Last mile looking ruff?
‘How e-commerce requires you to choose your last mile partners with care’
It’s peak hour traffic on a Thursday night in Melbourne and you have wine to deliver to the Rialto and your next drop is Collins Place. With traffic averaging a speed of 4.6km/hr, it could take you between 15 and 26 minutes to drive from one end of Collins Street to the other. Your van has the fuel efficiency of an F1 car at Albert Park but without the speed, your driver’s blood pressure is through the roof and there is no parking at 6 Collins Street, where Belinda in accounts is sober on her birthday and is seriously cranky, swearing never to do business with you again. Sound familiar?
With the proliferation of e-commerce vendors servicing a growing customer base of tech savvy millennials, this has the potential to get a whole lot worse if you are not on top of your game. Customers are demanding rapid delivery of their goods to places other than their home. As e-commerce gains momentum there is no shortage of new entrants into the market armed with the latest innovations to service the last mile delivery task, but the increase in participation is adding to the congestion. Adding to this pressure is controlling costs, when most operators are compelled to offer a free delivery/free returns policy, which when combined with an average drop of 1.2 parcels per stop means that the margins have never been tighter at a time when customer expectations have never been higher.
So what does your delivery vehicle look like? Van, push bike, scooter, drone, robot? Where do you park? Can you park? Do you need to park at all? Are your goods passed over in hand or are they placed in a locker? Is it secure enough, cold enough, close enough? Do you have access 24/7? Are you using optimal routes and can Belinda in accounts change her order yet again as ‘marketing’ have crashed her party?
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
When your attention is needed to oversee many core business activities there is no point contracting dedicated delivery experts to then end up rectifying the mess they leave in their wake when they are not up to the task. At it’s best it’s inefficient and at it’s worst it will hemorrhage dollars from your bottom line.
Key to success in the last mile is making the right choice in selecting your contractors and the proficient execution of contract negotiation. It is critical to have people who are ready willing and able to work in the e-commerce space. Successful last mile is going to require complex, symbiotic relationships and your partners need to possess a mindset that is open to collaboration with both internal stakeholders and competitors alike.
Ask yourself where is the evidence? Can your contractors demonstrate?
- A readiness to adopt new ideas
- The right technological capabilities
- The agility to cope with change
- Responsiveness to all stakeholders
- Routing that prioritizes your items in their ‘cart’
- A schedule that meets your customers expectations
- The visibility and tracking that customers demand
- The right price
Ensure your last mile delivery task offers a seamless and pain free experience for your customers while minimising costs and eliminating inefficiencies to your business.
Five powerful areas where Siecap can help:
- Customised analytics and modeling for optimal performance of your delivery task
- Show you how to reduce the high costs associated with last mile
- How to harness existing assets and relationships
- Advisory on future trends
- How to retro fit your delivery model to meet e-commerce demands
You tell us: What is your experience of the last mile in your city? Please share your experiences and if this is the conversation you need to have hit like and let us know!