Customers nowadays demand fast and reliable delivery services despite last-mile difficulties. Learn how businesses can enhance their service by entailing delivery management systems!
With the increasing demand for fast and flexible delivery services, businesses are turning to digital solutions which allow them to scale operations while attaining healthy profit margins. There are several ways where daily workflows could be automated, from managing orders to scheduling deliveries and collecting payments. Each of these components makes up your business’s entire end-to-end logistics operations. A good logistics solution should consider all these; only then it would be able to drive your business forward.
This article will explain what a Delivery Management System is, how you can improve on your current operations and how an implementation of a software could help your business.
What is a Delivery Management System?
A delivery management system is a process of transporting finished goods from one location to another. Any businesses which deliver goods from point A to point B would have a system in place to ensure that the goods are delivered safely in a timely manner. For shipment directly to end customers, it is strongly intertwined with the last-mile fulfilment process.
Now that you understand what a delivery management system is, the next thing you should know is that it could be automated or digitised using an IT software. This software is known as delivery management software.
What is delivery management software?
A delivery management software generally encompasses the features to automate and streamline an entire delivery process. It is commonly a cloud-based software where businesses could implement a delivery management software on a computer without any additional procurement of IT infrastructure like physical servers or hard drive storage.
By implementing a delivery management software, businesses can improve the efficiency of their daily workflow, increase drivers’ productivity and enhance their customers’ experience. Apart from your logistics team benefiting from the software, your finance team may find this software helpful to concile delivery orders and payments as well as expedite the invoicing process. As a whole, this software aims to connect standalone processes and remove silos, allowing your entire business entity to have visibility over every single shipment, resource utilization and areas to enhance and improve upon.
Businesses which have not digitized their delivery management system, sticking to paper orders, excel templates and phone calls may fall behind, especially with the increasing demand for fast deliveries. While it is possible to ship several packages manually, it is nearly impossible to handle many orders without the assistance of a delivery software.
Furthermore, returning customers contribute directly to revenue gains. When customers are satisfied with the delivery experience which you are offering, they are most likely to return. Customers want to know their shipment status at any point of time and they would be expecting their orders to arrive on time and in good condition. These constitute a good delivery experience so the next question is how?
Key features of an excellent delivery management platform
As explained previously, delivery management software is crucial for a business to manage delivery processes by integrating end-to-end delivery processes. However, not all delivery management platform provides comprehensive services to support your logistics operations. But don’t worry, we’ve prepared a list of the features you should look out for when finding a suitable delivery software for your business.
Feature #1: Order Management with Bulk Creation
If you are handling orders coming in from phone calls, emails, websites, and physical forms, this feature from delivery management will allow you to consolidate all orders into one platform. In some cases, you would receive multiple orders from the same customer, so having a bulk order creation can be very convenient and save hours of manual entry work.
Feature #2: Route Planning and Route Optimisation
Logistics managers and dispatchers spend a lot of time planning out delivery routes every day, coordinating with customers, delivery partners and their own fleet of drivers. A delivery management platform with a route planning feature will reduce their daily planning time and boost efficiency. Although route planning may appear simple, this process entails more than simply determining which direction is the shortest from one point to another.
The following factors are to be considered:
- Vehicle type and capacity
- Size and quantity of goods
- Drivers’ schedule
- Pick up/drop off locations
- Delivery time window
- External factors like weather conditions and road traffic
A good delivery management software would enable dispatchers to key in all these parameters and sequence each leg of the delivery with ease. Apart from having a delivery route that makes sense, businesses also look for cost-effectiveness in their logistics operations. A delivery management software should ideally have an option to optimise these routes using a smart dispatching algorithm. When routes are optimised, the delivery fleet can achieve shorter delivery times, contributing to lower fuel costs.
Feature #3: Real-time tracking
Real-time tracking is a critical feature when choosing delivery management software. With so many unforeseen changes in a delivery process, the platform would need to be robust enough for a business to know what is happening in real-time. The fleet location should be visible at any point of time as well as the shipment status of each order. This information would allow a dispatcher to make last minute changes to make on-time delivery without making endless calls to delivery drivers asking for their location and shipment status
With live tracking, businesses are also able to provide their customers with the status of their shipment. More elaboration on this in the next point.
Feature #4: Notifications and alerts
The delivery experience is the cornerstone of happy customers, and happy customers generate brand loyalty. Customers are used to getting information online at any time and anywhere. By opting for a delivery management platform that provides shipment statuses through email notifications and SMS alerts, businesses would be able to decrease inbound enquiries by customers and reduce failed deliveries. Imagine how much time and cost you could save by having a simple automated notification system and still delivering an Amazon-like experience.
Feature #5: Driver mobile app with GPS navigation
A major part of a delivery process involves the delivery drivers. A good delivery management software should integrate the drivers’ daily workflow into the platform. Typically, the software should include a delivery mobile app in iOS and Android which can be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Do check with the software vendors if the delivery app has these functions:
Task assignment: The delivery app should be able to receive delivery orders, and drivers should be able to accept or reject them. At warehouses, drivers should be able use the app to scan shipping labels to automatically assign shipment to themselves.
GPS navigation: Once a task is accepted, drivers would normally use a GPS device or a GPS app to navigate around. There should be an in-app GPS navigation function with a delivery driver app that follows the optimised delivery routes.
Chat and call function: This function will enable more direct and clear communication between the dispatchers and the drivers. Should there be an issue with the delivery, the drivers could also call the customers directly with the call function within the app.
Electronic proof of delivery: Upon successful delivery, the collection of ePODs should also be made available through the driver app. Read on to find out more.
Feature #6: Electronic proof of delivery (ePOD)
Proof of delivery is beneficial in proving that a package was successfully delivered by the driver and received by the consignee. A lot of businesses are still using paper proof of delivery, but a good delivery management platform should provide ePOD as it offers many advantages.
Collection of ePOD will also shorten the billing process because once an ePOD is reflected in the platform, your finance team would be able to send an invoice to the customers on the very day.
Feature #7: Analytics dashboard and reporting
A live dashboard which offers insights into a particular leg of delivery, an individual item or shipment status for a company or location. Your team would be able to make informed decisions to make timely deliveries. A good delivery management software should also have a reporting function to better understand key performance indexes like the number of successful deliveries vs failed deliveries, fleet capacity vs demand, etc.
Feature #8: API integration
For many businesses, especially retailers, integration is vital as delivery orders are coming in from multiple places. A delivery management software should have an option to integrate ecommerce apps like Shopify, WooCommerce as well as communication apps like MailChimp and Twilio.
Larger businesses which own existing systems should also be able to use a delivery management platform through API integration, building the functionality into their existing platforms.
Feature #9: Partner Management
Manufacturers and retailers often have multiple delivery partners, and this feature would enable a high level of collaboration. It is seamless and efficient that manufacturers and retailers may want to opt for a delivery management platform that offers a partner management feature.
Feature #10: Cloud-based platform
Adopting an IT solution can be a very daunting task, but it is made easy with cloud-based delivery management software. There is no procurement of physical infrastructure, and no technical support team is necessary. With just a computer, businesses are able to implement cloud-based logistics software in a matter of days. Storage and accessibility are managed in the cloud, so as long as the vendor uses reputable cloud servers like AWS, Google and Microsoft, security compliance and data privacy are taken care of.
Feature #11: White labelling
A delivery management software typically allows businesses to customize their platform with their company logo, company email and tailored notifications. This activity is known as white labelling. It increases branding among their own customers.
How does a SaaS-based Delivery Management Software work?
A SaaS-based delivery management software will lease the copyright to businesses, providing services on a monthly or annual subscription. When you opt for a SaaS platform, the vendor is responsible for platform maintenance. Any bug fixes request could be submitted to the vendor at no additional costs.
Sometimes, a vendor might share their product roadmap with you so you could anticipate new feature additions which come with your subscription. Should a business intend to scale up operations in another country, all that is needed is a new subscription and the new country will be up and running with no downtime involved.
What are the benefits of the Delivery Management Software?
A vast number of orders can overwhelm a business especially if manual data entry is performed on paper, excel sheets or WhatsApp which are not explicitly designed to manage delivery orders. Digitizing order management would allow businesses to manage high volumes of orders more efficiently.
When daily workflows are manually done, it is limited by resource capacity. Increase of headcount is inevitable when the business is processing a high amount of phone calls, texts and emails from delivery drivers and customers. With a delivery software, important workflows are automated into the platform and mobile app, reducing time and resources needed to manage inbound enquiries.
A delivery management solution could reduce human errors, negatively impacting order fulfilment. There is a high dependency on a dispatcher to plan out delivery routes manually with pen and paper and numerous phone calls to ask for drivers’ availability. It takes just a simple mistake like assigning a small van to pick up a large bulky item to cause a late delivery. Providing your team with the right tools will boost performance and greater job satisfaction.
The real-time tracking feature in a DMS is important for businesses to gain visibility of their entire logistics operations. Information at hand enables quick resolution of issues, resulting in a smooth and efficient delivery process. End goal is to always deliver a good experience to customers as customers equals revenue.
Why should you choose Yojee as your delivery management solution?
Yojee provides bespoke solutions for the world’s largest 3PLs, freight forwarders and e-Commerce companies, helping our customers to automate and orchestrate their logistics operations, providing end-to-end visibility of first, middle and last-mile operations.
As competition increases, businesses could differentiate themselves and accelerate growth by equipping their logistics division with the latest technology in supply chain and logistics.
We created a SaaS solution so that we could share the technology with businesses of any size. We work together with our customers to reduce costs, streamline day-to-day operations and improve delivery experience for their customers
Our range of logistics solutions seamlessly integrates with our customers existing systems as well as with their downstream partners With the analytics dashboard, our customers are able to leverage real-time analytics to make data-driven decisions, achieve transparency and unlock operational efficiency.
We take pride in empowering our customers to increase operational efficiency and boost profitability by leveraging our best-in-class enterprise solutions.
We help businesses in digital transformation, providing customer centric solutions and technology innovation, in hopes to see our customers grow across different markets and industries.
Helping businesses overcome their complex supply chain challenges has always been Yojee’s core value. We connect land freight players through our proprietary platform, providing real-time shipment data and enabling seamless communication between customers and shippers.
Since our founding in 2016, we have worked alongside multiple companies, including Freight Forwarders, the world’s largest 3PLs, global eCommerce, and SMEs, to develop logistics solutions that meet their specific needs.
Some of these businesses are in need of a supply chain visibility platform, transportation management software or last-mile delivery solutions. Yojee logistics software enables collaboration between land freight players while accelerating the movements of freight. All this we do with one goal in mind: fewer carbon emissions and sustainability.