Last month, WorkWave Route Manager sponsored Logistics Management's Last Mile Virtual Summit Session. The presenter, Matthias Winkenbach, validated our philosophy - that combining route planning and GPS tracking is not only powerful but essential for a last mile business to run effectively.
Winkenbach, Director of the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab and a Research Scientist at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, addressed last mile hot topics, discussed how last mile businesses can reinvent themselves, and explained how your strategy should evolve.
Don’t worry if you missed the webinar, because we’re sharing our top 10 takeaways that you need to know:
- Make sure that you manage your customers’ expectations. Prove that you can keep your commitments and build your brand’s trust by meeting and exceeding customer’s needs and wants. When they ask for same-day/next day or request specific time-windows, you’ll be able to account for requests within your plans (and do so within minutes).
- Have the tools in place to manage your vehicles more strategically. Plan your day to max capacity by ensuring your vehicles are filled in a smart manner. Wasted space costs money… so plan for every inch. On the flipside - you might want to leave a bit of room for on-demand orders. It’s up to you.
- Use data to improve your route plans. Work smarter and anticipate when you expect to have a surge in orders based on time of day, day of week, or location. With quick insight into a routing analytics dashboard, you can make better data-driven decisions.
- Combine GPS tracking and route planning. Of course it makes sense to keep an eye on how your *perfectly* planned routes are executed. As your drivers go about their day - you want to stay updated on their location, confirm proof of delivery, and view estimated arrival times (ETAs) for upcoming stops. Plus, you can provide visibility to your sales and customer support teams so they have provide accurate confirmation on arrival times.
- Set your operations up to handle mixed-demand routes. When you need to balance planned routes and on-demand requests, you need a logistics tool in place that lets you execute fast. With a mobile app, Route Manager 360, you can plan dynamically and sync updates directly to your drivers in real-time (that means no phone calls necessary)..
- Collect local knowledge and details from your drivers. You might know your territories and delivery areas like the back of your hand, but are you also getting feedback from your team who’s executing the plan? You’ll find out which customers might always keep your drivers late (therefore you need to adjust your plan) or maybe learn about parking issues (which can impact your plan).
- Be realistic. Don’t overcommit. Review your drivers’ performance data or live location (from GPS tracking) and use that to build better plans that will get you there on-time. It’s how you will meet expectations and keep your customers happy.
- Make data accessible to other team members. With eyes on metrics like: on-time arrivals, late arrivals, time spent on orders you can collect real-time route information and compare your planned vs. actual results. You can use this information to learn about peak delivery times, staffing needs, and areas of opportunity.
- Maximize deliveries and minimize costs. Build your drivers and vehicles’ days to capacity and make each minute and mile count. Optimizing your route plans will make your routes more efficient - meaning less miles, less drive time, and more stops/day. With Route Manager, you can expect to improve your plans by 30% and cut down on time it takes to plan. That’s working smart!
- Test out your decisions and see the impact. Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best when you run a new route or expand your territory. With Route Manager simulations planning, you can test route scenarios and reduce headaches in the long run.
WorkWave Route Manager + GPS give you the tools, visibility, and confidence you need to manage your operations.
Want more? Watch the recording or reach out to a Route Manager specialist today to evaluate your last mile strategy.