Learn how to use route tracking to achieve 100% visibility over your last-mile operations. With explanations, examples and tools for tracking routes.
Delivery Management Software for Small Business
Why do you need to start using delivery management software for your small business? In this post, we give you 17 good reasons to do it right now.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you need to start using delivery management software for small business. And 17 solid reasons to do it.
We’ll try to persuade you by showing you how our customers benefit from the software. And how this solution can have a positive impact on your last-mile delivery logistics.
If you want a good reason to automate your delivery, here are seventeen instead.
So, we’re sure that you’ll be convinced. And that you can start improving the speed and efficiency of your delivery today.
17 Reasons for Small Businesses to Start Using Delivery Management Software
- Helps you build an agile delivery
- Enables you to track key metrics
- Reduces fuel consumption
- Expands your delivery options
- Enables tracking in real-time
- Maintains on-time delivery
- Easily locates drivers across the last mile
- Removes need for manual driver dispatch
- Goes into detail when managing vehicles
- Increases route density
- Makes order management efficient
- Helps you stay focused on key activities
- Centralizes delivery management
- Scales small businesses
- Helps you rightsize the delivery fleet
- Enhances customer communication
- Increases customers happiness
1. Helps you build an agile delivery
In an on-demand delivery landscape, speed and flexibility matter. And for that to happen, you need to build an agile delivery operation.
Using delivery management software automates the final mile of delivery. This paves the way for the agile transformation of your business.
The agile transformation touches on four aspects of your delivery: structure, process, people, and technology.
Adopting technology first enables you to take a step-by-step approach to raise the agility of your delivery.
You can systematically and gradually address each stage one at a time and without too much upfront investment.
For example, you can use the software to raise the visibility over the last mile. In doing so, you can access more relevant information. And use that data to make better decisions or act faster in a dynamic context.
When you can quickly react, fix problems, and adjust activities, you cut down on waste and raise fulfillment speed.
And that means costs go down while profits go up, as you handle more orders and spend less money delivering them.
2. Enables you to track key metrics
Here’s another thing that you can do with delivery management software:
You can use it to measure key metrics in delivery logistics.
The software allows you to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs) by tracking progress over time. It can then access that data from the cloud and generate KPIs at your request.
This feature is useful when you want to identify key strengths and weaknesses in your organization. Or find new opportunities to optimize operations or cut down on waste.
For example, you can use it to track the average cost of delivery and discover what process uses most of your resources.
Delivery analytics improve your decision making, as well.
You can use KPIs to make more accurate, data-based decisions, which helps you generate the maximum benefits for your delivery.
This means you can align your decisions with the overall business strategy. (Regardless of whether it’s upscaling efficiency or using tactics to grow your delivery)
3. Reduces fuel consumption
If you have a delivery, then your business runs on wheels. And each vehicle in your fleet requires a lot of fuel to move them.
As order volumes go up, the number of kilometers you drive goes up with them, and the amount of fuel your delivery vehicles consume soars.
Delivery management software solves this problem by reducing mileage. And as a result, your fuel consumption.
Owing to its modular design, the software has route planning and route optimization capabilities.
These features allow you to plan optimal routes for each vehicle in your fleet so that your drivers spend the least amount of time on the road.
But that doesn’t mean finding the shortest route from point A to point B. Otherwise, you may as well do route optimization using Google Maps.
Instead, the software calculates the routes based on a number of factors, such as traffic congestion, access to drop-off, or types of vehicles that you own. All of which significantly reduce the distance and drive time to location.
The software can also pair up with an on-board telematics system inside the vehicle. And this helps you to monitor the state of your vehicles.
You can use it to regularly change oil, inflate tires, and tune-up your vehicles, which also affects how much fuel your vehicles use.
4. Expands your delivery options
Standard delivery isn’t enough for customers anymore.
On-demand delivery requires you to have more than one option available at check-out if you want to remain competitive.
For starters, customers want more choice when it comes to when you deliver their orders. And that means you’ll need to offer same-day delivery and other quick fulfillment options.
At the same time, customers don’t want to pay for their delivery. In fact, companies that do offer free delivery increase order requests by 90% (according to delivery statistics).
But the bad news is that on-demand delivery raises your operational costs.
Delivery management software can help you here. By using software, you can improve performance and make it more efficient at the same time.
As you do that, you also lower the cost of delivery. And that means you can absorb more costs, which is necessary when you want to offer free delivery.
But with more delivery options that customers want to choose from, you also raise order volumes. This means that you can generate more income, despite lowering your margins per delivery.
5. Enables tracking in real-time
With the help of geolocation and GPS positioning, delivery management software can track each driver and their vehicle across the last mile.
On the one hand, it makes it easier for you to manage deliveries once your drivers set off on their routes.
This complete visibility gives you total control over each driver, so you’re always on top of their activities.
At the same time, this feature lets you send tracking links to your customers.
They can use these links to track their order on the map and see exactly where it is, and how long until it reaches them.
This makes your customers feel on top of the situation and included in the delivery process.
Not only does that limit friction and reduce frustration, but it also makes your business more trustworthy and transparent.
And that’s a great way you can use delivery management software to boost customer experience.
6. Maintains on-time delivery
Thanks to the state of delivery in time of the coronavirus, more customers than ever are using home delivery services.
In fact, the demand for food delivery in the UK alone has risen by 60% during the COVI-19 outbreak.
But handling large order volumes means it’s difficult to keep up with demand. And that means you risk missing orders, or not delivering them on time.
Because delivery management software enables you to track orders in real-time, you can stay on top of each delivery.
So even when demand for last-mile delivery exceeds your capacity, you can improve it to make it more efficient and maintain on-time delivery.
7. Easily locates drivers across the last mile
Losing track of drivers’ whereabouts is a common issue when managing last-mile deliveries.
Traditionally, dispatchers would have to radio or call the driver to get that kind of information.
Calling drivers while they’re driving is a big risk for their safety.
In fact, according to the U.S. National Safety Council, 1.6 million collisions happen each year due to cell phone use in the driver’s seat.
Keeping tabs on drivers is also frustrating. It can cause friction between your teams, which may result in poor customer service.
Delivery management software takes care of this by letting you track drivers in real-time.
Thanks to geocoding and GPS, the software can locate drivers across the last mile of delivery.
The system tracks GPS coordinates through space with second-by-second updates.
Once it receives the information, the software displays it as the driver’s location and motion on the map. (Visible via the main dashboard)
This feature streamlines communication between teams, minimizing the need for physical interaction.
The system can register stops, which makes it easier for dispatchers to monitor driver performance.
For example, dispatch can track arrival and departure times and compare them to ETAs to ensure on-time delivery. But you can also use it to root out idleness among drivers.
8. Removes need for manual driver dispatch
Delivery software management has two parts:
- The dashboard (or the main control panel), and;
- The driver smartphone application.
This delivery management app gives drivers access to relevant information about their tasks.
For example, a driver can see the address for his next drop-off location and the optimal route he can use to get there.
It also provides other useful data, such as information about the order and the customer.
This feature can help drivers strike more meaningful conversations with customers to improve their experience.
But it can also help your organization start upselling and cross-selling via delivery.
The app also contains electronic proof of delivery (ePOD).
Drivers and delivery agents can use this feature to automatically confirm and report successful drop-offs with a variety of options:
- Electronic signatures
- QR codes
- PIN numbers
- And more.
All of this makes it unnecessary to physically dispatch drivers, as they have all of the information over their smartphones.
It’s also important to note that these route optimization apps like eLogii work on Android and iPhone systems.
9. Goes into detail when managing vehicles
If you have a large workforce, managing deliveries around drivers might not be the option for you.
In fact, for most large enterprises, it’s much easier to plan and manage deliveries around vehicles. And delivery management software allows you to do just that.
The software takes a granular approach to the entire delivery process. And that means you can customize every part to suit your needs.
This includes creating a virtual fleet, which contains the actual characteristics and capabilities of the vehicles in the carpark. (Regardless of whether you rely on an internal vs external delivery fleet)
You can use this feature to set up vehicle speeds and load capacities to maximize vehicle efficiency when planning deliveries.
Technically, you can treat it as vehicle route optimization software.
10. Increases route density
One way delivery management software directly impacts the cost of delivery is by raising route density.
Simply put, route density is the distance between various drop-off points on each delivery route.
A high route density lowers the number of kilometers drivers have to travel to fulfill each order.
So, technically, the higher route density, the less it costs you to fulfill orders.
When the cost of delivery goes down, margins go up. And you drastically improve the cost-effectiveness of your delivery.
11. Makes order management efficient
How do you receive orders? Do you use an order management system (OMS), like Shopify? Or do you list them onto a spreadsheet?
Regardless of how you collect them, delivery management software makes it easier to manage them.
On the one hand, you can fully automate the process. You can use APIs to integrate the system with third-party applications and directly receive orders from the OMS.
On the other hand, you can upload files into the software and let it extract order information in bulk.
Once the order data is in the system, the software can transform them into tasks, and you can start planning the deliveries around them.
12. Helps you stay focused on key activities
Another great advantage of delivery software is that it has an easy-to-use interface.
The software resembles other common applications. The dashboard has common UI features like drag and drop, while the driver app relies on the usual tap and swipe functions.
All of this lowers the learning curve, which means you don’t have to rely on professional route planners.
Instead, anyone can use the software even when the dedicated employee is unavailable.
The software also enables you to manage accounts and customize functionality for each user.
For example, drivers can only view their routes and pick-up or drop-off points. On the other hand, dispatchers can observe the entire fleet.
By limiting capabilities to task essentials via different levels of permission, users can stay focused on the task at hand.
And the more your workforce stays focused on its key duties and responsibilities, the more efficient they are and the greater their output.
13. Centralizes delivery management
Delivery management software is that it’s a centralized system. Instead of relying on a host of different apps, all you need is one.
And unlike on-premise solutions, SaaS delivery software isn’t tied to one office, computer, or IP address.
After you sign up for the software, your account becomes the main dashboard.
You can access it from anywhere and on any device with a typical internet browser (like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox) and your log-in credentials.
At the same time, you can integrate the software with a number of other apps using routing APIs.
Let’s say you have an e-commerce website on Shopify that you use to manage orders. You can connect Shopify’s order management system via an API.
For example, that enables you to receive orders directly to your account, while the system automatically turns orders into delivery tasks.
So instead of using several disconnected apps, you can manage the entire delivery on one dashboard.
The only question you need to ask yourself is whether to centralize or not to centralize your delivery operation.
14. Scales small businesses
Delivery management software is a SaaS solution (software-as-a-service). It uses public cloud computing and adopts a cloud-first approach to delivery logistics.
That means you don’t actually buy the software. Instead, you pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use it and treat it like any other service you use.
Now, this does raise your overhead. But that’s a far better option than paying a large upfront fee for an on-premise system, especially if you’re a small business.
In general, providers like us offer several different subscription options depending on the size of your delivery. That means SaaS delivery software works well at SMB and enterprise-grade level.
Because it operates on the cloud, the software easily supports small fleets of 3-5 vehicles as it does fleets with hundreds of trucks and vans. And you can use it to assign thousands of deliveries per month for each one of them, or just ten per day.
So when it’s time to scale your operations, you can quickly upgrade your account. And rest assured that the software can meet the challenges of scaling your last-mile operations.
15. Helps you rightsize the delivery fleet
We’ve already mentioned how delivery management software can reduce fuel consumption. But there are other ways you can optimize your last-mile, like rightsizing your delivery fleet.
Because you have complete visibility over operations, you can track drivers and measure the number of orders each driver handles per month.
This allows you to determine the average number of orders per driver per month or year.
If a driver is performing below that standard, you can redeploy him to another team, or renegotiate their contract to match his performance.
On the other hand, you can do the same for your vehicles by tracking load capacity.
If some of your vehicles carry cargo below a certain point, you can reduce the number of vehicles until you’re ready to expand your fleet.
Rightsizing the delivery fleet is useful during the offseason. When the holidays come, you can quickly hire freelance drivers or add more vans to your fleet to meet the rising demand.
For example, that’s one of the ways you can deal with last-mile delivery logistics behind Black Friday.
16. Enhances customer communication
Delivery management software also helps your customer support teams. You can use it to automate how you notify customers about their deliveries.
For example, you can set up the system to send SMS or email reminders to customers on the delivery date.
At the same time, the app your drivers use has an internal messaging system.
In most cases, we see drivers use it to communicate with dispatch. But they can also use the app to talk directly to customers.
This allows them to provide a new level of customer service. For example, they can use it to send quick alerts when they’re 10-15 minutes away from the customer’s home.
On the other hand, customers also benefit from your use of delivery management software.
One way (that we’ve already discussed) is to give customers tracking links at check out.
Tracking links allow customers to view ETAs (estimated time of arrival) of their orders and follow them across the last-mile.
This ensures customers know when they’re supposed to wait for your drivers to arrive, which reduces the number of missed or failed deliveries.
Another way the software helps customers is by allowing them to send feedback and rate your services.
That enables you to collect vital data about the customer experience, which you can use to improve it.
17. Increases customers happiness
Despite COVID-19 and the lockdowns in 2020, customers still don’t view delivery as an essential service.
So it’s critical to use delivery management software to raise customer satisfaction.
From handling e-commerce returns with reverse logistics, through raising delivery speed, to communicating with customers, you can boost the experience at each stage of the delivery and with each order.
Whatever it is, we can support you all the way.