For businesses in the on-demand and retail industry, the last and most critical step in their supply chain is the one with the most problems. This last step, universally known as last-mile delivery, involves the movement of products from their respective distribution centers to the final destination (end users). Although last mile delivery is at the tail end of the supply chain, it plays a decisive and crucial role in how customers view a business. In most cases, it is the benchmark used to evaluate the efficiency of a business’ supply chain.
Benefits of Optimization
To guarantee customer satisfaction, businesses should take proactive steps to improve the efficiency of their last mile delivery service. This crucial part of the supply chain must be exceptional and virtually hitch-free to ensure continuous patronage by both new and existing customers. However, achieving this is often difficult due to the cost involved, the plethora of complications in logistical variables, and unpredictable circumstances.
The last mile delivery service is plagued by numerous problems including but not limited to
- The traffic congestion ubiquitous to virtually all urban areas
- Additional distance and stress of dropping off products at remote and out-of-the-way locations
- Hard-to-locate locations
- Provision of invalid or incorrect details and addresses by customers
Due to these factors and many others, the overall cost of last mile delivery can rise as high as 30 – 50% of the cost of the entire supply chain.
Using Local Trucking Companies or 3-P Logistics Providers
To avoid the attendant stress, overhead, and complications associated with last mile delivery, most businesses prefer using the services of logistics firms to deliver products to end users. However, the performance of such logistics firms has a direct impact on the brand’s reputation. This is because a large number of customers associate the quality of service received to the business that sells the product…and not to the logistics firm making the delivery.
As such, if customers receive their delivery on time from well-dressed, uniformed personnel with a courteous bearing and professional demeanor, they assume that it represents the quality of service to be expected from your brand. Consequently, they will keep on patronizing you time and again.
On the other hand, if their products are delivered by an uncouth and unkempt driver, who is impolite and arrives late, the reputation of the brand goes down the drain. As a result, the time, manpower, and financial resources spent in the careful cultivation and grooming of your brand’s image go out of the window, leading to a drop in the volume of sales.
For businesses in highly competitive sectors or industries, the quality of the last mile delivery can enable them to gain an edge over their closest competitors. As such, businesses should partner with a professional trucking company/logistics provider that can guarantee the professional and timely delivery of products to customers. Partnering with such logistics firms will enhance your brand’s image, improve customer loyalty, and improve overall sales.