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7 Minute Read

How to Find The Best Last Mile Delivery Software

For the past few years, delivery businesses have faced higher volumes and higher expectations. As orders increase, many businesses are poised to grow their market share. But only if they can fulfill delivery promises consistently in an increasingly competitive market. 

Best last mile delivery software

The need to meet customer expectations is the primary reason smarter last mile logistics can be crucial to growing your business. Orchestrating last mile deliveries across multiple depots can be complex. But the right technology puts you in a position to meet customer needs efficiently.

How? By giving you the capabilities you need in order to plan, route, and execute deliveries without getting bogged down in complexity.

Why Customer Delivery Expectations Are Changing

Most consumers have gotten used to shopping at online stores from the comfort of their homes. Now, they expect that level of convenience wherever they make their purchases as a result. That’s why companies that provide their customers with a memorable delivery experience tend to have a larger customer base. As such, it’s crucial to invest time and energy into last mile delivery. 

The way you deliver your goods is important to your customers. Customers have become more impatient and no longer want to wait around for their delivery to arrive. Many customers demand same-day delivery or next-day delivery. Even the folks who are willing to wait don’t want a four hour delivery window without visibility into the delivery. 

Customers demand more choices regarding delivery location as well. The COVID-19 pandemic helped spur innovations such as click and collect, in-store pickup, and curbside delivery. These can present even further levels of complexity. 

Of course, your customers aren't interested in complexity. They're interested in getting their orders at the right time. If you can make that happen consistently, you can boost trust and increase your brand strength. By making delivery promises you can keep consistently, you increase the odds of repeat business and ultimately position yourself for business growth.

How the Best Last Mile Delivery Software Helps You to Scale 

Optimizing your last mile delivery process is the only way to remain competitive. Here’s how the best final mile delivery software can help you scale your delivery operations to consistently delight customers. 

But what, exactly, should your last mile solution offer? If you're trying to grow your business, it's not just a matter of finding the right features. Rather, you need to find a platform that supports sustainable processes across your delivery operations.

Here's what the right last mile technology should enable you to do as you work to build up your business:

Control your delivery process

The best last mile delivery platforms automate and streamline your processes to help you manage your fleet more effectively. The right software automates a huge number of processes across last mile operations. This includes driver dispatching and route planning, order management, monitoring of team performance, data storage, tracking of packages, and data analytics.

For true scalability, you’ll want to manage every aspect of last mile delivery operations from a single platform. This requires easy integration with other applications and systems via API. But if you can achieve that level of integration, you can take a holistic approach to the last mile. In this way, you can position yourself to be proactive, rather than reactive.

Optimize your routes 

Dropping off orders at multiple points can be quite costly and often inefficient. The best way to minimize cost for last mile delivery is to use AI-powered route optimization. This cuts down wastage and enables you to increase the efficiency of your fleet.

Optimizing routes allows planners to find the most efficient and cost-effective route from one point to another. Contrary to popular belief, route optimization isn’t just about finding the shortest distance between two points. Rather, it's about finding the most effective routes for meeting your customers’ needs.

Delivery businesses tend to spend more than necessary on fuel costs when the routes provided to drivers are not efficient. And when your estimated times of arrival (ETAs) aren’t accurate you risk dissatisfied customers. 

Route optimization should factor in different variables affecting delivery service times. This can include: driver speed factors, traffic patterns, drive time limitations, and driver rest times, and others. And it should be able to do all that for a complex array of deliveries within a matter of seconds. 

Automated route planning can help save time and resources regardless of fleet size. The trick is to find a solution that can route thousands of trucks in less than a minute. 

Provide customers with real-time updates

One study showed that real-time updates and notifications are highly to important 75 percent of shoppers online. Providing customers with real-time tracking and allowing them to track their packages on their own is necessary to gain customers’ loyalty.

Advanced last mile solutions offer tracking links, which customers can click to see their delivery status and location. Plus, the best last mile delivery software enables customers to choose their preferred delivery time windows based on your current capacity. 

This isn’t just a matter of improved customer satisfaction—it’s also a way of saving labor. When customers can track their orders from their own devices, they don’t need to call in for constant updates. Combine this with accurate ETAs, and you’re looking at a huge reduction in the burden of phone calls for your operation. In this way, keeping customers informed can actually be a big part of scalability. 

Offer rapid delivery turnarounds

Again, the modern shopper is often unwilling to wait for several days to receive their orders. They want businesses to deliver shortly after they have placed their order.

Offering speedy delivery options enables you to scale your last mile delivery operations and helps you generate higher revenues. However, it can be hard to offer same-day or next-day delivery options without the help of the right software solution.

Powered by artificial intelligence, advanced last mile solutions help you deliver goods faster at a lower cost. This helps you to ditch unnecessary processes, cut down delivery cycles, and increase your delivery speed. When your operations are this streamlined, you can make same-day and next-day deliveries much more easily.

Manage drivers efficiently

Too often, delivery businesses leverage separate solutions for delivery planning and driver management. Delivery planning and execution work best when they go hand in hand. That's why a single solution that can streamline both of them can be so valuable.

Here, your last mile delivery solution should provide an intuitive driver mobile app. The right driver app does more than just offer turn-by-turn directions or send GPS coordinates back to dispatch. It can also enable your drivers to capture electronic proof of delivery.

More than that, it can help you gain real visibility into their delivery runs. As drivers update their statuses in the app throughout the day, you can track them in real time. This gives you a more complete picture than simply tracking GPS coordinates. When you spot potential delivery exceptions, you can work quickly to resolve them.

All of this puts you in a position stay connected with drivers throughout the process. This connectivity streamlines planning and execution into one holistic, efficient, customer-centric process.

Improve strategic planning

Your route optimization tools can help you figure out the right truck to put a given order on. An advanced tool can even help you figure out which depot or distribution center to route from if you have multiple options. But the ideal solution can go a step further than that: it can help you optimize the locations of the depots and distribution centers themselves.

This is just one example of how the right solution can help you not just with tactical questions about delivery, but with larger strategic initiatives. When you have all of your last mile data centralized in one place, you can combine that with predictive capabilities to run what-if scenarios and test out potential changes to your delivery network. This can help you boost delivery efficiency not just for day-to-day operations, but from a more holistic perspective.

Gain visibility into 3PLs

Many businesses engage the services of third-party logistics (3PL) companies to deliver orders to their customers. This can be especially important while trying to handle increasing order volumes. 

Advanced last mile delivery management software helps businesses streamline their operations as well as monitor the performance of their 3PL partners. How? Via smart integration and a focus on real time visibility. Last mile solutions enable companies to remain in control of the customer delivery experience despite outsourcing to 3PL partners. This helps ensure that standards stay high even as you grow. 

In the end, last mile delivery is an integral part of modern business. To remain competitive, companies must establish a carefully thought-out last mile delivery strategy. Modern customers demand so much from businesses. The only way to meet expectations is to find last mile logistics software that can actually help you scale your operations. 

DispatchTrack offers the most powerful end-to-end suite of tools for last mile logistics operators. Dispatchers, drivers, customers and clients can access our app on any device to schedule, track, modify and verify your deliveries.

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