them to reach customers within a short time frame. This software plays a key role in automating the flow of valuable, customizable, and time-sensitive information to ensure accuracy, accountability, and greater profits, according to Key Software Systems.

2. UTILIZE AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) can enhance human capabilities and eliminate routine work. You can use it to optimize your delivery management in several different ways – customer service chat-bots, anomaly detection, quality assurance through picture-, video- and data monitoring, fraud detection cameras, image recognition, and even delivery robots.

3. FOCUS ON IMPROVING INTERNAL COMMUNICATION

If you are in this industry, you need to ensure that your employees communicate efficiently. For instance, if your drivers can communicate with the back-end team instantly, they can resolve any issues that hinder them from making timely deliveries. You can improve internal communication with the right delivery management solution that offers visibility into the details of the delivery and driver location.

4. OFFER TRACK & TRACE AND NOTIFY YOUR CUSTOMERS

73% of customers wanted to receive their shipment in a convenient time slot rather than receiving it quickly, according to a report published by Capgemini Research Institute. So, while optimizing your delivery routes, you need to make sure that up a delivery route plan that will allow your driver to carry a particular shipment and arrive at the designated time. With efficient tracking tools, you can notify your customers about their delivery time and ensure that you get happy and satisfied customers.

5. PROCESS RETURNS EFFICIENTLY

You should keep a track of the products that get returned and ensure that your infrastructure i.e. warehouse, staff, and delivery management system can support an easy returns process. It will help you maintain customer loyalty and reduce the number of calls to your customer services team.

It may seem challenging to maintain a smooth and efficient delivery management process. But, with the right set of tools and solutions, you can ensure optimization at each step to ensure current and long-term profitability.

Logistics and supply-chain play an important role in the success of almost every business in the service industry. That is why the market size of the couriers and local delivery services industry in the US has witnessed a growth of 4.7% per year on average between 2016 and 2021, reaching 118 billion dollars in 2021, according to the figures released by IBIS World. In this huge industry, some businesses often make some mistakes that cost them both time and money.

Here are four such common delivery mistakes and the steps to help avoid them:

1. USE OF OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY

Digitization is essential for a company that wants to succeed in this competitive modern world. If you are using outdated technology, it means that you cannot effectively communicate with your customers or keep them updated on the order status. If you implement and adapt to technology in your logistics strategies, you can significantly boost your revenue and end up with more satisfied customers. For instance, supply-chain management software can consolidate integrations, increase visibility to key metrics, optimize efficiency throughout the delivery process, and maximize brand management, according to Key Software Systems.

2. IMPROPER WAREHOUSE STORAGE

A common mistake in warehouses is that the fast pickup areas are not separated from bulk storage. It creates a big clutter and makes it hard to locate urgently required parcels. Businesses can avoid this problem by designating a spot for placing fast-moving goods away from primary stock storage. It enables them to keep several different products within a restricted space and storing bulk quantities in other parts of the warehouse.

3. INABILITY TO SCALE

Every business should properly measure its growth potential as it is crucial for efficient logistics operations. Any imbalances between your stock and storage space can result in unnecessary expenses. You can employ advanced systems with a maximum- and minimum-reorder feature to ensure proper calculations when restocking. Additionally, you can use a forecasting tool to scale your operations based on current logistics statistics.

4. LACK OF TRACKING TOOLS

Almost 49% of respondents revealed that losing their parcel was one of the most common reasons for their dissatisfaction with online order shipping providers, according to a survey by Statista. You can eliminate this problem by using an efficient tracking tool that regularly updates your customers about the progress of their parcels and when to expect them. It also ensures that the parcel reaches the preferred destination and avoids losses caused by false claims about shipping issues.

Deliveries can be a challenging and confusing aspect of running a business, especially if any mistakes in the process can cut into your business’s bottom line. However, if you are aware of these mistakes and take steps to avoid them, you can eliminate unnecessary costs and errors, and provide your customers with an unparalleled experience.

With increasing demand and customer expectations, efficient dispatch management is becoming more important for businesses to stay competitive in the industry. In a 2018 survey, 92% of respondents revealed that they wouldn’t choose the same delivery company after three or four instances of poor customer service, according to an article by Forbes. So, you can’t afford to make any mistakes in your delivery process.

Effective dispatch management is crucial for ensuring fast and flexible delivery operations. Here are some helpful tips to maintain its efficiency:

1. AUTOMATE DISPATCHING

You can’t possibly run an on-demand delivery service without an automated dispatching process. You get more time to plan scheduled deliveries, but on-demand couriers need to be sent out as quickly as possible. It is estimated that same-day and instant deliveries might reach a combined share of 20%-25% of the entire last-mile delivery market by 2025, according to an article by McKinsey & Co.

To keep up with this growing trend, you need to invest in an automated dispatch solution that automatically assigns orders to the nearest drivers, enabling them to reach customers within a short time frame. This software automates the flow of valuable, customizable, and time-sensitive information to ensure accuracy, accountability, and greater profits, according to Key Software Systems.

2. OPTIMIZE DELIVERY ROUTES

If you are using route optimization software, your drivers can get access to the most efficient routes in a matter of minutes. This software takes into account several variables such as driver schedule, delivery windows, weather and traffic conditions, etc. to provide more accurate ETAs. It also allows you to plan for flexible delivery schedules, thus ensuring higher customer satisfaction levels.

3. EMPHASIZE MOBILITY SOLUTIONS

Many businesses are optimizing their courier dispatch process with the help of mobile devices. These on-the-go or mobility solutions offer several benefits such as image retrieval for digital proof of deliveries, real-time tracking, instant communication, and efficient route navigation. You can focus more on these solutions to optimize the courier dispatch system and increase revenue.

4. USE BIG DATA

With access to huge volumes of data, you can use predictive analytics to optimize your dispatch process. Big data is the next big thing for the dispatchers as you can use the actionable insights for rerouting, planning, inventory management, and even job allocation. It can also help you make well-informed decisions to boost your revenue.

Courier dispatch management may seem challenging at times. But, equipped with the right tools, you can optimize each process to ensure current and long-term profitability.

There were 5,333 fatal occupational injuries in 2019, the largest annual number since 2007, according to the figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means that a worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019. Worker safety is a major concern in the logistics industry as well. That is why automation is recommended to not only help reduce the human error that can cause hazards, but also maximize efficiency and productivity.

Here are four big reasons why should invest in delivery management software to improve warehouse efficiency:

#1 INTERNAL AUTOMATION

Using delivery software with an integrated warehouse management feature, you can ensure process automation within your warehouse. Software on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can be used for more efficient management, improved protection of data, and real-time information through a single dashboard, according to a blog published by Key Software Systems.

#2 IMPROVE ACCURACY AND EFFICIENCY

Human beings are capable of many great things. But with an automated software created specifically for inventory management, companies can increase work efficiencies while minimizing error. Tracking inventory is a big challenge in every warehouse. It is estimated that American retailers suffered inventory loss (or shrinkage) amounting to $46.8 billion in 2018, according to an article by Forbes. Using the inventory management feature, you can find the right stock in no time and ensure greater inventory control.

#3 INCREASE SPEED

Speed is as important as accuracy within the warehouse, especially for distribution centers that serve retailers and shoppers. Automation helps in fulfilling the order requirements within no time and gives businesses a competitive advantage.

Using delivery management software speeds up the entire process because it automatically processes and integrates data in real-time. For instance, each time a product is taken off a shelf and scanned by a worker, an alert is sent to the managers to stock levels and enables them to take action accordingly. It improves efficiency and reduces the time required to fulfill the next order.

#4 REDUCE OPERATING EXPENSES

An integrated inventory management system in the delivery software often has floor simulators that allow managers to create potential floor plans within the system. You can determine the best place to keep certain materials, products, and equipment to optimize the flow of your warehouse. This kind of visibility also helps with creating demand forecasts that provide you valuable insights.

You can assess the products that are most popular with customers during specific times of the year and maintain stock accordingly. It will help you significantly increase profits while bringing down the operating costs.

Choosing a delivery software for your business can significantly improve the overall management. Embracing this technology and automating warehouse processes will help you achieve more streamlined and efficient business operations.

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.

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