ManufacturingApril 15, 2020

3 Tips to Win the Last-Mile Delivery Planning Battle

It’s now more important than ever to excel in last mile delivery.
Avatar Susanne Lammers
last mile delivery planning battle

It’s now more important than ever to excel in last mile delivery.

In the current uncertain times, the majority of customers are house-bound – and they are relying more on home delivery services. This spike in home deliveries disrupts supply chains and increases planning complexity for retailers and express companies. These companies are increasingly pressured to ensure eco-efficient home deliveries and great customer experience.

According to Capgemini, half of all shoppers abandon online shopping carts if delivery options are unsatisfactory, while 74 percent would spend more if they are satisfied with their deliveries. This tells us that one of the focal points for increasing customer satisfaction within last mile delivery includes optimized delivery options. Not only do consumers demand speed and flexibility, they want their e-commerce deliveries to meet environmental regulations – especially in the case of home deliveries, where the logistics supply chain ends at the customer’s front door. Clean vehicles have a direct impact on the air quality of the customer’s living environment.

There’s a battle to win and retain consumers at the last mile, but the many moving and interdependent parts of last mile operations are making it the most complex and expensive part of the supply chain.

Unfortunately, while retailers have expended a lot of effort in the last-mile delivery phase, their supply chains are hindered by multiple siloed systems that are disconnected from the external data that is critical to improve planning accuracy and support new services.

The 2020 State of Retail Supply Chain Report shows us that only a few retailers are equipped with a planning optimization system that can truly support future developments and changes, both known or unknown.

Finding the optimal balance between ever-changing consumer needs and operational costs is an ongoing challenge. So how can retailers go the extra mile to provide shoppers the convenience of home deliveries, while keeping their operational costs to a minimum?

The answer lies in an advanced planning optimization system for a more efficient and agile supply chain that is responsive to consumer demands and sudden changes in demand or product availability.

Determine the right planning solution

In a sea of solutions, what’s most important to realize is that technology can only enable change if it fits your specific strategy.

Here are three tips that will help you start your journey:

1. Choose software that integrates multiple systems

It is essential to use a planning system that can integrate with other systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management systems (WMS) and e-commerce platforms. Retailers need a planning system that won’t force them to work in siloes and leave them with little control of the planning process.

2. Select a planning solution that can incorporate intelligent metrics

The digital supply chain runs continuously: Optimizing, reacting, tuning, executing and evaluating. Therefore, it’s crucial that a digital planning solution enables you to receive incoming data in real time, make sense of it and respond with accurate plans. It should deliver a single source of truth, live KPIs and continuous optimization capabilities so that you can evaluate outcomes and quickly determine the best course of action to meet your business KPIs.

3. Future-proof your business with a scalable planning system

Look for a solution that can truly anticipate and support future developments and innovation. When the solution is agile and scalable, you are assured that it will continue to support your planning needs even as your business scales up or down.

Thrive with optimized last-mile logistics

Gone are the days when it was acceptable to create tactical plans a few times per year and execute them manually. Retailers must embrace new technologies and start using the supply chain as a strategic driver of competitive leadership to stay on top of their competition.

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