E-commerce sales grew 24.8% worldwide in 2017 over the previous year to reach $2.304 trillion. As the e-commerce industry continues to grow, so too do the challenges in managing delivery fleets.
That’s because the growth of e-commerce sales isn’t only demanding companies deliver more products to more people, it requires that companies provide their customers with a diverse set of choices in how, when, and where they make deliveries.
Some of the challenges facing fleet managers resemble those in years past, but they’ve been amplified as companies add more vehicles and drivers to their fleets. Plus, new problems are arising as alternative delivery options are created to meet new demands.Here we present some of the most common issues of deliveries in the digital era and how to solve them:
Maintain low costs amidst a growing fleet
Managers of fleets big and small have always been pressured to reduce costs year-over-year. This challenge has never been easy to overcome. It’s especially tough to do as companies bring more assets into their fleets. More vehicles and drivers will escalate costs as it comes to fueling, maintaining, repairing, and
A more innovative approach is required to contain costs. Centralizing fleet management onto one platform can bring greater clarity that can help identify inefficiencies across the fleet. A more efficient fleet means fewer errors, such as missed deliveries. This improvement will reduce the need for re-dispatching deliveries, while also cutting calls into customer service. All of which demands fewer staffing hours.
Keeping up with the demand for speed
Today’s digital consumers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery. According to one McKinsey study, nearly 25% of consumers will pay extra for same-day delivery. A smaller percentage would pay more for reliable, timed delivery (5%) and instant delivery (2%).
This trend for faster delivery comes not only from consumers in urban areas but also those in low volume markets. Delivering goods faster in a longer last mile demands e-commerce companies to become more efficient. This demand requires finding ways to improve the process of preparing goods for shipping. It also requires a closer look at route optimization to ensure the right vehicles and drivers are delivering the right products to the right customers.
Simplifying driver dispatching
Drivers are a key element of the delivery chain. If the focus is to improve delivery times and efficiency, companies need to be able to stay in contact with them in real-time. For companies with small fleets, tracking and communicating with drivers can be done with a quick phone call.
A phone call isn’t possible for larger enterprises. More massive, geographically dispersed fleets bring with it unique challenges as fleet managers try to manage their operations. It demands a streamlined and integrated management system that will provide oversight in tracking and communicating with drivers in real time. Aware of their location, fleet dispatchers can assign drivers an additional pick-up along their route. In addition to notifying specific drivers, fleet dispatchers and managers can send all drivers notifications, such as an alert in cases of emergency.
In looking to the future, fleet managers will want to ensure the delivery management software they install today can be scaled for tomorrow. E-commerce will continue its growth trajectory, and consumer demands will continue to evolve. As they do, companies and fleet managers will want to be ready to respond.
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