Delivery management software (DMS) is a digital logistics tool used for planning, managing, optimizing, and executing delivery activities.
It is also a centralized system of communication that lets everyone involved in the life cycle of a delivery connect via one platform.
But what is the practical application?
This kind of software has a plethora of capabilities for each stage of the delivery lifecycle.
While Delivery Management Software shares a lot of similarities with fleet management software, transportation management systems, or distribution logistics software, it is unique.
In contrast to those solutions, it takes a much more holistic and intuitive approach to delivery operations. And equally well-suited to outperform them in the first, as well as the last mile of delivery when taken as a whole, especially when talking about your private fleet.
A transport management system (TMS) is a similarly specialized solution that deals with the planning, management, and execution of transportation/shipments.
But you shouldn’t mistake it for Delivery Management Software.
Unlike Delivery Management Software, which is generally focused on your own fleet, a Transport Management System is more focused on external fleets, lane rates, customs processes etc.
That said, some like Trimble TMW look at private fleets, but these are now starting to get on a bit in years and some might call these legacy solutions in the context of modern operational needs.
Even though it deals with much of the same logistical mechanics, the foundation it is built on lacks usability and functionality of modern solutions - think more command-driven vs. clean graphical user interfaces.
Speaking about TMS in general, they are usually less ‘dedicated’ solutions when it comes to private fleets. The focus here is on planning, routing, and optimizing cargo drop-offs before the last mile.
For example, its target audience is mainly the large road freight industry and generally speaking with a high proportion of outsourced transportation.
Like Delivery Management Software, these solutions often are able to be connected to other systems (warehouse management systems for example) but the issue is that many of the legacy solutions do not have usable APIs when it comes to integrating with more modern systems.
Fleet management software and fleet telematics systems are another set of digital tools used for managing delivery operations.
In the most basic sense, these systems enable the exchange of data between agents in the field (the delivery fleet), and the operations’ hub (HQ).
Often (wrongly) labelled as Delivery Management Software, these solutions are less advanced and intuitive.
Both also function much differently. Instead of proactively supporting delivery operations, they look retroactively (for example what happened on the road vs. what is happening on the road).
This is very useful to the main use case of this type of software: insurance and fleet safety purposes.
There, these systems shine. They can provide valuable insight into driver behavior that might lead to a crash like harsh braking or excessive acceleration of the vehicle.
But when you want an all-encompassing Software system to manage your deliveries, this shouldn’t be your go-to choice, at least not standalone.
Let’s be honest, not all modern ideas stick. But if there wasn’t any innovation in the world, people would probably still be schlepping goods and services on foot.
And Delivery Management Software is an innovation that is REVOLUTIONIZING delivery.
Don’t get us wrong. Many companies still use modern fleet management software, telematics, and transportation management systems.
But they don’t come close to the functionality of delivery management solutions when dealing with the challenges of specifically delivery.
Simply put and unsurprisingly, Delivery Management Software and delivery are a great fit together.
You can clearly see this from the capabilities on offer:
Many examples of Delivery Management Software are built for the future of delivery using new and disruptive tech stacks, such as cloud computing.
This completely changes the way operators interact with these systems and how they can control deliveries.
It has also made these capabilities available to almost any company regardless of the size, shape, and budget pertaining to delivery operations.
With Delivery Management Software, even the smallest operator can easily handle distribution across its fleets, from the first to the last mile of delivery.
A solution like this is highly flexible and customizable. It can easily adapt to meet the demands of its environment. It allows you to keep your current equipment and infrastructure while improving the way you manage it.
For example, you can easily include different types of vehicles, vehicle capacities, or fleets into the program. The system doesn’t care.
It also means you can switch between using a private or external fleet, depending on how you do business.
And since it’s completely dedicated to delivery, it has a greater depth of detail when it comes to how you optimize routes, plan and manage depot sites, or handle deliveries on a day-to-day basis.
Because it runs on the public cloud (or on request on a private cloud), the team involved in every delivery has access to the same data across the entire company with the ability for this to be tailored to their specific operational need.
This also means the entire process of planning and scheduling is live. While intuitive platforms and apps provide a greater field of real-time viability across the whole operation.
Teams can also communicate with ease, as they share information from the field and the office via one system.
And when you have all of these capabilities in one place, you can scale operations much faster and easier than ever before.
To answer this question, we need to start at the beginning.
Let’s take a look at what field service management software is, and the field service itself.
Field service involves any work carried on the customer’s behalf at their location as part of the service offer. The work is performed on-site by field agents who install, update, maintain, or repair products, systems, or equipment provided to the customer.
Field service management is thus the organization of those resources. And then there is the tool that makes it easier to do that.
So, what is field service management software?
Field service management software is a digital solution that helps service providers better manage operations on location.
It automates the process, and makes it easier to plan, schedule and execute service trips, as well as collect data from the ground and electronically invoice customers.
It lets you plan, track, and optimize those activities more efficiently, which maximizes output from teams in the field. And that’s very similar to the field service suite of Delivery Management Software.
Of course, the crossover happens when you view and compare those similarities. For example, when you compare delivery drivers and field agents.
With modern Delivery Management Software, you can input different information on your drivers such as their vehicle (and its capabilities), skill level/types, or type of driver license.
Now translate this into a field service suite and you can use those same to include specific engineering skills, job roles, or practical capabilities.
Precisely because of that crossover most field service providers can use delivery management solutions to automate their operations.
Even when it comes to collecting data and invoicing modern delivery management solutions can integrate with external applications via APIs to enable this.
So, you can continue using the same software for those purposes, while gaining greater functionality of other features like route optimization, scheduling, or operations management.
In turn, you can significantly increase the output of your field service teams by increasing the amount of work they can do, while reducing fuel consumption and cutting costs.
An end-to-end delivery management solution describes a platform, app, or software system that provides users with all of the software or hardware components to integrate the system and making it ready for use.
In that sense, an end-to-end delivery management suite can give you all of the mechanics necessary to meet the logistic demands of enabling delivery.
This software is a one-stop solution. It provides all of the tools to plan, manage, and optimize delivery activities on one comprehensive platform.
And the benefits of integrating such a system into your delivery operations are more than plentiful.
Apart from not having to plan operations manually anymore, you can rely on one tool instead of a host of disconnected applications. And for everything and anything from managing activities and resources to meeting customer expectations.
Using one software solution is also more practical.
You can cut time from adoption to full use to mastery of the system. That can take a lot of the workload off you and your workforce, especially if neither party has previous experience with Delivery Management Software.
The quicker adoption and faster transition to digital logistics mean digitising your delivery operations and the fleet is less time-consuming and more productive and cost-effective.
End-to-end delivery software itself can be either on-premise, cloud-based, or hybrid (a combination of the two).
In the past, the on-premise solution was the exclusive and widely used option. These days, however, cloud-based Delivery Management Software has taken centre stage.
The integration of cloud computing with the end-to-end Delivery Management Software suite will remain relevant in the future, as well.
As innovative and disruptive technologies emerge, cloud-based solutions will be instrumental in their adoption.
For example, some companies are already integrating AI data-processing algorithms to use third-party data with their delivery management systems. And machine learning will influence last-mile delivery even more dramatically in the future.
This wouldn’t be possible without cloud computing.
And as the end-to-end suite continues to evolve (along with the tech stacks that support it), more companies will want to take advantage of its potential.
So much has changed over the last decade in the world of delivery.
The spread of online shopping and e-commerce has been the spark that has ignited the fires of transformation in the delivery landscape.
Consumers no longer view home delivery as a simple convenience but an important factor when deciding to buy your products or services.
Those expectations have also caused demand to skyrocket. So much, that businesses across the board are scrambling to make it readily available to all of their consumers.
But having and operating delivery is an expensive investment. Not to mention, it’s a complicated venture. And businesses are always looking at ways to take the last mile to the next level. To make it easier to operate, more efficiently, and more cost-effective.
From transportation management systems (TMS) and order management systems (OMS) to fleet management software and telematics, various tools have aided in this ever since the inception of digital logistics.
But this is where modern Delivery Management Software can improve the process.
It’s the solution that offers more. That provides the right features and capabilities to make last-mile delivery management more accessible.
Be it for B2C or B2B companies, or industries as varied as food delivery and retail, or field service and third-party logistics operators.
And while all delivery management solutions aim for the same goal, there are differences among them, especially since the adoption of the cloud-first approach to delivery management.
Others, like Bringg, have changed how businesses manage the last mile at the enterprise level.
More recently though, eLogii has created an end-to-end solution that is already revolutionizing how businesses use and view Delivery Management Software.
All the power needed for Enterprise applications, as well as accessible feature-rich plans for SMEs.
In today’s market, if you operate a delivery fleet, you have to have Delivery Management Software if you want your delivery service to compete and succeed.
But this has also opened up new opportunities.
The demand for delivery management solutions has never been greater than it is right now.
And as the state of the delivery landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic shows, businesses that can keep up with the demand can prosper even in very difficult markets.
However, having a delivery service just for the sake of it isn’t enough. Customers have evolved, as well. And their attitudes, beliefs, and expectations have changed beyond recognition.
Your customers have more options than ever before. They are more well-informed about your brand, product, and offer, as well as those of your competitors. And they don’t trust either marketing message.
Worst of all, it’s outrageously expensive to acquire each customer. But if you don’t make it convenient for them to buy from you, they will turn to someone else. And that’s even worse.
So, it’s the same story as before. You need to find a balance between catering to customer demand when acquiring them, while at the same time maintaining a firm grip overspending.
And when it comes to delivery at least, you can achieve those goals with Delivery Management Software.
eLogii is an end-to-end cloud-based delivery management platform. Our powerful solution solves the biggest challenges of modern distribution and field service businesses, including: route optimization, planning and execution.
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