We recently analyzed the delivery management software market.
But our research also got us thinking about another important question when it comes to managing last-mile delivery:
Is a platform approach a better way to go than an application approach?
We did the research and here’s what we found out.
As your customers look to receive far more for far less when it comes to delivery, you will need to continue to look for ways to match and better those expectations.
Right now, your customers want greater speed.
The contemporary consumer is no longer satisfied with long waiting periods. The same-week or 2-day delivery doesn’t cut it anymore.
Instead, they want you to take faster action.
According to statistics, more than half of the shoppers (55%) in the U.S. prefer same-day delivery to any other arrival time.
On the other hand, one out of four customers list rushed, one-hour deliveries as the main choice when they want to receive orders.
To achieve these speeds and meet your customers’ expectations, it’s vital to turn to technology as an enabler that can drive performance without too much sacrifice.
Delivery management software is the answer that can achieve for you those speeds at a more reasonable cost and a greater convenience to you and your customers.
A mesh of disconnected apps can achieve this, but it doesn’t have the necessary power to make a big impact on your delivery logistics KPIs.
So, to do it right, you need to take a new, modern approach to manage delivery using technology.
And that’s where a platform approach comes into play allowing you to integrate the relevant elements of your technology stack (for example you order management software or accounting software) to produce a turnkey solution.
The difference between the application and platform approach boils down to how you use it.
A delivery management software app works like a user interface. It’s a self-contained solution that includes all of the functionality within the system.
An application can integrate with additional software like a CRM or accounting system to allow data exchange between the system via APIs, but is limited to complementary systems only.
A delivery management software platform is a more robust solution. It can easily integrate with any other software system to complete a specific process and extend its capabilities beyond the core functionality into a broader ecosystem.
But the ecosystem can also plug into the platform. This makes a platform approach to delivery management a highly adaptable solution that can integrate with any internal delivery fleet.
Dispatch and routing are a challenging part of any delivery operation regardless of your industry.
You need to match the best delivery to the best delivery agent for the job, calculate an optimal route for each one, and more.
Using a delivery management platform can get you there because it can integrate into a broader ecosystem.
A platform allows you to include relevant data from the entire supply chain (inventory and driver status, order locations, drop-off ETAs, etc.) when dispatching and routing deliveries.
This is extremely important for any business that operates an internal fleet.
You can use the vast pool of data not only to assign deliveries based on the best driver or route, but also to make decisions based on price, performance, availability, and many other factors.
And that lets you keep costs down, performance efficiency, drive output, or concentrate on any delivery logistics KPIs that help you achieve your goals.
One of the biggest benefits of gaining visibility over your delivery operations is the possibility to generate actionable data and insights on key stages of the process.
But how can you achieve this?
One way is to leverage delivery management software.
Delivery management software lets you monitor and collect information from end to end, from the different elements of the delivery.
Be it inventory and fleet locations, or customer order reporting, it can help you work out exactly where you need to make adjustments to drive operational efficiencies.
But even with the help of technology, it is difficult to use it to that effect in real-time and in a broader ecosystem.
That’s where a platform approach comes into play.
Because a platform can integrate with various systems, it can leverage innovative and disruptive technology like machine learning to process data and translate it into actionable insights.
This lets you use technology not only to collect and manage incoming data as it arrives but also to shape it into adjustments that optimize your delivery operations down to the smallest detail.
Take a look at what the eLogii platform can help you manage:
Delivery service is a multi-channel operation.
Even the smallest delivery service relies on different teams of professionals (in-house and/or outsourced) to handle different stages of the process.
And each one of your team members relies on specific reports and dashboards to perform their tasks.
For example, a depot manager has to have visibility over pick-ups and drop-offs at his site but doesn’t need to know the position of every vehicle in the fleet like an operations manager.
A delivery management platform can outfit each team with a dashboard that provides unique controls specific to all those roles.
Limiting capabilities to task essentials via different permission levels also reduces workload. It allows teams to remain focused on performing key responsibilities as efficiently as possible.
The same is true when it comes to reporting.
Creating custom dashboards to receive key information streamlines the flow of data up and down the chain of command. The right data input achieves two things for your staff:
Reducing surplus information helps drivers or dispatchers focus on details that improve output and performance.
On the other hand, it lets you divert attention from information about day-to-day activities in favor of KPIs and other key insights that boost the efficiency of the entire delivery operation.
All of the benefits of a platform approach to delivery management funnel down to customer experience.
(Exactly where we started)
But that doesn’t mean the customer journey starts with dispatch or route optimization.
Customer experience starts at checkout.
There, customers face decisions that will affect the cost and ETA of their delivery.
If they choose a less expensive delivery, will you ship their package at a later date? Can your system handle rushed deliveries? Or schedule same-day delivery?
And if you offer those service features, how will that affect the cost of fulfillment, on-time delivery rate, or your other KPIs?
All of these questions affect the customer experience.
But they will also determine the tasks you will need to perform to complete delivery orders.
That’s why it’s so important to choose the right delivery management software, and take the platform approach to your delivery.
Luckily, we have a great solution. It’s called eLogii.
We offer a 14 day FREE TRIAL for any plan you wish to try, you can sign-up now and start your trial right-away (no credit card required!).
Feel free to explore our solution, and if you have any questions and/or would like to set-up a more detailed demo of our solution with one of our product specialists, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help.