Most logistics and transportation managers are fully aware of the last-mile problem when delivering products to customers/end-users. This may be the most crucial part of the entire delivery process as it directly affects customers, and yet it is also considered a problematic bottleneck by logistics experts.
Nowadays, many distribution managers of big FMCG corporations in Vietnam, who are responsible for a delivery fleet of hundreds of vehicles, are seeking assistance from smart last-mile delivery management software to solve this problem. However, while it is not difficult to find available options, it might be a headache to make a well-informed decision about which software is the best and most suitable for their enterprise. In order to help our readers, we have listed below 4 key features to look for when choosing the best last-mile delivery management software.
1. Automated and optimized route planning
Good route planning software must have an intelligent algorithm to take into account the unique characteristics of the user’s city and its transport modes. For example, it is very important for truly effective last-mile delivery management systems such as vRoute to understand and integrate a very special feature of Vietnamese traffic – motorbikes – into its programming. In Vietnam, with the prevalence of motorbikes, many streets are not even built for access by cars, let alone trucks. Small deliveries in Vietnam are mostly done by motorbikes as this type of vehicle has a much higher level of mobility and accessibility, while larger truck shipments will have to be assigned different routes. An intelligent route optimization algorithm will analyze local maps, as well as attributes of each and every mode of transport, to produce the best delivery route possible for each shipment.
2. Mobile and external integration
Modern managers are busy people who sometimes can’t even grab a cup of morning coffee before being called to an urgent meeting. Yet they still want to and have to stay absolutely on top of everything that is happening in their companies. Therefore, the truly smart systems of today’s technology must always be accessible remotely. vRoute is one example of such highly flexible software as it can be accessed from your computer as well as mobile devices. In addition, it can also be seamlessly integrated with any of your existing systems such as ERP, TMS, DMS, etc. This will definitely help lessen the burden on company executives who don’t want to handle too many independent applications and further complicate their jobs.
3. Real-time tracking
One reason why mobile integration is important is because state-of-the-art last-mile delivery management systems always feature real-time tracking of all ongoing trips. Highly-organized distribution managers and customer service officers will need to stay up-to-date with the progress of their deliveries so that they can promptly respond to customers and/or react quickly in case something happens. Software like vRoute will allow you see the exact locations of all your shippers and their estimated times of arrival. Most importantly, real-time tracking can alert you if a vehicle in your fleet diverts from the planned route or stops for too long at a gas station. Instead of the tradition method of picking up the phone and calling the driver to see where he currently is after a customer calls in to ask angrily where the package is, you can now easily monitor all deliveries in real-time, anticipate problems and act accordingly.
4. Comprehensive history and reporting system
With the traditional manual documentation of deliveries, you would probably have to input all the data of each trip into a spreadsheet by yourself and spend time to organize them into a presentable report. Once you have decided to let a last-mile delivery management software do the main job of managing deliveries, you can of course expect it to also be a digital folder of all your trips’ details. Moreover, vRoute, among other such intelligent software, can automatically produce professional reports from stored records.
The last-mile problem in this age of technology has called for innovative solutions. Therefore, when faced with too many available options, a well-informed logistics manager will have to be aware of the most important features they should look for. Last-mile delivery management systems should be customized to each region’s unique attributes, just like how vRoute is specifically designed for the Vietnamese market. This software will help businesses with logistics operations maximize distribution efficiency and minimize costs.