Customer expectations for last mile delivery have grown to new heights. People want faster and flexible delivery choices and easy returns.
This has been accelerated by the e-commerce boom.
Chief Operating Officers (COOs) at last mile logistics companies are under intense pressure to rise to these delivery challenges.
They are tasked with providing a premium service, while simultaneously reducing delivery costs, in order to maintain or increase profitability.
Faced with this last mile paradox, they are focused on four main operational KPIs:
- Improving operational flexibility
- Reducing operational costs
- Maintaining customer service levels
- Future-proofing and innovating in the last mile
The key to meeting these goals is to build a flexible logistics operation that can thrive in the face of demand fluctuations and high customer expectations.
We explore these KPIs and how employing smart data capture technology can help to achieve them.
Improving last mile operational flexibility and scalability
Transport and logistics businesses need the flexibility to rapidly scale services in times of peak demand.
Historically Last mile businesses used dedicated devices. But these come with a big hardware investment when scaling for peak demand.
Now they are turning to technology like smart data capture. It’s cost-efficient and easy to deploy on mobile devices without impacting existing operations.
It gives delivery drivers exceptional barcode scanning capabilities, even in low light or where package labels are poorly printed or damaged.
As a multi-functional tool, augmented reality (AR) overlays provide real-time instructions to automate logistics processes, speed up delivery and improve customer service.
Deployment is simple. Last mile businesses can use a bring your own device (BYOD) or corporate-owned personally enabled (COPE) model to scale operations, onboard new drivers and reduce the need for costly dedicated devices.
Reducing operational costs by increasing efficiencies
Last mile delivery costs make up more than half of total shipping costs. By increasing operational efficiency, these costs can be minimized.
Modernizing operations with technology like smart data capture on smart devices allows logistic companies to automate processes and cut costs. All while meeting customer expectations.
Typical examples include:
- Sorting and delivery. Using augmented reality for sorting and delivery instructions.
- Efficient van loading. Bulk scanning using Scandit’s MatrixScan technology.
- Search and find. Scan multiple packages at once and have the right one identified on-screen.
By using smart devices, last mile delivery organizations can save up to 40% on the total cost of ownership compared to dedicated scanners. As well as fast-tracking deliveries.
Other operational benefits
In the depot, dwell times are reduced. Multiple packages can be scanned at once, quickly capturing the data and providing delivery information via an AR overlay. For example, sorting and loading is up to 20% more efficient compared to using dedicated devices when using Scandit MatrixScan-AR.
Last-minute delivery address changes are immediately displayed. This avoids failed deliveries. It also improves customer service levels and increases ‘delivered in full on time’ (DIFOT) rates.
Proof of delivery is quickly and simply obtained by scanning standard ID documents like drivers licenses and passports.
Maintaining customer service levels with more options
The pandemic has exacerbated an already-rising customer demand for delivered goods.
66% of millennials want the option of 1 hour delivery in cities according to Accenture.
So how do we solve the last mile paradox? Logistics companies struggling with increased volumes can still maintain excellent levels of customer satisfaction by using smart data capture technology.
By improving the efficiency of delivery workflows, higher productivity can be achieved.
The technology also facilitates new types of secure delivery fulfillment like pick up and drop off (PUDO), which gives customers greater choice in how they receive their orders.
Customers can collect their packages at a PUDO points or return them at a convenient location of their choice.
Offering options like this helps smooth delivery services and differentiate logistics providers. Receding pandemic restrictions mean this is crucial as workers return to the office.
Future-proofing and innovating in the last mile
Choosing the right technology is essential for achieving last mile flexibility, scalability and adaptability.
More than that, it will help keep up with customer expectations and ahead of the competition
Smart data capture on smart devices delivers on all of this. And it provides a familiar user interface for rapid driver onboarding as well as a platform for adding new features and capabilities.
The technology supports next-generation innovations, providing an unbeatable and future-proof solution to logistics challenges.
People will be more mobile and away from home as we emerge from the pandemic. As a result, they will expect more delivery options, like PUDO, as well as home delivery.
Scandit Smart Data Capture – with its ability to provide services like ID scanning – provides the flexibility to deal with this change.
Learn more about how you navigate last mile challenges by reading our guide: Tackle Last Mile Operational Challenges – Digitalization Insights for COOs.
Or get in touch to start a conversation.