As a business owner with a delivery service, it is crucial to prioritize the timely and efficient delivery of goods to your valued customers.
However, with the recent outbreak and the increasing popularity of e-commerce, ensuring the final stage of operations is a challenging task. In this situation, it may be beneficial for businesses to consider enhancing their last-mile services in order to potentially increase revenue.
So this content will provide you with a clear concept of why businesses need logistics technology and focus on last-mile logistics importance.
In the business world, achieving success in transportation can lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved production rates, better inventory management, optimized use of building space, enhanced satisfaction for customers and suppliers, and an overall improved customer experience.
It is important to consider that various factors can significantly impact the performance of a business. It’s worth considering that effective planning involves optimizing returns to maximize the value of these goods. However, Let’s dive into the content.
What Is the Last Mile in Logistics?
Usually, the supply chain is divided into three segments: the initial, intermediate, and final stages. During the initial stage of the product’s journey, it is transported from the manufacturing location to a storage facility.
During the middle mile stage, things are moved from the building to the designated delivery center. The “last mile” is the last part of a shipment’s journey from a delivery center to the final customer.
The distance covered by the last mile can vary greatly, ranging from a short distance of one block to a longer distance of up to one hundred miles. Typically, the costliest component of the supply line is the one in question. Many companies utilize last-mile transportation to ensure that their stores and delivery centers are conveniently located near their customers. Typically, these sites are located on the outskirts of towns.
One way to enhance the efficiency of your business operations is by selecting a reliable warehouse management system that facilitates the implementation of your business policies. Warehouse system management is a software solution that assists businesses in managing and overseeing their daily warehouse operations, from the point of entry of goods and materials into a delivery or shipping center until their departure.
The Importance of Last Mile Logistics to the Supply Chain:
The current situation in the supply chain has presented some challenges, such as labor gaps and product shortages. However, it is worth noting that last-mile operations can offer companies significant financial benefits in three key areas.
- Having a distribution center in close proximity to the end customer can provide benefits such as increased efficiency, faster delivery times, and potentially lower transportation costs.
- The final stage of the product’s journey presents an opportunity to assess its quality before it reaches the end user. Ensuring that the product has been assembled correctly and is free of any defects is crucial in ensuring customer satisfaction with their purchase.
- The fact that Amazon Prime memberships are so popular shows that there is a big need for fast services. When customers express a desire for expedited delivery, a company has the opportunity to increase revenue from its products.
While last-mile operations have room for improvement, it’s important to acknowledge that a changing economy can present challenges that may impact the process.
The effect of logistics technology on warehousing:
There has been significant progress in logistics technology as companies push to enhance their business competitiveness and speed up delivery times. Warehouses are an important part of the supply chain, and in order to keep up with the needs of the business, it’s important to keep up with the latest technology advances.
Today, we’ll explore six significant shipping tools that are contributing to the advancement of the warehouse management system.
1. Retailers and e-commerce businesses are working to provide speedy service options ranging from two-day, next-day, to same-day delivery in order to remain competitive in the market. Due to the rising need for faster shipping, there has been more interest in using drones for last-mile delivery.
Due to the high demand, stores are facing increased pressure to fulfil orders with greater speed and accuracy.The increasing demand for speedy delivery has resulted in more collaborations between businesses and external organizations that assist in speeding up the delivery process.
An example that has garnered significant attention is the association between Amazon and the United States Postal Service. It has been observed that the Postal Service provides package delivery services to Amazon on Sundays, which is typically a day of rest for the Postal Service.
2. The Internet of Things has proven to be quite beneficial for the warehouse and transportation industry, as it provides accurate and timely information regarding goods, their location, and the entire supply chain.
In recent times, the utilization of both active and passive RFID markers has enabled the retrieval of product information from a considerable distance. This technology provides warehouse managers with the ability to monitor the location and movement of their inventory in real time. The enhanced location tracking has the potential to significantly accelerate order processing by providing planners with an added level of assurance.
3. When RFID tags and GPS are combined, it enhances the ability to track packages in real-time with greater accuracy during transit. These enhancements to GPS-based vehicle management provide a comprehensive view of the logistics supply route, allowing for a better understanding of the process from start to finish.
Improved awareness can facilitate communication among stores, distribution centers, and end customers, as it enables all stakeholders in the distribution chain to track the status of orders at any given moment.
4. The building incorporates the use of joint mobile robots to facilitate the integration of artificial intelligence. This method enhances the speed and accuracy of the picking process. Mobile warehouse automation systems, such as Chuck from 6 River Systems, utilize artificial intelligence to optimize picking methods and minimize unnecessary walking in the warehouse.
Chuck provides guidance to the warehouse team to ensure they remain on schedule and prioritize their tasks effectively.
5. The concept of demand and supply is an important aspect of economics that helps to explain market dynamics. Flexibility is crucial in achieving balance. It appears that an increasing number of stores are adopting Automation-as-a-Service technologies, which provide the flexibility to adjust resources in response to changes in demand. These systems provide users with increased flexibility in managing prices, prioritizing supplies, and selecting delivery routes.
As an alternative to purchasing collaborative robots outright, companies such as 6 River Systems offer warehouse owners the option to rent these robots during periods of high demand and return them once demand subsides. This approach can help warehouse owners save costs by avoiding the need to invest in equipment that may not be utilized during periods of low activity.
6. On-demand storage is a creative technique that enables companies to access additional warehouse space as per their requirement. This statement suggests that the use of third-party transportation providers (3PLs) is being exceeded. On-demand storage can be compared to Automation-as-a-Service as it eliminates the requirement to invest in permanent warehouse space that may not be utilized frequently.
Furthermore, it allows for buildings designed for maximum capacity to utilize additional space during periods of low business activity.
Last-mile logistics technology solutions include:
As the contract economy continues to grow, an increasing number of individuals are becoming familiar with the concept of utilizing digital platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, and Postmates to provide local services. The use of a mobile app for location-based crowdsourcing enables individuals to quickly and easily use a variety of services such as transportation, accommodation booking, office coffee orders, hiring of workers, sending of flowers, and scheduling of deliveries upon entering their apartment.
The distributed approach has been successfully implemented in various industries, such as transportation, hotels, and food delivery. Stores are also exploring this approach due to its cost-effective nature, streamlined operations, and enhanced customer experience, which can help address their last-mile delivery challenges.
By utilizing sharing technology, it is possible for stores, transportation partners, and customers to communicate with local individuals who offer their personal vehicles as a means of delivery, despite not being professional drivers. There are opportunities for companies to enhance their online sales and for buyers to receive their purchases in a timely and convenient manner. Offering both on-demand and planned orders helps ensure that customers are available to receive their deliveries, reducing the need for multiple attempts.
It is highly probable that in the near future, the transfer of goods and services across various industries will be facilitated by advanced technologies such as robots, drones, and self-driving cars.
The Difficulties of Last Mile Logistics:
Optimizing last-mile logistics can be a challenging task due to various factors such as the size of the organization, its real estate budget, and the target market it aims to serve.
It’s possible that certain businesses may encounter challenges in locating suitable real estate that aligns with their operational requirements, and some may face limitations in terms of space that meet the same-day delivery standards established by major global corporations such as Amazon.
In urban areas, deliveries may experience delays due to high traffic volume and limited parking options. Meanwhile, in rural areas, longer distances between destinations can pose challenges for efficient deliveries.
One may mitigate some of these issues by thoughtfully selecting a last-mile transportation center.
Why Should You Focus On Last Mile Delivery?
The final-mile transport can be a critical factor in determining the success of your business. The final interaction with a customer is crucial as it can greatly impact the relationship. Enhancing your last-mile operations is crucial to meet customer expectations, ensuring timely order fulfilment, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
The last mile of logistics can significantly impact a company’s financial performance. Optimizing last-mile transport can help to reduce costs, improve delivery timelines, and enhance customer satisfaction. Efficient last-mile transportation has the potential to reduce expenses, enhance delivery speed, and improve customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to a boost in sales and profitability.
In conclusion, it is recommended that companies prioritize last-mile transportation efficiency in order to enhance their profitability. One effective strategy for businesses to achieve long-term success is to implement plans aimed at enhancing efficiency, reducing expenses, and enhancing the overall customer experience so. If you want to improve your business strategy, first of all, your businesses need logistics technology and focus on last-mile logistics.