The rapid growth in-home delivery logistics has seen it become increasingly complex. Allocation to a specific day no longer meets consumer expectations. The need to provide more accurate delivery times, greater information on the status of deliveries, and increased flexibility from the time of order right up until the completion of the delivery, present both challenges and opportunities for home delivery service providers.
We have compiled our ‘4 Top Tips’ to help service providers overcome common issues with the last mile and realize the commercial opportunity of improved service provision.
1. Incremental planning & live time-slotting
Superior planning is incremental planning. Incremental planning enables businesses to offer a ‘time slot’ during order-taking, giving the customer control of their delivery window. This delivery window can be easily aligned against the live weekly/daily plan. This in turn enables service providers to suggest, offer and guide customers towards time slots that are most cost-effective, within the current plan.AMCS intelligent route planning and scheduling systems provide the ability to recalculate add new orders and make changes to orders, such as updating delivery windows, resulting in satisfied customers and minimum disruption to drivers’ daily route.
An incorrect postcode or missing letter from an address can cause standard automatic geocoding services and route planning systems to fail, creating issues for distance calculation and route optimization. Employing a system with GPS to track the actual location of the customer and strong geo-coding functionality, can ensure a geocode match from an address is confirmed and verified before distance calculation and optimization happens, and ultimately before the driver even sets out on the road.
3. Linking to the warehouse
How do you ensure that all orders are in stock, and leave the warehouse on time? It is important to respect your warehouse or supplier’s capacity and stock. AMCS intelligent route planning and scheduling solutions enable you to link to the warehouse systems for complete visibility of consignments prior to dispatch, helping to avoid availability and service issues.
4. Keep customers happy with live delivery tracking.
Consumers have high expectations around service levels and demand visibility of the product journey. Keeping customers informed, even if you are running behind schedule, is imperative. Utilizing in-cab mobile solutions in conjunction with your route optimization and scheduling system will ensure drivers and the internal customer service teams share real-time information and can keep the customer updated.
An example of this is getting status messages from driver devices in order to monitor and track the expected delivery time for each consignment. AMCS intelligent route planning systems also enable GPS traces in order to see the position of vehicles, allowing to provide an Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to customers at any time.
Done poorly, home service delivery can have a significant negative impact both on the service provider and the retailer for whom they are working. Done well it provides a powerful way for both businesses to differentiate their brands from their competitors.
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