Best Last mile Logistics Software

Top Best Last mile Logistics Software

Last mile logistics software, also known as final mile delivery management software, is a category of logistics software that focuses on the final stage of a company’s order fulfillment process.

Last mile solutions handle the final leg of a logistics company’s delivery operation, where orders are routed and moved from a warehouse or distribution center to the customer’s door. Last mile delivery encompasses multiple transportation options, including by air, sea, rail, bike and even by foot. This type of software solution is designed to solve a broad range of challenges that e-commerce companies and retailers often face, such as cost management, scalability, route optimization, visibility and tracking, carrier fragmentation, as well as returns and failed deliveries.

Last mile logistics systems comprise different components to facilitate the last mile delivery process. This includes advanced dispatching, real-time customer updates and proof of delivery. This type of software is often equipped with a plethora of order fulfillment-related functions, all within a unified platform. It empowers e-commerce businesses and retailers to take their delivery services to the next level and ensures improved customer satisfaction by providing customers with access to real-time information about the status of their orders.

Additionally, fleet managers, dispatchers and drivers also rely on last mile logistics solutions for effective communication and to secure the delivery of goods.

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Types of last mile logistics software

The market is filled with different types of software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools that are designed to facilitate the logistics and order fulfillment process, tackling most of the challenges of last mile logistics such as manual routing modifications, inefficient route optimization and poor communication and tracking for customers.

When it comes to the different types of last mile logistics software, you’re talking about the software stack; i.e., the technologies that are working together to deliver a comprehensive set of solutions, effectively addressing every step of last mile logistics, from the warehouse to the customer payment process. The following are some of the basic types of software that you can expect in your last mile logistics technology stack:

  • Delivery management software: This is the core solution in any last mile logistics software and it is the main tool that you’re going to need to efficiently manage your last mile delivery operations. If you’re opting for a standalone last mile delivery management software that combines the appropriate tools for every category of your last mile tech stack, the wrong delivery management solution can be detrimental to the overall performance of your last mile logistics operation.
  • Warehouse management systems (WMS): Businesses that are looking to optimize their last mile logistics operation must take a more holistic approach across all departments and processes, from manufacturing to distribution. With this strategy, a good warehouse management system will play a significant role. A good example of this kind of software is the hybrid manufacturing and inventory management platform, Fishbowl, designed for small and midsize businesses.
  • GPS navigation tools: Apps for GPS navigation are invaluable for the fleet managers and drivers in your last mile logistics team. You want your fleet managers to know exactly where each transport vehicle is in real time and you want your drivers to know where they are and where they’re going to deliver the goods to every customer. A good GPS navigation app plays an important role in this regard.
  • Communication tools: With any operation that involves field personnel and valuable mobile assets, communication is crucial. When it comes to last mile logistics, things can quickly change in mere seconds, which makes having a good communication app all the more important. Communication apps like Slack, Discord and WhatsApp will allow your fleet manager to communicate with the entire delivery team, giving them important traffic updates, route changes and other relevant information.
  • Mobile point-of-sale (POS) systems: For some logistics companies, retailers and e-commerce businesses, the last mile delivery process may involve collecting and processing payments. This makes having a mobile POS system very beneficial and a great addition to the last mile logistics software stack. A good mobile POS system in your technology stack allows you to collect and process payments, ensuring a more efficient order fulfillment process.

With all these apps fully integrated into a unified solution, you will have a comprehensive last mile logistics platform with end-to-end capabilities. It allows for a holistic approach in last mile logistics, from warehousing to payment collection and processing.

How to choose last mile logistics software?

Choosing a last mile logistics solution can be handled by breaking down the process into the three main approaches to last mile logistics software development, which are ready-made out-of-the-box, outsourcing and custom development.

Which type of buyer are you?

Basically, buyers can be divided into three types, those who prefer ready-made solutions, those who want to outsource the last mile logistics and those who want to develop their custom software for last mile logistics.

Ready-made/out-of-the-box software buyers

These are typically small and midsize businesses that just want a template solution that will fit their limited budget and wish to integrate the solution into their existing business processes with as little time and issue as possible. Ready-made SaaS software solutions often have a standard set of features and capabilities right out of the box, with the basic or standard plan. If you want to access more of their functionalities and additional services, you may have to upgrade your subscription to a higher tier.

The downside with this option is that some of them may not offer the features that you’re specifically looking for. In most cases, you may have to go for a more complete package with a higher cost, or find the specific tool you need and integrate it with your existing software. Scurri and Onro are both ideal ready-made solutions for last mile logistics management, as they provide complete delivery management and last mile services for SMBs, right out of the box.

Small and midsize businesses

While several large enterprises will most likely prefer to develop their custom software for brand awareness and loyalty, some may find it more practical and cost-effective to simply outsource the last mile logistics operation using various delivery channels. If you’re a small business owner, managing your delivery fleet or employing full-time couriers may not be a sensible strategy, especially if your daily sales volume is less than ideal to cover your expenses.

In this case, some companies might resort to buying ready-made solutions while others may simply choose to outsource their last mile logistics operation through several delivery channels. The latter option has a variety of methods available for you to choose from if you’re looking to organize the timely delivery of goods to your customers at the most sensible cost possible. Some of these options include parcel carriers, dropshipping, crowdsourced delivery and third-party logistics (3PL) delivery partners.

Large enterprises

The majority of large enterprises will want to develop their custom solution for their last mile logistics operation. Adopting a custom software solution is a good option if you’re looking to facilitate unique or specific requirements that ready-made solutions or outsourcing just can’t offer. It is also ideal if you want a last mile delivery management system that is capable of solving issues and challenges that are specific to your situation.

With custom software development, you and your team can decide how the final product will look and feel. It also allows you to easily scale the software as soon as new features and capabilities become available. While some ready-made software solutions do offer a level of customization right out of the box, you may find that they are limited in certain aspects.

Key features to look for

Depending on your last mile logistics operation, some features might be exactly what you need, while others may not provide any value to your strategy. The following are some of the key features to look for when evaluating different last mile logistics software:

  • Automated route optimization and planning: Having automated route planning and optimization is a fundamental function in any last mile delivery management system, especially when it comes to the software development process. The main objective of this kind of feature is to simplify the optimization and planning of your delivery routes, which in turn reduces travel time and fuel consumption. It also allows your delivery team to maximize order fulfillment daily.
  • Driver management: A comprehensive last mile logistics solution comes with a decent driver management function that allows you to manage your fleet and drivers. It will also help ensure that drivers can easily manage their trips, schedules and routes by getting access to information they need like the customers’ delivery requirements. With driver management, users can also refer to the priority consignments and other relevant information to determine the customers’ preferred slot and time frame for delivery.
  • Automatic dispatch: The auto-dispatch function is arguably one of the most crucial features of any last mile logistics software. It is designed to help make sure that your entire fleet is being utilized efficiently and that each vehicle’s capacity is maximized. In addition, the auto-dispatch feature works to automatically assign tasks to the appropriate vehicle and driver by taking into account several key factors such as experience and driving history.
  • Real-time tracking: Last mile logistics software is no good without a robust real-time tracking feature. This is another core function that is intended to serve both the consignors and consignees. It gives them the ability to keep track of multiple orders in real time, and both parties will receive instant updates regarding the status of orders the moment it changes. The feature ultimately helps minimize the need for contacting customer support services just to check the status of consignments.
  • Smart order allocation: Last mile logistics software leverages different factors such as product type, size and weight to implement smart order allocation. The system also takes into account the destination or the delivery location of customers. This is an important feature as it enables logistics companies and last mile delivery service providers to segregate their orders so they can be assigned to the right vehicle.
  • Proof of delivery: This is a key feature that is designed to prevent misunderstandings, potential fraud and unnecessary hassles when it comes to the order fulfillment process. Today’s delivery management systems implement this particular feature by using geo-coordinates, in-app signatures, timestamps and product images as a form of electronic proof of delivery. This function is invaluable when it comes to handling client complaints, missed deliveries, misunderstandings and other delivery-related problems.

These are just a few of the core features that you want to take into account when deciding which last mile logistics software to purchase. Of course, your decision will ultimately depend on the requirements of your last mile logistics operation.

Functionality to look for

If you’re looking to optimize your last mile logistics and delivery process, there are a few functionalities that you need to be looking for in the software solutions and tools that you’re using.

  • Machine learning and AI: Your last mile logistics software should have the ability to use AI and machine learning algorithms to augment route planning and optimization processes, allowing your team to spend all their efforts on providing streamlined operational workflows and managing exceptions.
  • Predictive data analytics: Last mile logistics software should be able to leverage relevant data to provide transparency to users and ensure clarity to all inefficiencies in the order fulfillment process and the delivery journey. With predictive data analytics as one of its core functions, last mile logistics solutions can also help create predictive models that ensure informed decision-making and continuous improvement.
  • Total lifecycle support: You should pick a last mile logistics solution that supports the entire last mile lifecycle, from the moment the order is captured to the courier selection process, tracking and delivery. This function helps with making sure that your delivery network is properly optimized and it protects your operation against late deliveries and misplaced orders.
  • Quick and easy integration: You should go with a last mile logistics tool that is capable of integrating seamlessly with third-party solutions like warehouse management, supply chain management, customer relationship management and other existing systems in your tech stack. This will provide users with access to real-time information and ensure efficient data sharing.

Important purchase considerations

The primary goal of logistics companies, retailers and e-commerce businesses that handle last mile logistics processes is to ensure higher efficiency at minimal costs. To achieve this, a powerful and feature-rich last mile logistics solution is needed. The following are a few key considerations for purchasing the right software for your last mile logistics operation:

  • Efficient route planning and sequencing: This is important as it can play a significant role in improving your company’s overall performance and efficiency in last mile logistics. Any company that deals with last mile logistics knows that the operation often involves multiple deliveries daily. This is where efficient route planning and sequencing comes in handy, so look for it in your last mile logistics software.
  • Real-time communication: Data insights play different roles in the supply chain and logistics process, but the biggest and most crucial role it performs is to allow immediate action from decision-makers and personnel. Having access to real-time data communication ensures complete visibility and control over both the supply chain and last mile logistics process.
  • Documentation management: With logistics, it’s not just the goods that are being moved. The process also involves moving information, from the capture of bookings, generating orders, packaging and the dispatching of drivers and vehicles to proof of delivery—every step and detail should be recorded and archived by your last mile logistics software.

These are some of the important factors you need to consider when purchasing last mile logistics software. You can add these considerations to the list of features and functionality that you want in your software solution to ensure the best value for your money.

Key takeaways

Whether you’re an e-commerce company, retailer or logistics provider, managing your last mile logistics operation with the right software solution is crucial. Just like any other logistics software, last mile logistics systems are equally complex and should be implemented and integrated into your existing software stack correctly and as efficiently as possible. And the best way to implement last mile logistics solutions is to work with the right provider.

Evaluate your logistics operation to figure out what you need in terms of features and capabilities, look at the functionality of the software and consider other relevant factors before deciding and making the purchase.

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