How Automation Improves Last Mile Delivery
For companies that offer last mile delivery services, automation is the key to unlocking the potential created by successful last mile experiences. Automation improves last mile delivery in numerous ways, including by introducing opportunities for additional efficiencies, incorporating advanced data management and analysis tools, and breaking down communication barriers between the customer and brand during the process.
Route Optimization and Efficiency
Save time and money by improving route optimization
Logistical route issues are among the biggest hurdles for companies when it comes to improving last mile efficiency. There are many variables involved in the delivery of a product. Even slight fluctuations in a single one during the process can have a ripple effect that ends up significantly impacting the overall experience.
By using advanced location data available through automation software, you can mitigate the impact that changes in certain variables will have on your performance. When combined with powerful algorithms, this data enables your employees or contractors to exercise more control over the last mile experience, thereby improving the use of resources and getting products to customers faster.
Increase efficiency and reduce the potential for human error
In last mile delivery, human error is a natural and unavoidable factor in the process. Optimizing delivery efficiency is all about limiting the opportunities for human error to severely impact the experience, and that’s an impossible task without the help of automation software. When you use a comprehensive program to analyze every aspect of your routes and the delivery environment, you put your drivers in position to make the most efficient choices without having to think about them.
Delivery Tracking and Data Management
Make informed real-time business decisions
Every single last mile service interaction consists of a multitude of data points. If you are trying to track and analyze them manually, you will constantly be behind in the game. Individually, these data points are limited in their usefulness, but by employing holistic analytics you can connect the dots to draw a picture of significant details that form your experience. Advanced automated location data provides you with actionable intelligence- precisely what you need in order to make the most efficient decisions on the fly.
Create a business case for impactful changes
Leaders make decisions, and data empowers leaders to make the best possible decisions for the organization. It also provides the evidentiary need for substantive change. In order to successfully execute your vision for the last mile, you need buy-in from members of your team at all levels of the organization. When you are able to back up your decisions with compelling data illuminated by automation software, you can forge a strong business case to take to your investors and team members, and ultimately implement a cohesive strategy across the company.
Identify trends, and analyze your data for continual improvement
The quest for optimization doesn’t end after you make a single positive change. Or 50 or 100. Creating the best possible last mile service requires you to constantly look at the trends your data provides and strive to understand what it says about your processes, products, and customers on a micro and macro level. When you automate your last mile processes, you create a pipeline of continuous data points that you will be able to turn to over and over again in pursuit of optimizing your experience.
Communication with Customers
Set delivery expectations for your customers
When you offer a customer last mile delivery or curbside pickup, setting expectations and then meeting them every time is a crucial part of building customer loyalty. Not everything has to be delivered in under an hour by a flying drone; buyers are willing to wait for their delivery as long as the expectation is clear and the service adds value to their experience.
Automation improves last mile delivery by giving you the tools you need to create and communicate these expectations. When you can harness the power of location data from thousands of interactions, you are able to constantly refine your estimates and keep customers in the loop throughout their interaction with your brand.
Build customer trust by delivering on your brand promise
When you complete a last mile interaction, what you are doing is fulfilling the brand promise, which means that the last mile is a powerful factor shaping the overall customer experience. Regardless of how good the front-end marketing and sales operation has been, or how high the quality of the product is, the last mile experience must be executed at a high level as well if you want the customer to come back.
Automated last mile delivery platforms enable you to build consistency into the fabric of your operation, which helps you build trust with your buyers over the course of multiple interactions. When you use every available tool at your disposal to execute the service experience at a high level across every touchpoint, you are proving to customers that you have the means and the ability to fulfill the brand’s promise for every transaction.
Improve customer service through enhanced, real-time notifications
The rise of the smartphone app era not only means that brands have new ways to communicate with customers in personalized environments, but also that customers now expect instant notifications for every product and service they pay for. The nexus of location-sharing data and automation creates powerful possibilities when it comes to real-time notifications for customers. When your customers opt into notification services, they can be apprised of routine delivery developments and changes without your team members having to do anything. Automation not only enhances your institutional knowledge, but it also facilitates knowledge sharing between you and your customers to create a deeper relationship.