Flash sale events! How to win the last mile on days like Black Friday or Thanksgiving
What’s with same-day or next-day deliveries? Well if you have worked in an eCommerce or a retail logistics team, you would definitely understand the hustles and chaos you must have went through on ‘Singles Day’, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Thanksgiving’ or any other such day.
But moving on to more serious things, quick deliveries related to flash events, especially for retail and e-commerce, must run on a very strong logistics setup. And this logistics setup must be infused with the latest tech to bring it to speed with current requirements and customer expectations.
With any shipment or package, there’s always a sender and a receiver, the urgency, and need for logistics movement visibility are high on either side. There must be a system that lets you plan and track every shipment coming in or going out, down to every minute. Well, there is such a system that helps the sender, manufacturer, retailer, e-commerce player, logistics provider, last mile specialist, and the receiver.
Let’s start at the beginning, you just want to have a package sent out and delivered ASAP. You go on to your retailer, or for this scenario, on an e-commerce website. Now consider that the package gets delivered right on time, and all is well with the sender and the receiver.
Here’s what happens in the background to make this success (or avoiding mishap) story possible.
Moving the shipment from the CPG/Manufacturer/Retailer
Once the order is placed (by you), it’s sent to the pertinent warehouse/hub of a CPG (consumer packaged goods), manufacturer, or retailer. Now, there’s a flood of orders coming in (by people who want to send last minute packages) which is leading to unusually high volume for the logistics manager, let’s call him Tom.
LogiNext leads the world in complete logistics optimization using advanced machine learning algorithms and intricate, as well as robust, planning engine.
Our load balancing and capacity optimization indicate that Tom would need more trucks than previously believed. Earlier, this would result in delayed deliveries, but no more. With predictive analytics in place, Tom would know, even before the order flow goes beyond bounds, that extra market-sourced trucks would be required to match the load.
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Here, the rate and contract management protocol within LogiNext’s system highlights exactly which vendor should be chosen with details down to the available capacity of each fleet type (whether a reefer or flatbed truck is required). Tom can go for different vendors in different regions to further cut down on lead time and logistics costs, managing all contracts from a single planning screen.
This same consolidated planning screen sets perfect allocation (right package/order to the right truck/driver) in place and subsequent immediate dispatch.
On the road, but on-track all the time
There are hundreds of shipments moving out of various hubs across the country. On the road was initially considered out of hand. Open-ended communication like ‘Out for delivery’ left everything to the imagination. The sender would be on tenterhooks and the receiver would be down with anxiety, and all the while the logistics provider would be guessing and hoping.
However, with LogiNext’s tech clearing up this fog of uncertainty, Tom can track all the logistics movement live as it happens on-ground. Tom can even plan changes or assign ad-hoc pickups (if required) to live trips (en-route shipments). Everything from planning, tracking, allocation, and communication are all live on the same screen, across territories and time zones. This means that in case of any unforeseen delay, Tom can immediately plan for an alternative to minimize its impact.
The receiver and the sender can also track exactly where the shipment is (as it moves) from their smartphones.
Creating the perfect on-time delivery experience, each time
On to the last mile. Some call this last or final mile as the most complex leg of logistics, with good reason. There’s a lot of moving variables, especially with thousands of addresses to deliver to, often with limited drivers/resources. This, initially, led to failed or missed deliveries which were pushed to the next day. But the next day isn’t valentine’s day. Even otherwise, the shipment needs to reach at the exact time it was promised. It’s all part of creating the perfect delivery experience.
As it was for the trucks at the hub, the high-volume due to flash events (including discounted sales) must be managed with the available resources. LogiNext’s industry-leading delivery route planning engine is a savior here for the sender, receiver, and the last mile logistics provider.
The last mile logistics manager, let’s call him Bob, would know exactly when the shipments are coming into his (intermediate) hub. Now, this delivery center would need to dispatch packages on their ‘final mile’. Bob would use LogiNext’s planning engine to create perfect delivery routes, factoring in live traffic and other city conditions, with accurate ETAs for each package. Bob can plan down to each territory and zip code, assign the package to the right driver with in-depth knowledge of a specific locality.
The speed and accuracy of planning, with advanced capacity optimization, would mean that all the packages are ‘out for delivery’ immediately. The delivery routes are updated on each driver’s delivery app (TrackNext) with live map interface to guide them quickly to their planned next destination. This location/address mapping is accurate down to 3X3 meter grids giving 98%+ accuracy in each case. No more calling the receiver for directions.
The driver would reach the destination on-time, take-in the necessary validations like proof of delivery, right through the delivery app which would sync it back to the system immediately. Here, Bob, Tom, and the sender would know it immediately when the delivery is made and the receiver’s feedback (the feedback part would be only relevant to Bob and Tom).
All’s well that end’s well, and that’s why the right logistics technology, especially last mile, makes Bob, Tom, the sender, and the receiver very happy.