How is the world adapting to the use of technology to get its order delivered? The use of online platforms to get orders delivered has seen a drastic rise. As per reports from McKinsey, the global market has doubled its share following the pandemic. Showcasing a growth of over 8%; user-friendly apps, and enhanced tracking experience, coupled with consumer expectations have made the online buying experience much smoother.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal, DoorDash COO explained, “The last mile delivery is a cost-intensive business that is low-margin and scale driven.” Businesses should give proper thought to investing in a delivery management system to ensure seamless operations. So whether customers place orders from an eCommerce platform or their favorite food ordering app, faster delivery is what all customers want.
How are businesses ensuring orders get delivered on time?
Major players have turned towards technology to handle their deliveries. By automating their delivery management system, businesses have ensured to meet customer demands. One of the key aspects that help with on-time delivery is Auto Allocation. This helps businesses meet customer expectations of 10-minute, 30-minute, same-day, and next-day delivery.
How is Auto Allocation helping enterprises with faster delivery?
Auto Allocation or Auto Assignment is the process of handing orders directly to a delivery associate (it can be its own fleet of 3PR Carriers). If the business uses its own fleet as well as carriers, the delivery management system allows it to set a priority to whom the orders are to be assigned.
This is the main pillar for consideration when auto-assignment is used for order assignment. Different types of the time window to be considered during order assignment includes-
Order Pick-Up Time Window: This functionality gets the order assigned to the driver only if the driver can pick up the delivery within the set period. Else, the order will be assigned to another driver.
Order Delivery Time Window: This functionality calculates if the delivery associate can get the order delivered within the set time frame, or else it will look for other drivers.
Order Preparation Time: Want to enhance the ETA calculations of your orders? Order preparation time can be added to ensure drivers can be assigned only after a set period to ensure the order is delivered hot and fresh.
Future Service Time Window: This functionality is ideal for the quick commerce industry wherein it allows the assignment of drivers in a future service time window. For example, if an order is created at 10:00 AM, drivers can be assigned for a later delivery duration window of 1:00 PM- 2:00 PM.
Minimize Time and Distance: This allows the delivery management system to assign drivers to fulfill orders at the earliest (within the service time window) to be assigned first.
Fleet Sharing During Peak Hours: To enhance fleet efficiency, the parent branch can allow fleet sharing with its child branches. What this ensures is that if one of the branches faces higher order requests, carriers from other branches can help meet on-time delivery requirements.
Defining Service Radius: A service territory radius can be set up (in Kms) to assign drivers for specific deliveries. This allows the delivery management system to assign drivers mapped to the defined service area.
Empowering Drivers To Accept/ Reject Orders
When using a delivery management system, giving the drivers the ability to accept and reject orders is a must. This will not enforce drivers to carry out deliveries which they are not keen to carry out.
Accept/ Reject Order Timeout: This enables the time in seconds the delivery associate gets to accept or reject the order. Businesses can set the value of 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and 60 seconds to accept or reject the order.
Maximum Attempts Allowed: This helps define the maximum number of times a delivery associate can reject or take no action on an order. Once the number of attempts is exhausted, the orders must then be manually assigned to get the item delivered.
Broadcasting orders: If orders are not assigned to delivery associates on the first attempt, the orders can be broadcasted to multiple delivery associates. The delivery associates targeted will be the ones that can get the order delivered within the set timeframe.
Intransit Delivery Associates: This allows the delivery management system to assign orders to delivery associates who have already been assigned orders. The orders would be assigned to drivers following the same delivery route. This additionally ensures efficient fleet management.
Skill sets: One of the most overlooked concepts during the auto-assignment is the ability of the driver to fulfill the delivery with maximum customer experience. For example, when you order an ice cream, on delivery, it should still be in the solid state. No one wants melted ice cream delivered. To avoid this, skill sets come into play. Drivers that have specialized carrier bags/ specialized compartments in the vehicle for delivery must be considered.
For those not having their own fleet or using a hybrid fleet, carrier integration can be the best solution to meet faster and more efficient delivery. The carriers too can be assigned based on service time window, and ability to get the delivery done in the fastest and most cost-effective way. Multiple carriers can be integrated and the best carrier based on priority, cost-efficiency, travel distance, and skill sets can be assigned to ensure faster delivery.
Driver Assignment Based on Behavior Patterns
This functionality helps the delivery associate to define parameters to reward or penalize delivery associates based on their driving patterns. For example, if a delivery associate or carrier is assigned orders multiple times. If they keep rejecting, the delivery associate or carrier can be deprioritized. Additionally, the delivery associate/ carrier can also be removed from the auto-assignment list to enhance fleet efficiency. Additionally, if drivers get orders delivered on-time and handle multiple deliveries, they can be incentivized accordingly. The whole experience can be gamified and displayed in the leaderboard on the driver app.
Enhancing Customer Experience
A delivery management system additionally helps with real-time tracking URLs, alerts and notifications, and payments (cash on delivery, payment gateways on delivery). This keeps the customer updated on the order status. Branding profiles can also be sent out via tracking links that showcase discounts or offers. So along with faster delivery, you can be assured to enhance customer experience with an emotional recall/connection.
All these factors are considered when a delivery management system undertakes order auto allocation. This complex operation can be easily handled by technology, reducing manual intervention and errors, and leading to faster deliveries. The last-mile delivery can be daunting and the only way to avoid discrepancies is by automating and digitizing the delivery operations. Empower your deliveries by switching to LogiNext’s delivery management system. Enjoy the benefits of Auto Allocation, Route Planning and Optimization, Carrier Integration, etc., to ensure faster deliveries.
This article focuses on the importance of investing in a delivery management system for faster delivery. It breaks down the auto order allocation working in logistics operations and how it eventually helps enhance customer experience.
Matt Murdock works for a leading SAAS-based platform called LogiNext Solutions. Where he helps businesses optimize their logistics operations and improve their delivery performance. With a passion for innovation and technology, Matt is always looking for new ways to streamline logistics processes and enhance customer experiences. In his free time, he enjoys writing blogs based on his experience in the logistics industry. Happy reading!