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What Are Delivery Management Systems and How Can They Impact Your Business?

Dispatch delivery management is the process of ensuring that products are efficiently and effectively transported from one place to another. Sounds simple, right? Of course, if you’re reading this blog post, you already know how far from simple it really is.

Dispatch delivery management system

Nowadays, businesses are particularly concerned about effective delivery management because consumers are demanding more from enterprises than ever. In this post, we’ll tackle the delivery management process in depth. We'll discuss how the right solution can help you carry out your responsibilities more effectively.

The Role of a Delivery Management System

Companies, regardless of their size, are always trying to improve their processes. For those with delivery operations, the goal is to cut down costs. How? By making more successful deliveries with fewer vehicles and less fuel consumption.

All this needs to happen while maintaining great customer delivery services. But achieving this goal is possible, if you have the right dispatch delivery management system.

Delivery management systems help businesses with managing, planning, executing, and optimizing delivery processes. They can function as a centralized system of communication among all delivery stakeholders. This provides supply chain visibility and acting as a single source of truth. 

To make that possible, your delivery management tool needs to have the right features. You want something designed to automate and optimize tasks and workflows. This might include route optimization, electronic proof of delivery (ePOD), and customer communications, to name just a few. 

Delivery Management vs. TMS

People often confuse delivery management systems with transportation management systems (TMS). The former offers a holistic approach to delivery management and is best suited for fleets handling last mile deliveries. Delivery management software paves the way for the fast and effective exchange of information between delivery agents and teams. This helps proactively support delivery operations, improve delivery efficiency, and power "right-time" deliveries.

A TMS, on the other hand, is more focused on lane rates, external fleets, and customs processes, among other things. A TMS provides more focus on planning and routing cargo drop-offs, rather than the last mile. 

Advantages of the Right Delivery Management Solution

Delivery management solutions are transforming delivery operations. How? We’re glad you asked:

Route optimization

Businesses that remain dependent on routing each delivery assignment by hand are inevitably providing their customers with inaccurate ETAs. And they may be more prone to missing their promised delivery windows. Simply put, manual route planning ultimately results in lower customer satisfaction.

Luckily, a "right-time" delivery management solution can offer advanced route optimization capabilities. The right solution can help you factor in numerous constraints to optimize routes for deliveries. These constraints might include vehicle capacity, delivery windows, driver schedules, traffic patterns, real-time road and weather conditions, and so on. In this way, delivery route optimization can become the key to maximizing delivery drivers' time and vehicle capacity.

Automated dispatch

Again, it's hard for any fleet to improve its productivity by relying on manual processes. Delivery management software can automatically dispatch orders to the right drivers without manual effort on the part of dispatchers.

This removes the need to hand out printed delivery assignments each day. And it allows dispatchers and others to focus on more value-additive tasks. The software should then allow drivers to view their assignments via an easy-to-use mobile application.

Fuel cost reductions

Fuel is usually a fleet's largest expense. Volatile fuel prices, however, make budgeting and monitoring fuel costs challenging. Identifying driver behaviors such as excessive idling will help cut down on fuel costs.

Likewise, route optimization helps cut down fuel consumption by ensuring the shortest distance between each set of stops. Other forms of last mile delivery optimization can have similar impacts. 

Real-time tracking

Fleet managers need to know what their drivers are up to at any given time. Are they stuck in traffic? Are they following route plans or going in another direction? Are they on schedule to deliver their orders within the time windows? Have they hit any snags on the road (e.g. customers not being home or not accepting delivery)?

Real-time tracking enables managers to see all that and more in seconds. Real-time tracking also empowers customer support teams to provide customers with accurate delivery updates and information. This way, you can reach out to customers before there’s a problem.

It’s hard to overstate the value of real-time visibility into last mile logistics. And that’s exactly what a sophisticated dispatch delivery management system should provide. 

Improved driver safety

Driver safety is always top of mind for any manager. One major advantage of a delivery management solution is that, it can provide real-time visibility into driver behavior. This might include data on things like harsh braking, cornering, and other unsafe driving habits.

Real-time tracking of drivers lets managers easily keep tabs on drivers more easily. This puts you in a position to deal with dangerous driving habits via customized training programs and other methods. This is an area where your delivery management tool needs to be easy to integrate with other enterprise solutions. Specifically, telematics solutions or trucking software that deals with asset management and other areas. 

Custom reporting options

A dispatch delivery management system might also offer you detailed, custom reports to help you make data-driven decisions. These reports can empower managers to spot trends, better understand their operations, and ultimately identify areas for improvement in fleet operations. To make this possible, your delivery management software automatically will gather and store data from every touchpoint on the last mile. 

Electronic proof of delivery

Your delivery management software should also enable drivers to gather electronic proof of delivery. I.e. customer signatures, photos, notes, and more. Electronic proof of delivery ensures a proper chain of custody to minimize false claims of missing or damaged deliveries. 

Higher customer satisfaction

If you can leverage your technology to provide customers with accurate ETAs, offer them real-time delivery notifications, and track their order in real time, you can go a long way towards earning high customer satisfaction scores. This is critical when it comes to customer retention. At the end of the day, this is exactly what software of any variety should help you target. 

Simply from a routing perspective, the right solution should help boost customer satisfaction. When your route are accurate, you're able to show up on time consistently. This is incredibly important to modern customers.

Beyond that, your delivery management solution should also enable you to create a holistic delivery experience that boosts your brand. You can send out customized, branded delivery communications throughout the process to keep customer informed. You can provide them with real-time, self-serve tracking via a dedicated portal. And you can offer post-delivery follow-up in the form of surveys.

All this does more than just keep customers looped in. It builds trust and helps you build a strong brand that your audience associates with delivery excellence.

Given our ever-more-connected economy, companies with delivery operations increasingly need to make the right investments in the right tools. Delivery management solutions represent some of the most powerful tools for helping delivery businesses improve fleet operations. The right solution can help you cut operating costs, and improve customer experience.

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