The Role of Automation in Last Mile Delivery

  • July 25, 2023
  • 8 Min Read

“Investing in the last mile is Investing in success!”

Last-mile delivery is both the icebreaker and the Achilles Heel of retailing and eCommerce! The process through which a consignment finally reaches a consignee, makes a significant impact in the retailer-customer relationship. In supply chain management, the real differentiator between the leader and the competitors is the smoothness with which goods are delivered. So, last mile is considered a crucial influencer.

Before getting into utility of last mile automation, let’s measure the hiccups in the path of last mile order fulfilment.

Problems of Last Mile Delivery

Customer experience is always a prime concern in ecommerce. With offline and online mode of retailing becoming a single identity, the fine line that once existed between the two has disappeared. Customers now have a privilege to order from anywhere and receive package at their preferred location, it can even be globally. And to stay ahead in this competition, retailers are happy to oblige them without any inhibitions.

Since, retailers are in a race to meet expectations to build a strong relationship with their customers, it is from here the problems generate. Customers want their deliveries to be quick and free, and last mile consumes time and is an expensive stage in the supply chain management. Rather with every wrong move in the execution of last mile delivery, an extra cost is added making it more and more expensive. Some of the common challenges in the last mile could be—

• Increase in Delivery Cost: Imagine, even after diligent planning, the parcel needs to be delivered again as the customer is not available for receiving the order. In that case, the parcel gets returned and another delivery attempt is made after following up with the customer, this adds to the delivery cost. There can be several issues of this kind that increase cost.

• Delays: Common belief is delays occur due to Warehouse Management System, but that is not entirely correct. Delays can also occur if there is no methodology for optimization of routes. Last mile is the shortest distance in the order fulfilment but requires a lot of planning and streamlining of information.

• Real-time Visibility:When there is no process to track orders, it is tough to keep customers informed about the product location and time it would take to make the final delivery. This increases restlessness in customers and possibility of order cancellation rises.

• Unknown Reasons: Businesses for some reason do not spend on upgradation of last mile technologies, which can be a powerhouse in turning the tables and making a business profitable. From cost to transportation to optimization of routes to reaching the right address to global travel, there can either be one or a combination of reasons for delay in the delivery of consignment, so last mile software should be able to foresee and forewarn about any unknown crisis.

• Reverse Logistics: In the last mile delivery, it is important to take into account reverse logistics. It means if the good needs to be returned to the manufacturer and then back to the warehouse. It has to be organized in the most cost-effective way. For many it is not a part of last mile planning, and incur a heavy expenditure especially if a product needs to be replaced.

Need for Automation of Last Mile Delivery

Last mile technologies are a small but a significant part of supply chain management, which looks into failure in delivery, route optimization, cost involvement in managing complex routes, channelizing funds for unknown stops, tracking of product movement, sending notification via SMS about the status and more. It provides coherent real-time tracking of the consignment till it reaches the final destination and the order is complete.

Benefits of installing last mile delivery software-

• Brings down labor cost significantly. The traditional method of sorting and manually monitoring the movement of goods is not required. It was not only costly but was full of errors as minute monitoring was not possible.

• Better communication with the logistics and transportation through RFID technology helps in getting a clear graph. It increases scalability with respect to storage and dispatch.

• Scope for expansion increases and there’s better return on investment.

• It sets up a flow for driver process, which ensures compliance with standards of a company.

• For proof of delivery, it can receive signature capture, checks ID or photos as a proof for delivery.

How to Automate Last Mile Delivery?

Last mile delivery technology enhances customer experience, it ensures a customer is regularly updated on the status of their order. This is especially a very effective tool in global merchandising and has redefined the scope and possibility of eCommerce. Areas via which automation of last mile delivery has been made possible are:

• Route Optimization Software: With the installation of this software in supply chain management, it has become easy to chart out ways to reach the customer in the last leg. Every complicated by-lanes are tracked and various possibilities can be measured to optimize logistics.

Warehouse Management System: To reduce cost, make delivery free and fast, it is quite beneficial. The nearest warehouse can be tracked with minimal labor involvement for faster and free of cost delivery.

• Easy scheduling of Delivery: Automated system gives options for delivery time. If delivery is scheduled as per the convenience of a customer, delays or returns of package can be avoided. Agents can deliver package when the customer is available at the location.

• Communication and Notification: With the ability to track driver location, live ETA can be updated. This keeps the customer informed through SMS or email notification. There is satisfaction and helps in building trust which in turn spreads goodwill and helps businesses soar.

Introducing Advatix Cloudsuite™ and Last Mile

Advatix Cloudsuite™ Last Mile Delivery Solution: For Efficient, Responsive, and Transparent Deliveries

Ensure seamless delivery operations with Advatix Cloudsuite™ Last Mile delivery solution – an integrated, centralized logistics platform and driver mobile app that enables you to plan, optimize, dispatch, and track deliveries.

Our intelligent logistics optimization engine allows you to plan efficient point-to-point or multi-stop delivery routes. The cloud-based solution empowers you to assign and dispatch these routes directly to drivers via the Advatix mobile app, thus promoting seamless coordination and communication.

This Last Mile solution offers comprehensive driver process flow setups to ensure rigorous compliance with your company’s standards. It features in-built mechanisms for capturing signatures, ID checks, or photos to serve as concrete proof of delivery.

Our solution provides you with the flexibility to update routes on-demand, add stops, and instantly notify the driver of these changes. In addition, it includes features for live tracking of driver locations, displaying them on a user-friendly map interface.

Stay ahead of delivery challenges with live ETA notifications and alerts, helping you proactively address situations when a delivery is at risk of being late. Our system allows you to schedule appointment deliveries, manage services at each stop, and provide customers with text and email notifications for a smooth delivery experience.

Whether your fleet is large or small, Advatix Cloudsuite™ Last Mile delivery solution offers a comprehensive pickup and delivery management solution that caters to all your logistics needs, streamlining operations and enhancing customer satisfaction.