In today’s on-demand marketplace, it’s the very last step of the logistics process that is the most critical. The journey from warehouse, restaurant, or store to the final destination is what’s referred to as the last-mile of order delivery, and how you manage this critical function can make all the difference in the success of your business.
When it comes to last-mile delivery challenges, you’ll often hear the terms route planning and route optimization — and it’s even likely that the two will be used interchangeably. However, there’s a significant difference between planning and optimizing, and practicing one without the other could mean significantly higher delivery costs. Here’s what you need to know about route planning versus route optimization.
Route Planning: The Old Way of Doing Things
In simple terms, route planning takes a predetermined list of destinations and puts them in the most relevant and efficient order while primarily focusing on the shortest distance and the fastest time. There are many free route planners out there (such as Google maps) but they can’t handle the variables associated with a complex delivery business.
Route Optimization: A Necessity For Delivery Businesses
Route optimization, on the other hand, uses a complex system of algorithms to evaluate hundreds and even thousands of variables to create the optimum delivery route. Route optimization software takes into account things such as driver schedules, vehicle capacities, driver coverage areas, and delivery window times to create the best, and most efficient route.
With the right route optimization software, you can grow your business from one or two drivers to thousands, and you can increase productivity while reducing delivery costs — two more key factors in building a successful delivery business.
Save Time and Money Through Route Optimization
The main challenge of last-mile delivery is that it is costly. That’s because it involves shipping smaller quantities to more locations. To offset these higher costs, it’s necessary to focus on planning and efficiency and the best way to do that is through route optimization. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of route optimization.
Reduce Transportation Costs
Fuel and labor are two of the most important factors to consider in your logistics cost equation. That’s because a large percentage of your total delivery cost can be attributed to them. Allowing your driver to spend all day on deliveries that should only take a few hours will eat away at your bottom line. And, going just a few miles out of the way for one delivery may not be the end of the world, but when you multiply that by several drivers and dozens of deliveries every day, that extra gas money can really add up.
Being able to shave time on your deliveries is not only good for boosting productivity, but it also has a positive effect on customer service. If you’re able to deliver goods faster than your competitors, this gives you a distinct advantage and shoppers will choose you over someone else if they know they can get what they want faster.
Grow Your Business
Driver capacity can be a bottleneck for delivery businesses. In order to invest in more drivers and more vehicles, you have to have the capital to support them. A better way to manage this is to first take a look at your current productivity. Is it possible that you could be doing more with the resources you have, without compromising customer service or safety? Route optimization can boost productivity by allowing you to do more, and do it more efficiently. This is the key to unlocking your growth potential.
Choose GetSwift For Route Optimization Software
Effective and efficient driver routing is one of the most important controllable factors for a last-mile delivery business. If you’re still just putting together route plans based on the location of the destinations, then you’re missing out. Delivery route optimization software can help you account for an unlimited number of variables so that you can crush the delivery business.
GetSwift has developed delivery route management software that will not only help you with managing your driver’s routes but with all of the elements of your delivery business. From dispatching and real-time driver tracking to automatic customer alerts and an easy-to-use mobile driver app, GetSwift offers everything you need to run your business now, and to prepare it for the future.
Whether you employ a large fleet of cross-country drivers or a small number of local couriers, driver retention is a top priority for many business owners. Experienced drivers are usually capable of delivering more goods in a shorter period of time, increasing your capacity and saving your business money.
The demand for delivery has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and now with COVID-19, more people than ever before are taking advantage of home delivery services. In fact, 37 percent of U.S. consumers are turning to contactless delivery more than before, according to a Salesforce survey. This means many could be seeing more business through delivery than through their brick-and-mortar stores — as long as they have enough drivers to fulfill orders.
Businesses that are able to keep up with demand during these trying times — and do it in a way that meets customer expectations — will likely come out ahead and grow their long-term customer base well after the pandemic is over. To do this, it’s essential to focus on driver retention and last-mile route optimization software can help you do just that.
Safe Drivers Are Happy Drivers
A top priority for any employer is to ensure that your staff has a safe and secure working environment. This holds true for employees working in an office, a warehouse, a production facility, or driving a vehicle. While you may not be able to prevent all accidents from occurring, you can take measures to ensure your drivers aren’t overloaded with an unrealistic delivery schedule that requires them to work long hours or back-to-back shifts.
Last-mile route optimization software can help them complete their deliveries faster and more efficiently so they can get more done in less time. A mobile driver app also helps to keep them connected to the office and the rest of the team so if they do run into an issue while on the road, their location can be tracked.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Manually mapping routes and managing an ever-changing delivery schedule can be stressful, not to mention inefficient. Constantly having to change routes or update your driver by phone can make an already challenging job even more difficult. By enlisting the help of route optimization software, your drivers don’t have to worry about where they need to go next or the best way to get there. With the right technology, they can receive turn-by-turn directions and real-time route updates, making their job that much easier.
Acknowledge Good Performance
Like most employees, drivers seek acknowledgment for a job well done. Although they may be out of sight and working solo most of the time, it’s important to still track — and recognize — good performance. With software like that from GetSwift, you can easily track KPIs like the number of deliveries per day, percent of on-time deliveries, or customer feedback ratings. Using that data to show your appreciation will go a long way toward helping to retain your best drivers.
Empower Drivers With the Tools They Need To Do a Good Job
In the past, many delivery drivers simply had to pick something up from point A and drop it off at point B. Now, drivers are expected to make multiple deliveries along a route, all at a precise moment in time. If they miss that time buy just a few minutes, it could result in a failed delivery or an unhappy customer.
With drivers being held to such a high standard, it only makes sense to give them the tools they need to succeed. Last-mile route optimization software can help them find the most efficient routes, communicate unexpected delays with the customer, and protect their reputation with an electronic means of documenting proof of delivery.
Improve Driver Retention With GetSwift
GetSwift’s last-mile route optimization software is the complete solution for all of your delivery needs. It includes tools for easier dispatching, more efficient routing, and improved communication between your drivers, customers, and your office. It comes with an easy-to-use driver app that will provide your drivers with the information they need at every stage of the delivery process.
Learn more about GetSwift and how our software can help you with driver retention and success in the delivery business — contact a member of our team or sign up for a free 30-day trial.
If you’re in the last-mile delivery business then you know how important it is to optimize each step in the process to keep costs down. The combination of multiple stops and potentially smaller order sizes can create significant inefficiencies compared to a more traditional logistics model where items are shipped in large truckload quantities to a warehouse or a select few locations.
Reverse Logistics Explained
Standard last-mile logistics involves moving goods from one store or warehouse to the consumer. Reverse logistics is—you guessed it—moving goods in the opposite direction. An example would be a delivery driver picking up a return from a customer and taking it back to restock or throw out. Or, a more routine example for certain companies like a water or milk delivery service, it includes regularly picking up empty bottles from a customer.
Why Reverse Logistics Is Important
There are many different reasons that a delivery driver may have to transport goods back to where they came from, and these return trips need to be considered in your overall delivery cost equation as well as their impact on the customer experience. Planned returns, such as picking up empty milk bottles, are easier to manage with the right kind of software–such as our integrated eCommerce & Delivery software which gives drivers built-in options to pick up bottle returns. It’s the unplanned returns that are more difficult and can add significant costs from the extra time and fuel. For businesses delivering perishable goods, the cost can be even greater if a return means the product won’t be able to be resold, and instead, will need to be disposed of.
Minimizing unplanned returns, and optimizing how they are managed when they do occur, should be a key part of any delivery strategy. While you likely can’t bring returns down to zero, you can control the number of certain returns, including having to return to a location because of failed delivery attempts. With our delivery management software, you automatically send out SMS alerts the moment an order goes out for delivery, including sending the customer a tracking link, and an always-updated ETA so that customers know when they need to be home. In turn, customers can reply with a text message about needing to change the delivery time. This way, if there needs to be a change, this gives you the chance to correct it before you deliver, rather than having to make a return trip.
It’s important to remember that all returns, whether planned or unplanned, are part of the overall customer experience. An incorrect order doesn’t have to mean a lost customer if the return is handled properly. That’s why it’s vital to create a strategy for handling returns promptly and efficiently, and include methods for communicating with customers and your drivers.
How To Optimize Reverse Logistics
To start, of course, you’ve got to enlist the help of the right cloud-based delivery management tech. But, it has to be the right one for your business. If you’re a subscription-based business like farm or CSA, and your drivers have a very similar route every time they deliver, you’re going to want subscription delivery software with purpose-built features for returns, last-minute order changes, and box, bag, or bottle returns–all synced over the cloud in real-time from your driver’s mobile phones to your office. Those features, and much more, are built into our Delivery Biz Pro software.
If on the other hand, you operate a restaurant or shop, and it’s all about on-demand deliveries that are less predictable, you’ll want to look into our flagship last-mile delivery software: it has the ultimate route optimization tech, that takes in hundreds of inputs from traffic to weather to added or subtracted stops to make your routes extremely efficient. It’s also got a suite of customizable alerts to keep your customers up-to-date so that they always know where their order is, plus customers, can choose proof of delivery and ask the driver to take a photo of the package (especially if it’s being delivered contact-free), so thateveryone is on the same page and any mistakes can be immediately corrected.
Find Out More About How GetSwift Can Help You With Reverse Logistics
If you’re looking for a comprehensive last-mile delivery software that can help you optimize your delivery business. It offers features such as automatic dispatching, route optimization, real-time driver tracking, customer alerts, and proof of delivery — and everything can be accessed from our user-friendly mobile app.
Are you interested in learning more about how our delivery software can help you minimize and manage returns? Contact us today to schedule a free demo.
A parcel is a package essentially. In the mailing word, a parcel is any type of mail that is not a postcard, a letter, or a flat or large envelope. Most people think of parcels as boxes wrapped in brown paper or a brown box. Technically speaking, there is really no difference between a parcel and a package. The word parcel is more commonly used in the United Kingdom, whereas in the United States, package is more commonly used. When shipping, they are the same thing.
GetSwift offers an incredible parcel delivery software that will solve your three main problems when it comes to parcel delivery: lost parcels, parcels that are delivered late, and the wrong item shipped to the wrong address. GetSwift makes parcel delivery easy, with real-time driver tracking, route optimization for your parcel drivers, and advanced dispatching applications. In our continuing back to basics series, we’ll take a look at solving the common parcel delivery hiccups and tell you how GetSwift can help. Contact us today to learn more!
Common Hiccups in Parcel Delivery
Even with modern technology, parcels still get lost. This can be from a variety of reasons, such as their shipping information is wrong or incomplete, the parcels are small so they fall in-between cracks or get mixed up in bins, or they are just completely misplaced like being placed on a shelf and inadvertently forgotten. Tracking lost packages can be difficult, and more often than not, are simply replaced instead of found, which leads to lost revenue since you are shipping two items for the price of one.
Late parcels are what will distinguish you from the crowded parcel delivery service market. When you deliver parcels later than promised, this is an indication of a fundamental delivery service problem. Often, this is where your parcel delivery software will shine and where you will see the most impact the quickest once implemented. Late parcels often come down to routes that are not optimized, so picture your delivery driver going back and forth instead of going in a relatively straight line.
Depending on if you are a last mile delivery service or if you are the one packaging the items, this often comes down to the wrong item being packaged, although it can be a problem with labeling as well. Either way, when you deliver the wrong item, this is a loss in revenue as well because often you will have to return to the address to retrieve it, sometimes at no expense.
Sorting parcels can contribute to some of the other common hiccups, especially when you lack a top-notch parcel delivery service. If parcels are sorted incorrectly, you may deliver the wrong items to the wrong addresses. If there is a delay in sorting, your parcel delivery will be late. And if there is carelessness or a rushed day in sorting, parcels can become lost.
Ultimately, a lot of the problems mentioned above can be attributed to employee error, which is why employees are so valuable. When you have a new employee, they are just learning the ropes, and there will be mistakes made. While this is to be expected, a high level of employee turnover not only is costly for the company in terms of training, but only increases the amount of errors made, which to the customer, only reflects poorly on the parcel delivery company. Furthermore, if you are pulling drivers to cover other routes, parcel delivery times will suffer overall — which, ultimately, is what you want to avoid.
Loss of Customers
While an error here or there is forgivable by the customer, if errors are frequent (this can mean even two errors), the customer will look elsewhere for parcel delivery services. If you are a last mile delivery service, your entire company depends upon on-time deliveries, meaning you could lose important contracts with other companies as well.
Choose GetSwift as Your Parcel Delivery Service of Choice
Parcel delivery is a surprisingly crowded industry. Many people tend just to think of the big players, such as the United States Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx. However, while these hold a big share of the market, the little guys play a valuable role, especially in local markets and in delivery services that the big companies are just not equipped to handle, such as perishable goods. To compete, you need a powerful and robust parcel delivery software that can optimize your operations and routes, schedule dispatching, track your driver’s performance, and offer real-time feedback to customers. Let’s face it, there’s something inherently cool in receiving a text message with the exact expected time of arrival.
GetSwift offers all of the above services and more. With unlimited integration capabilities, your parcel delivery software can churn out analytics that will allow you to discover inefficiencies, explore more routes, and optimize processes.
When you first opened your delivery business, you probably only had a few customers. Planning your deliveries was easy; after all, you only had a handful of stops so you just went to the closest first then to the furthest out or vice versa, depending on priority. However, as your delivery business grew and your deliveries exploded, it was not as easy to plan routes as it was before. In fact, it was becoming quite complicated, taking more and more time to plan your deliveries. So what do you do now?
GetSwift offers a delivery route planner software that can help you maximize your delivery routes so that you are staying on track with timely deliveries and saving money in fuel and employee costs. In addition, our delivery route planner does much more than just plan your delivery route. It offers real-time driver tracking, advanced dispatching capabilities, a user-friendly driver app, automatic customer alerts, proof of delivery, and so much more. Below, we’ll continue our back to basics blog series by taking a look at what exactly is delivery route planning and how GetSwift can help you. Contact us today!
What are Delivery Route Planners?
Fundamentally, a delivery route planner is software that takes the place of a human scheduler. Instead of you sitting for hours, calculating the best routes for your drivers, delivery route planners will schedule stops for your drivers or fleets. Many, if not most, delivery route planners do much more than this, including GetSwift’s delivery route planner. They can show you where your drivers are in real-time. They can offer on-demand dispatching and driver feedback in terms of accidents and the like. Those using AI technology (artificial intelligence) can use machine learning to further maximize your drivers’ routes and alter routes according to real-time traffic conditions.
Does Your Delivery Business Need a Delivery Route Planner?
GetSwift gets asked this question all the time. What if your current method of delivery route planning is working? Why should you switch? There are some tell-tale signs that you probably need a sophisticated delivery route planner. Some of these signs include:
Your transportation costs are spiraling out of control, and you have no idea as to the cause because you have no data to tell you such.
Your customers are complaining about late deliveries.
Your current delivery route planning is taking more and more time, maybe even requiring two or more people to do the job.
Your delivery route planners quit.
You are unsure of which routes are making money and which routes are losing money.
You yourself are becoming frustrated with the inefficiencies in your current delivery route planning methods.
Why You Need Delivery Route Planning Software
Route optimization guarantees on-time deliveries for the vast majority of the time.
Route optimization will maximize employees’ time.
Route optimization cuts down on employees’ driving, which decreases the chances of accidents, as well as is healthier for your employees.
Route optimization will keep costs down.
Choose GetSwift Today for All of Your Delivery Route Planning Needs
GetSwift began by delivery drivers who themselves were frustrated with the lack of delivery route planning tools available at the time. Since then, we have worked incredibly hard to deliver the best delivery route planning software for use by your startup or small to medium-sized business. As a Top Rated Local® delivery logistics software company, we are constantly striving to innovate and anticipate our customers’ needs so you can continue to stay ahead of the pack. When we make improvements, we hope you do as well, seeing a headache eliminated here and there.
GetSwift’s delivery route planning software has unlimited integrations with apps and other software. This allows you to connect your deliveries with orders, invoicing, analytics, and much more. Furthermore, you can customize our delivery management software to your business to meet your needs. Our customer service department can walk you through any problem that arises, as well as any app integration you may need.
With advanced dispatching, real-time driver tracking, driver app, automatic customer alerts, customer feedback, proof of delivery, management of fleets and cash, and our top-notch analytical tools, GetSwift offers an all-in-one delivery route planning software that will take your delivery business to the next level.
A courier is someone who transports packages, documents, letters, and news from place to place. The need for the dissemination of information has existed since the dawn of humans. Thus, couriers have been around for thousands of years. In early history, the first couriers were runners who were trained to run long distances to deliver news, legal summons, love letters, military orders, and many other types of messages.
One of the most famous couriers of all time was Pheidippides who ran all the way from Marathon in Greece to Athens to tell the others that they had defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in the Greco-Persian war. The story goes that upon delivering the message, Pheidippides died. The distance that he ran, 26.2 miles, became our modern-day marathon named in honor of this event.
Courier services are still indispensable in the world, even with the power of the internet. Today, courier services consist of drivers who deliver packages to said destinations. The most well-known of these are UPS and FedEx. In order to deliver these packages timely, a powerful courier delivery software should be employed, such as those offered by GetSwift.
GetSwift offers the best courier delivery software for your courier business. Courier companies can really be any company that delivers items to others; however, most of the time, courier companies are those who deliver messages, packages, and letters from person to person or from business to business. With the internet, many small courier businesses are opening their doors, endeavoring to offer superior customer service over the big guys. However, in the courier business, on-time delivery, undamaged goods, and the correct order is still king. For that, you’ll need us. Call today!
What is Courier Delivery Software?
Courier delivery software streamlines the package delivery business to ensure your startup or small to medium-sized business is operating efficiently so that you are maximizing every penny. While this can be done the “old-fashioned way,” such as with spreadsheets and data entry, if you want to stay competitive, you will have to invest in technology, specifically courier delivery software.
What Courier Delivery Software Can Do for Your Business
The automation of tasks. For example, many businesses or people require recurring deliveries. Thus, when you can automate the same packages to be delivered each week, you’ll eliminate the need to re-enter this information week after week. Furthermore, by allowing your customers to input their own orders with a user-friendly interface, the order entry will part will be eliminated for you, leaving you to focus on the packaging and delivery portion.
Tracking. Tracking orders is crucial to the courier business, as you need to know where your orders are at each stage of the delivery process. This allows you to track and analyze delivery inefficiencies, as well as which routes are profitable and which are not-so-profitable.
Optimizing routes. Once you can track your packages, you’ll be able to optimize your delivery driver’s (or whatever your chosen delivery method is) route. Route optimization is truly where the power of the courier delivery software comes into play. If you are wasting gas money by having your driver drive all over town and by paying them extra to drive all around time, you will quickly lose not only customers when deliveries are late, but you’ll also lose money, which affects the bottomline.
Specialization. Many smaller courier companies are breaking into the courier business by specializing. Companies such as food delivery services specialize in delivering food items to customers, or grocery delivery services only deliver groceries. These companies can create a niche not only in their chosen market, but also by utilizing courier delivery software to offer superior services than the bigger guys in town. By delivering items that bigger companies can’t due to the expense (coffee delivery, anyone?), you can quickly grow, expand, and create jobs in your local community, making a difference in the lives not only of your customers, but also in the lives of those you employ.
GetSwift is Your Go-To Company for Courier Delivery Software
Courier delivery software can take your courier business to the next level quickly. In the 21st century, if you are not utilizing technology in every way you can, you can bet your competitors are, which is where you can quickly lose ground, lose money, and fall behind.
GetSwift offers the best courier delivery software solutions, including route optimization, that can take your business from a mom and pop to a full-blown courier business with multiple locations and many employees. UPS was founded in 1907 in Seattle by two teenage boys who delivered packages on foot and by bike. Everyone has to start somewhere; GetSwift can be your somewhere.