Perfecting last mile delivery has had a significant impact on the supply chain, how retailers develop their e-commerce sites and how order fulfillment is completed. Essentially, every part of the consumer experience has been adapted to meet changing expectations due to omni-channel retailing. Let’s explore how each aspect has been affected.

The manual processes of yesterday have been replaced with the automated data collection technology of tomorrow. Field service staff are now equipped with mobile ADC devices that allow them to view changes to deliveries and routes and update order status’. Replacing paper-based processes has improved visibility within the supply chain and improved the overall customer experience during the last mile. These ADC devices are also being used in fulfillment centers to increase the efficiency of order processing. Supply chain operators have realized that if orders are processed faster they can reach the end customer faster.

Retailers have also put a new focus on the user-friendliness of their e-commerce websites. Studies show that easy-to-navigate shopping carts lead to larger and more frequent online purchases. Optimizing these sites can lead to revenue growth. Online sale increases will force transportation providers to adapt to handle last mile delivery volume influx.

To handle these increases and make last mile delivery more effective, supply chain operators are expanding distribution networks by adding smaller scale e-fulfillment DCs on the edge of urban areas. This encourages swift delivery of online and in-store orders. Another way retailers are doing this is with the addition of new courier services. In some of these densely populated areas small parcel delivery is done by bicycle or personal vehicle delivery to avoid traffic congestion.

Increases in technology adoption can also be attributed to last mile logistics requirements. Retailers and their supply chain partners are implementing distributed order management solutions to streamline order fulfillment operations. This is done through custom workflow rules used to automate everyday processes. Supply chain service providers are also utilizing delivery window planning solutions to reduce costs associated to redelivery. And to make the most of their transportation dollars shippers are implementing route optimization and transportation scheduling solutions.

To learn more about how last mile logistics has affected supply chain operations speak to a Datex expert today at marketing@datexcorp.com or www.datexcorp.com .

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