In today’s customer-centric world, it is critical to meet and even exceed your customer expectations as a small business. Shipping and delivery are vital parts of the picture when it comes to customer satisfaction. Thus, businesses should develop a flexible shipping strategy that will provide enough visibility to enhance the ultimate leg of the supply chain – last-mile delivery.
While this is the last step, it is often the most challenging and expensive part. In fact, more than 25% of businesses name delivery efficiency as one of their biggest burdens.
How to improve your last-mile delivery?
Better inventory management
Timely order fulfillment and proper inventory management play a key role in the frictionless shipping process. Although inventory may not seem directly connected to the success of the last-mile logistics, it is a primary aspect businesses should take into consideration.
In supply chain management, there is a domino effect: if one part goes wrong, all the following steps are likely to be disrupted as well. Keeping this concept in mind, you can take major steps towards improving your last-mile delivery by ensuring you have enough stock and that orders are fulfilled in an efficient and timely manner.
Data analysis to improve performance management
Another important step to improving your last-mile delivery is to reduce dwell time in warehouses and facilities. Shippers should define why such bottlenecks happen in the first place, which falls under the category of performance management.
It is a challenging task, but you can extract valuable insights by analyzing information regarding your shipments and studying delivery records. For example, a certain carrier could be causing delays in freight delivery, or there might be long dwell times on a particular location.
Insights from your data analysis will help improve performance management and master your last-mile delivery.
End-to-end visibility with technology
Transparent shipping is equally vital for the customer and shipping experience. From the shipper’s perspective, it enables a proactive approach to shipment management because shippers can see freight movement in real-time.
The shipper can see and quickly address arising issues, or at least become aware of them and strategize solutions for future shipments. For customers, accessible shipment tracking is a critical option.
It develops a sense of credibility for the shipper, lets customers have a sense of control over their order and plan the timing if it’s a gift or an urgent purchase. There are many solutions available at the market to provide supply chain visibility and enable shipment tracking, such as email updates or mobile apps where real-time tracking is enabled.
Many shipping platforms provide applications where you can track your shipment in real-time. This way you can be sure that freight has arrived at the facility, warehouse, or the end customer.