Last mile delivery is one of the most discussed topics in shipping and logistics. In a relatively short period of time, it has become a key factor in being able to deliver the experience that customers have come to expect, and it has also become a pain point for those trying to keep down product costs.
But what exactly is last mile delivery and what should you know about it? Today, the experts in delivery management software at GetSwift are here to explain the booming business of last mile delivery. Read our post and then contact someone from the GetSwift team to learn more about how we can help.
What Is Last Mile Delivery?
Last mile delivery refers to the final step in the delivery of a product to the consumer. Think of it as the last leg in a long journey that includes multiple layovers. In the logistics world, people have learned how to master shipping products in bulk from one destination to another and they do it efficiently on a daily basis. But delivering individual items to a customer’s doorstep within 24 hours or less of ordering can pose quite a challenge.
The world hasn’t always had to deal with the challenges of last mile delivery, so why are we all of a sudden hearing about it? The answer lies within the explosion of e-commerce and increasing consumer demand for speedy delivery. The expectation of two-day, overnight, or in some areas even same-day delivery, can be attributed to e-comm giant Amazon. This, combined with local companies now trying to compete, have made last mile delivery a very real expectation for just about any business.
Why Is Last Mile Delivery Such A Challenge Compared To Traditional Delivery?
Last mile delivery poses many challenges that come with needing to get a product from point A to point B in an incredibly short period of time. Think about the last time you had to make multiple stops across town and how long that took. Now imagine that you have to deliver hundreds of individual orders, covering dozens of neighborhoods and all areas of town. In urban areas the challenge is navigating busy streets, traffic lights and, well…traffic. In rural areas, the challenge is how to make the long trek from house to house in the most efficient manner.
If the physical challenge of delivering to specific locations wasn’t enough of a problem, consider all of the drivers that are needed to make it happen. Virtually overnight, commerce has dictated the need for an army of delivery drivers ready to fulfill every order. Trying to keep up with this expectation is tough enough to spell doom for some businesses.
Why Is Last Mile Delivery a Challenge For Many Businesses?
If you own a business, you know that shipping costs can make or break you. The amount you have to pay to get your product to its destination is often one of the biggest contributors in determining the cost of your product. How many times have you had to raise the cost of goods because of an increase in gas prices? The smallest shift in shipping costs can eat into your profit margin if you don’t take action and make adjustments.
Last mile delivery is a challenge for many businesses because it usually requires you to build inefficiencies into your system — in other words, ship small quantities and make multiple stops. This type of model can increase your shipping costs exponentially. So why do it?
You do it because if you don’t, you’ll lose customers.
What Can You Do To Drive Down Cost?
Amazon has attempted to tackle the problem by installing lockers in set locations where customers can come to pick up their goods. This might be a good option for a giant like Amazon, but it probably won’t work for everyone else. The answer that will work for many businesses lies in the very thing that created this challenge in the first place — technology.
Your biggest ally for competing in the world of last mile delivery is delivery management software. Enlisting help from this kind of tool can optimize your dispatching, routing, and delivery processes. The only way to become more competitive when you are building inefficiency into your process is to find other ways to reduce costs. You can do this by relying on software to plan the shortest routes, dispatch drivers that are closest to the next delivery and providing a great customer experience overall.
If you’re ready to learn more about how your business can compete when it comes to last mile delivery, contact GetSwift. Our delivery management software will give you the edge you need to support a thriving business. Give us a call or visit our website to learn about our 30-day free trial!
Courtney White (right) Founded Nonprofit Culinary Care After Her Father’s Death
Courtney White founded Culinary Care in 2013 as a tribute to her late father. The mission was to bring cheer to other cancer patients in the form of high-quality meals delivered to Chicago hospitals. In short order, Culinary Care was delivering thousands of meals a year around the city, and she needed a software platform to keep ensure patients were never left hungry on account of a delivery mishap.
“I was manually putting everything into Google spreadsheets,” Ms. White says. “All of the scheduled deliveries were being pushing into Google Calendar invitations and I realized it just wasn’t working. I was at wits end.”
She explored other options, including Uber’s scheduling platform. But Uber required that she use their drivers rather than her own – something that would not work because Culinary Care relies heavily on staff who also add a personal touch to deliveries.
“Finally, I found that GetSwift managed everything I did manually – from scheduling to phone numbers,” Ms. White says. GetSwift’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform allows her to communicate directly with drivers, reducing the chance of late meal deliveries and dramatically increasing the amount of volume Culinary Care can accommodate.
Looking ahead, the next step is to take Culinary Care to more cities. Ms. White says she regularly gets requests from all over the country from people interested in bringing Culinary Care to feed cancer patients in their cities. “We have a map of the requests and our goal over the next five years is to expand and grow Culinary Care nationwide,” she says.
Culinary Care served 2,800 meals across Chicago in 2018. This year, the nonprofit is on track to delivering between 3,000 and 3,500 meals and the goal is to reach 100,000 meals served by 2023, Culinary Care’s 10th anniversary.
“We are excited about the chance to help Culinary Care thrive in Chicago and expand to other cities,” says Joel Macdonald, Founder and President of GetSwift. “It’s a wonderful cause and our platform is perfectly suited to help Culinary Care reach scale.”
One reason Culinary Care has caught so much attention: It focuses purely on cancer patients, who are more challenging to feed than most. The reason is that cancer treatments including chemotherapy tend to stifle appetites and even change the experience of taste. That requires Culinary Care to seek out the most appealing meals from local restaurants that donate food.
“We are the only organization nationwide that serves only cancer patients,” Ms. White says. “They’re a unique client because they’re often not actually hungry and we need to make the experience special.”
She added that there are plenty of organizations delivering to cancer patients, but it’s rarely more than 20% that goes to cancer patients. The pure focus on cancer patients appears to be more challenging, but Ms. White’s personal experience guided her in that direction.
She learned all about the challenge of feeding cancer patients from her father. During the last months of his life, friends and neighbors brought meals that she shared with her father and family that helped bring them to together and give them one less worry.
“We pay close attention to the emotional element of a dish,” Ms. White says. “GetSwift lets me focus on the most important things we do.”
Interested in conquering the chaos of delivery? GetSwift can help you start improving your delivery operation in hours. Get in touch.
There are many challenges when it comes to running a food delivery business. Especially if you are a smaller business with only a limited number of employees and vehicles, it can be extremely difficult to manage all of the moving parts necessary to ensure you are delivering a quality experience in a cost-effective way. As your business grows, small inefficiencies can really add up and start to affect your performance and profitability. This is why it is vital to understand the real costs of doing business and take advantage of tools such as automatic scheduling, data analytics, and routing software.
In today’s blog, the delivery management experts from GetSwift want to dig deeper into route optimization and discuss the real cost associated with drivers going just a few miles out of their way. While no business is perfect, and there are always exceptions that fall outside of the rules, focusing on having your drivers take the most optimum routes for each and every delivery can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Keep reading and then contact GetSwift to learn more.
Extra Miles Add Up
If you’re in the business of food delivery, you know that if your deliveries aren’t well-executed the cost can eat into profit. And worse yet, your customer service can suffer. If you aren’t at the top of your game, there are plenty of other businesses standing in line to take your place. The market for delivery services has exploded over the last handful of years, and there is more and more competition every day. So how can driving a few extra miles out of the way make or break your success? Consider the full picture.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you own a small food delivery business where you employ 5 drivers to cover a 20-mile radius. Since you are small, you decide to just let your drivers plan their own routes. After all, they are only spanning the north end of town — do you really need routing software for that? After 6 months in business, you notice that you are barely covering costs, and it looks like you’ll have to hire another driver, which is something you don’t have the budget for. You sit back and wonder “What am I doing wrong?”
It’s entirely possible that inefficient delivery routes make your delivery costs much higher than they should be. Let’s break it down to see just how your business is being affected:
It goes without saying that if you drive more miles, you’re going to have to pay more for fuel. While a couple of extra miles might not equate to much, when you look at it over dozens of deliveries, multiple drivers, and over the course of the year, it can really add up.
Many people don’t consider vehicle maintenance when analyzing their delivery costs, but the truth is, vehicles are very expensive to maintain! More miles means they’ll require more frequent oil changes, there’s more opportunity for needing major repairs, and a decrease in overall vehicle lifespan. Again, when you look at each piece individually it seems like we are talking about nominal costs that aren’t even worth tracking, but in actuality, it all adds up.
Do More with Less
Optimizing your driving routes doesn’t just help with the direct cost of fuel or vehicles, it also allows you to do more. If your drivers are taking longer to complete deliveries, then you’ll have to hire more people to get the work done. Hiring more people is very costly and should only be done if deemed necessary to accommodate your growing business and not to make up for inefficiencies. If each person can deliver just one extra delivery per day because their routing software has taken them around heavy traffic areas, that means your overall cost to do business goes down and your profit will go up.
Time is Money
When you optimize driving routes, you’re not just able to do the same amount of work in less time, but in the food delivery business, time is of the essence. Your customers expect to receive their pizza hot, their milk cold, and if you take too long on the road, the end result won’t be good. To meet the demands of a finicky food delivery business, the best thing you can do is reduce the time between pick up and delivery.
If you want to make sure your drivers are taking the best routes so you can reduce delivery times and put money back into your budget, contact the delivery experts at GetSwift. We have a 30-day risk-free trial and can have you up and running in no time. If you want your business to thrive, it’s often necessary to invest in the tools to help you get there. Give us a call today or ask questions through a live chat with our 24/7 support team. We look forward to hearing from you!
If you’ve always thought of starting your own business, now is a better time than ever. With the increase in demand for next-day and even same-day delivery of nearly everything, there’s a very real need for couriers that can deliver these goods. While starting any business can be quite challenging, a courier service can be one of the more simple ones to start, requiring a relatively small amount of capital. There are also several tools available that can help you along the way to optimize your business and improve efficiency. For instance, route planning and delivery management software can make all the difference if you want to have a growing, profitable business.
If you’re thinking of starting your own courier business or have one already, there are many opportunities out there. However, there are also several obstacles you could face along the way. The delivery management experts at GetSwift are here to help you identify some of the common challenges of growing a delivery business and how to overcome them. Read our blog to learn more!
Finding Loyal Customers
It goes without saying that without customers, you would have no business. So what is the best approach for finding, and more importantly, keeping loyal customers? Today’s savvy customers expect on-going communication regarding their order. This includes order confirmation, real-time delivery status, and even follow-up. In addition, they want to be able to communicate with the people they are doing business with. It is important to give them a way to contact you for order changes, questions, and feedback.
But how do you support the customer-business relationship without paying for a small army of customer service representatives? The answer is delivery management software. At GetSwift, we’ve developed easy-to-use software that can make interacting with your customers simple, and with little time requirement. It includes features such as order confirmation, real-time tracking, proof of delivery, and service feedback to ensure your customers are informed and provided information throughout the entire order process. Investing in this kind of technology will surely give your business an advantage over your competition when it comes to establishing a loyal customer base.
As your business grows, it can become more and more difficult to manage all of the moving parts. If you hire additional drivers, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable and effective method of communicating orders and expectations. Managing a fleet versus one or two drivers requires the necessary tools to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently. The driver dispatcher features of GetSwift’s delivery management software can help by providing a user-friendly interface to schedule drivers, a way to optimize driving routes and interact with your team via an app that they download on their cell phone. It’s never been easier to manage and communicate with a remote team.
When you start a business, probably one of the last things on your mind is how you are going to keep track of all the paperwork. When you think about it, you’ll need to keep records for materials purchased, orders placed, employee and customer interactions, regulatory and legal requirements, and so forth. There’s an incredible amount of information that needs to be kept and filed away, and without a system to manage it all, it can quickly get out of control. The best plan of action is to establish a good process from the get-go, utilizing technology to help make it easier and take up less space. Doing so can make your business run smoother and save you dozens of headaches in the future.
Let’s say you’ve started your courier business, you’ve found more than enough loyal customers, and communication with your team is satisfactory. If you aren’t operating efficiently, you could actually be losing money, or at the very least, be leaving money on the table. What sets successful businesses apart from those that struggle and eventually fail is the dedication to optimizing all areas of the business. You might not think it’s that critical if you go two miles out of the way to make a special delivery, but if each driver does that a few times a day, over the course of a year it could add up to thousands of extra dollars that your business loses.
As a business owner, it’s your job to evaluate all areas of your business, analyze the data, and make smart choices that will contribute to your profitability. One tool for doing just such is — you guessed it — Get Swift’s delivery management software. With features that will help you optimize route plans and reduce fuel consumption, you’ll be able to ensure on-time deliveries, possibly reduce the number of delivery vehicles needed, and even provide faster delivery options than your competitors. This not only gives you the advantage of providing better customer service but allows you to do it in a way that is most profitable for your bottom line.
Technology: Your Biggest Ally
Starting a business is hard work and you need all the help you can get to make it succeed. If you’re planning to use basic spreadsheets, emails and phone calls for your tracking and communication, prepare for a difficult road ahead. Investing in GetSwift’s delivery management software can make all the difference between the success and failure of your business. By providing solutions for order tracking, driver dispatching, route optimization, and customer interaction, this technology is what you need to effectively support a growing business. It also includes comprehensive business analytics to identify and resolve problems, improve efficiency, and ultimately exceed your customer’s expectations.
Take the next step toward building your courier business by finding out more about the delivery management software from GetSwift. Keep in mind that there are no contracts, no upfront costs, and no hidden fees. We also offer a free 30-day trial. Give us a call today — we would love to hear from you and help answer any questions you may have!
During the daily 6am truck loading, AllFasteners USA LLC was once consumed by piles of paperwork and a scramble to match orders with drivers bound for constructions sites across New York City. The dispatcher could easily become overwhelmed. But after adopting GetSwift’s SaaS platform two years ago to handle last-mile delivery logistics, the company has been able to focus on growth.
“GetSwift allows the dispatcher to handle much more,” says Vern McGregor, Branch Manager, New York and New Jersey, at AllFasteners.
“GetSwift’s Saas Platform Helped Us Grow 25% with One Less Worry”
AllFasteners supplies construction sites with a range of fastening equipment from nuts to bolts to drillbits, often on a last-minute basis. With some customers working on high-profile projects such Hudson Yards in west Manhattan, demands are urgent and hard to predict. That creates a need for careful organization of orders on its fleet of delivery trucks that’s cumbersome and fraught with human error when handled manually.
“Our branch was up 15% last year and sales are 25% higher so far this year,” Mr. McGregor says. “GetSwift gives us one less thing to worry about.”
One feature that stood out from the competition was the ability for a dispatcher to track orders once they were on their way. “We had used another platform but the tracking capability just didn’t work as well,” he says. “It would get stuck.”
On the delivery end, GetSwift also makes it easier for drivers to find the right person on hectic construction sites. “The driver will have a phone number right inside the GetSwift app to call or text,” he says. “It’s really important to reach the right person when you arrive.”
AllFasteners uses GetSwift in New York City along with other locations across the country including Ohio, Los Angelse, and Minneapolis.