Mobile technology: improving last mile delivery

Efficiency in the warehouse is all well and good, but there's still more to be done for the end consumer
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By Carl Oxley – managing director, Westcoast Retail 

By Carl Oxley – managing director, Westcoast Retail 

The last mile of any delivery has forever been a bugbear for consumers and distributors alike. Missed deliveries, wrong addresses and customers being out of the house has cost both parties dearly over the years. Being able to properly monitor and offer live updates is going to prove essential to try and reduce failed deliveries and improve our services in this area. At Westcoast Retail, we believe that mobile technology holds the key to achieving this.

Not strictly a new form of tech, mobile technology is nonetheless the most viable way of efficiently monitoring and managing deliveries while they are in transit. As any consumer can attest, being at the receiving end of a missed delivery can be incredibly infuriating. Often such things are due to bad traffic or the driver being unable to find the consumer’s address, issues that are solvable though still an annoyance for the end user.

As in any case, the customer is always key here. However, it’s worth noting that improving the efficiency of the last mile is also very much in the interests of distributors. Not only is customer satisfaction affected and the additional work that goes with rebooking and organising a new delivery, there is an expense that lands at the feet of the distributor. The product sent over will normally end up back at their depot, following which they will need to process the return and reschedule delivery at an additional cost. Repeats of this process will begin to increase costs and turn customers away, leaving every party involved feeling the effects of an inefficient system.

This is where mobile technology fits in. By adopting initiatives such as apps the customer can utilise, allowing them to change delivery times and track the driver, as well as features like nominated neighbours, mobile technology is the most sure-fire way to mitigate any issues moving forward. Such features provide distributors and consumers with more information while products are with couriers to minimise failure, allowing users to manage deliveries and make amendments before the delivery is made.

Encouraging the use of mobile technology by both distributors and consumers is key to cutting down on missed deliveries and maximising first time success. At Westcoast Retail, we integrate various apps into our services and are working with delivery companies to improve their usability and really prove their value to consumers. As long as we continue to see further investment from our side and increasing adoption from the consumers, mobile technology will help us further improve the success of the last mile.

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