Challenging customer demands, shrinking delivery times, and more intense price wars are making delivery management an arduous task. It’s hard to find the right balance among all the factors affecting delivery services, which is why it’s more important than ever to make sure that last-mile delivery operations are efficient.
One way of ensuring optimal processes across last-mile operations is to rely on delivery management software (DMS), one that can help reduce cost, ensure fast deliveries, and make customers satisfied.
There are various DMS options to choose from, but not all are created equal. Some won’t help address all the pain points within the delivery operations.
Here’s a guide on what to look for in delivery management software.
Delivery Management Software: Essential Features
Automated Scheduling of Deliveries
Arguably, assigning and deploying drivers and assets can be considered the most burdensome task for an operations manager. It’s hard for dispatch or delivery managers to decide manually which orders should be assigned to various drivers and vehicles, especially when the business has high delivery volumes.
Thankfully, a DMS helps managers with this task, as it provides complete visibility on available resources and how they are being utilized for the day. A worthy DMS should help organizations allocate assets and drivers according to various factors, such as weight and units.
The software should customize each driver’s delivery run sheets (DRS) automatically and assign and inform drivers accordingly.
Additionally, some DMS have easy to use features letting drivers mark their attendance online.
Route Optimization with Real-Time Visibility
Changes in regulations, heavier traffic conditions, and higher delivery volumes require better route planning. A DMS with a route optimization function helps fleet operators and managers plan daily operations more efficiently.
This feature plots multiple routes for multiple drivers automatically in just a few minutes. Optimized route planning paves the way for more efficient delivery operations, as the software uses different sources and platforms to generate the optimized routes, factoring in weather, road, and other traffic conditions.
A DMS with a route optimization feature also tracks fleets in real-time, thus allowing for accurate estimated delivery time prediction. Visibility on drivers and assets results in their improved allocation and more efficient resource planning.
Plus, customers are now more demanding than ever. They want to receive their orders as quickly as possible and be able to track them in real-time. Live delivery tracking capability is a must-have in any delivery solution, especially for businesses that want to increase customer satisfaction.
Customizable and Adaptive
Any delivery management software that’s worth a company’s money should be versatile to allow customization and the addition of new features. This is important when a business wants to add certain features or intends to scale up operations. Delivery solutions should have the capability to accommodate new functionalities without much hassle to support new business needs.
Smooth Mobile Interface
No delivery service will ever be successful without empowered delivery personnel. Thus, a DMS should offer a smooth mobile interface so delivery personnel can access all pertinent information regarding an order or delivery. Information can include preferred time slots, complete customer data, specific instructions, payment information, and route information. Having a well-informed delivery person is key to optimal delivery operations.
Rolling out a new DMS doesn’t have to be complicated if it allows for easy integration with current enterprise systems. It’s essential to choose a system that can augment the existing ones so new features can be added to improve delivery operations. A worthy DMS is one that’s flexible and easy to integrate with other systems to avoid expensive phase-out of any systems in use.
Provide Better Insights
Technology advancements have paved the way for data-driven action. It’s no different for fleet operators and managers, as having data means gaining valuable insights on both delivery personnel and customers. Delivery management software should provide analytical reports on optimal routes, driver and behavior and performance, and delivery-related information, to name a few.
Data helps managers and businesses determine the pain points, processes, and rules that work to improve overall delivery services.
A delivery management system allows businesses to manage operations better through process automation and analysis of key metrics. A system that has the above-mentioned features can help businesses drive down costs while achieving operational excellence and high customer satisfaction.