Why Does Last-Mile Delivery Matter To Carriers And Customers? Delivering a package to its destined address is not as simple as it seems. There are several stages involved in the logistics process. Every step needs to be coordinated with the other for smooth package delivery. Technology plays a significant role in facilitating the process.
Moreover, at every stage, delivering goods timely is of critical importance. Package security also must be kept in mind when a parcel leaves until it arrives at its destination.
While we are discussing the stages, the last step of logistics is also regarded as last-mile delivery. A report from Frost and Sullivan states that up to 40% of the logistics costs are associated with last-mile delivery. Given the importance of last-mile delivery, industry giants have been using importance of last mile delivery to ensure safe package delivery. The use of a management solution minimizes the operational costs and helps you keep track of the chain of custody of the parcels.
What is last-mile delivery, and why is it so crucial for businesses? Let's delve deep into it.
What is Last-Mile Delivery?
Last-mile delivery refers to the last step of any package delivery process before it reaches its destination. It could be to an office, educational institute, a hotel, or any other location. It is the most critical step, and the one that the sender wants to ensure is quick, efficient, and safe. But why is last-mile delivery essential?
It is essential to ensure efficient last-mile delivery to keep up with the increasing demand for fast shipping. Last-mile delivery concerns e-commerce stores the most, especially food and retail industries. Furthermore, it is the most expensive and complicated leg of the logistics process.
Why is Last-Mile Delivery Important?
The process of manufacturing a product and showcasing it in the market is dependent on the last-mile delivery. First-mile delivery is a back-end process and does not deal directly with the end consumer. The last-mile delivery is the forefront that engages with your customer.
Think of a scenario where last-mile delivery is out of the picture; first, the customer will spend on the product and then physically pick up the product. It will not only add to its cost but time as well.
Think of yourself as a consumer? Would you prefer shopping from a store that provides last-mile delivery or a store where you must visit to pick up your package? You have your answer.
Factors to Choose Last-Mile Delivery Service
Now, what can help you make last-mile delivery smooth since it is one of the pillars of your business. The use of technology! You can also use a last-mile delivery service that can make the delivery process convenient. A few factors can help you choose an exemplary last-mile delivery service and amp up your delivery process. Let's have a look!
1. Secure Delivery
Being a last-mile delivery service brings a particular element of trust with it. When consumers hand over their goods to a delivery service, they expect complete security of their packages.
Timely delivery and in a safe manner are the two factors which hold almost equal importance to you. There is no point if your package arrives on the dot, but it is damaged. Even though a last-mile delivery service strives to reduce lost package instances, some still can slip through. What to do if this happens?
To cater to this scenario, companies can often offer insurance benefits with the delivery offer. Moreover, an additional surcharge adds up to the final billing amount. It can work either as part of the total or under a different head. This method can go a long way in putting a customer at ease with complete peace of mind.
2. Efficient Management
Even if a last-mile delivery service has all the tools required for an efficient platform, it still needs to be managed effectively. Without sound management practices, you will run into more problems with the delivery service.
Some key areas that need to be kept in mind while choosing a delivery service are staff scheduling, smooth process workflows, friendly company outlook, and customer complaints. A last-mile delivery solution helps with that.
Without able management over the different functions of the delivery service, there can be chaos. At every stage of the process, there can be disruptions and roadblocks. These can be harmful to your business.
3. Reduced Operational Costs
In the end, it is a numbers game. You need to go for a last-mile delivery service that provides the lowest cost with the highest gain.
Be careful; you do not want to go for the cheapest option and then regret it later. If the cost is too low to be accurate, then the service probably has cut a few corners here and there.
A delivery service can provide you unbelievably low rates. The downside is that it might lack adequate package security, timely deliveries, status updates, etc. Hence, you need to take a holistic view of the price point which a last-mile delivery service provides.
From a service provider's point of view, the delivery costs have to be kept low enough to keep you competitive. If the cost is high for you and the consumer, there won't be any takers for your business. That is why it is essential to manage and allocate resources and keep costs down efficiently.
4. Customer Satisfaction
A happy customer is a paying customer. It is crucial to fulfill all the customer demands and keep them satisfied. Only then will they return for your services.
Customer-centric services help to address customer issues directly. One such method is by having a functional customer review and complaint portal. Furthermore, you should promptly address the customer complaints.
Another example of a customer-oriented feature is giving customers the flexibility to choose the timing and location of their delivery, along with pictorial proof. They might also be able to delegate pick-up to an acquaintance if they are unavailable.
Benefits Of Using a Last-Mile Delivery Solution
Let's see some of the benefits of last-mile delivery solutions:
• Smooth Shipping and Delivery Processes
Modern last-mile delivery solutions make the whole delivery process a piece of cake. You can schedule deliveries, keep track of them, and prepare for pick-ups in advance.
A functional delivery solution will accommodate your needs and requests. You can reschedule deliveries, delegate pick-up authority, or put in other last-minute requests. It is possible by two-way communication between you, the consumer, and the delivery service.
• Structured Delivery Management
With every step of the delivery process digitized and recorded, you can plan the complete journey. You can plan routes with no delays; the management can send out customer alerts and more.
• Safe deliveries
Pictorial proof of delivery, complete chain of custody, and real-time tracking ensure that your package now never gets lost. The idea of safe deliveries brings great ease of mind to a consumer while also reducing the risk for a service provider.
Last-mile delivery is integral to the package delivery journey and can often make or break the customer experience. Modern last-mile delivery solutions are increasingly incorporating technology into their products. It paves the way for a better and efficient future of last-mile delivery.
For customers, a progressive last-mile delivery solution can make their shopping experience that much better. For a service provider, a robust solution ensures that their business manages to meet customer requirements.