4 Tips To Improve Your Last Mile Logistics Strategy
The ecommerce industry has quickly expanded beyond small products that are suitable for parcel delivery. This is especially true for businesses that sale larger items, such as beds, appliances, and televisions. And as online shopping continues to grow, the need for a successful last mile logistics strategy will become increasingly crucial.
Today’s retailers that utilize an online or omnichannel sales strategy know that the customer’s delivery experience is just as important as their shopping experience. Finding the ideal balance between shipping costs and service, however, can be challenging. If you are looking to improve your last mile logistics strategy or are not sure where to begin, keep these four supply chain tips in mind.
Integrate White Glove Delivery Options
While you may want to keep your final mile delivery options to a minimum, keep your customers’ needs in mind. It is becoming increasingly commonplace to offer white glove delivery options. Many customers will need assistance beyond front door delivery, and will be willing to pay extra for the added convenience.
Integrating white glove services into a last mile logistics strategy is also not as difficult as it may sound. There are numerous service providers that specialize in white glove delivery in every market.
Use The Best Service Providers In Each Market
Just as many shippers are beginning to adopt a last mile logistics strategy, there are also many service providers entering the final mile delivery space. Picking the right service provider is not always a cut and dry process. While some companies may offer nationwide coverage, their service performance probably doesn’t score the same in each market.
Keep in mind, lousy delivery experiences in one market can result in negative online reviews that reflect your entire company. Identifying the best players in each market will be the key to succeeding. Consider using a robust transportation management system that can measure carrier performance and other factors such as costs. You can also partner with a last mile logistics company that specializes in service provider management.
Keep Your Strategy Centralized For Simplicity
Probably the biggest hurdle with last mile logistics is the complexity of managing it. It’s not the same as using an LTL or truckload carrier to ship large products to other businesses. Each of your customers may have a different delivery need. Some service providers may not be willing to deliver upstairs or even inside at all. However, they may offer unbeatable on-time performance when it comes to delivery to the threshold.
Juggling multiple service providers, especially if your products are sold throughout the country, can take up a lot of time. For that reason, it can be beneficial to partner with a logistics company that can do the planning and heavy lifting for you. Having a one-source contact for your final mile and white glove shipping needs is hard to come by, but there are a few companies that specialize in it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions
If you’re researching last mile logistics service providers, be thorough. If they offer them, take advantage of free consultations. Listen to what they have to tell you about their capabilities, but make sure they also listen to you. Let them know about the challenges you’ve encountered in the past and what your expectations are.
- How do you manage service performance across multiple markets?
- What is the extent of your final mile delivery services? Do you offer white glove?
- Do you offer shipment tracking for the shipper and the customer?
- What does the delivery equipment look like?
- Are the drivers trained to act professional in various residential settings?