Businesses of all sizes use delivery management software (DMS) to keep tabs on their logistics processes such as route planning, courier tracking, and reporting.
Route optimization algorithms that come with DMS help you better utilize resources, optimize costs, and make data-driven decisions. Other tools, like delivery driver apps, automate manual tasks and facilitate real-time visibility.
Moreover, delivery tracking software helps improve customer satisfaction by building communication shortcuts and promoting self-service.
In this article, we'll talk in detail about the five ways in which delivery management software can help you stay ahead of the competition and grow your business, whether you run a small in-house operation or manage a large delivery fleet.
1. Cut operational costs
It can be a real pain to plan multi-stop delivery routes. So many things need to be considered: vehicle type, cargo weight and volume, time slots, and so on. Route optimization is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of your operations.
Unlimited stop routing
With multi-stop routing, you can find the most efficient way to get to multiple destinations. This allows you to optimize your couriers’ time by combining multiple delivery points and finding the quickest way to visit them.
This feature is beneficial for businesses that need to fulfill many orders daily. With multi-stop routing, you can reduce delivery costs and complete more orders with the same resources.
Map-based planning allows you to pick delivery points directly on the map to build routes on the fly. Being able to pull addresses from the map can really speed things up.
In a drag-and-drop interface, moving orders between routes is a matter of seconds. Your route optimization algorithm will work its magic and build the best route incorporating all the addresses.
Delivery time slots
Delivery time slots help build routes around the time windows indicated by your customers. With this setting enabled, customers are guaranteed to receive their orders at a convenient time.
This feature increases customer satisfaction and reduces the rate of failed deliveries. As a result, first-attempt delivery rate improves, logistics execution becomes more efficient, and last-mile costs go down.
Multiple trips & depots
Route optimization software can process multiple routes per driver per day, which is especially useful if you offer on-demand delivery. If you use more than one storage facility, it helps to have a warehouse directory with all your locations.
Route planning software considers driver schedules and breaks so couriers work in compliance with all regulations.
Pro tip: Consider the driver's home location feature when researching route optimization apps. Starting and/or ending routes at the driver’s home address will help you cut billable hours and fuel costs.
2. Ditch extra hardware
Hardware costs can pile up, especially in a multi-user, multi-vehicle operation. One thing you can do to streamline your logistics processes is go for an all-in-one delivery driver app that replaces many devices.
Electronic logging device (ELD)
Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, are devices that truck drivers can carry on board of their vehicles to record data on vehicle operation and hours of service (HOS).
Trucking companies have traditionally relied on ELDs, but more and more operations are now using delivery driver apps to track driver hours and mileage.
Delivery driver apps can be just as useful as ELDs. A driver app installed on a smartphone is all you need to track hours of service and monitor the rate of on-time deliveries.
It is easy to make mistakes when managing delivery operations, especially when you need to fulfill many orders within one route. A wrong package delivered to the right customer is a classic delivery mistake. One that extends service time, inflates last-mile costs, and lowers customer satisfaction.
By implementing load and delivery confirmation workflows using a barcode scanner, the number of delivery mistakes can be reduced to zero. A scanner can be a part of your delivery driver app, which means you don’t need to invest in additional devices.
With a QR and barcode scanner, couriers can double-check packages and items upon arrival. This is especially useful for contactless delivery, where the package is left at the customer's doorstep.
A shipping label is a document that has all the critical information the courier needs to complete the delivery.
- Name of the recipient.
- Name of the shipper.
- Delivery address.
- Contact phone number.
The good news is that delivery management software is all you need to generate multiple shipping labels at once.
3. Eliminate returns
The driver app in logistics is as crucial as the dispatcher's dashboard. Both must be in perfect sync to power seamless delivery operations.
In the previous section, we looked at the ways in which using a built-in barcode scanner can help you reduce delivery mistakes to zero. Eliminating returns is a natural extension of this process.
Load & safety checks
Using a delivery driver app, couriers can perform load checks to make sure all packages are loaded in the correct order. This feature is essential for avoiding damage during transit, consequently reducing returns.
Vehicle safety checks, on the other hand, help prevent accidents and delays during the delivery process. By using a digital safety checklist, your drivers can run proactive maintenance, helping you reduce repair costs in the long run.
GPS navigation is a crucial feature for delivery driver apps as it allows couriers to quickly locate the customer's address and deliver on time.
The best part of using delivery management software with a driver app is that your drivers can quickly switch between different GPS navigation apps, making the most of their options.
Connection problems can slow down any delivery process. When dispatchers are at the office and drivers are on the road, you need to keep track of operations even when the connection is down.
The best way to solve this problem is by using delivery management software that works offline and sync data between the driver app and the dispatcher system once the connection is back up.
Proof of delivery
Electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) apps allow drivers to capture e-signatures, photos, and other essential information to confirm successful deliveries, including contactless deliveries. Having an ePOD workflow helps eliminate delivery mistakes and minimize returns.
The outcome of an order fulfillment process is not as binary as Delivered or Failed. There’s many shades of grey in-between, and it’s important for your couriers to have the tools to document all order statuses.
Advanced delivery driver apps can capture partial deliveries and overdeliveries. By entering the actual number of items delivered/collected, couriers can keep track of any damaged items.
Reasons for rejection is another feature that can assist you in managing failed or partially delivered orders. DMS allows dispatchers to customize the list of reasons for rejection and enable couriers to add a custom note when needed.
To make the courier's job easier and minimize the rate of returns, some delivery driver apps support redelivery of orders.
This feature allows the driver to redeliver an order on the same day in case there’s been a mistake or additional items need to be delivered for the order to be fulfilled.
Curious about automated data extraction from documents?
4. Implement self-service
Customers contact delivery services frequently to check on their orders. You can use automatic customer notifications to eliminate calls and empower customers to track their orders independently.
A self-service workflow will reduce service costs and boost dispatcher productivity.
SMS and email notifications
Most delivery management apps send delivery status updates via SMS, email, or both. You can customize your messages and whitelabel all notifications for consistent branding. However, you need to make sure to use a DMARC generator to keep your domain safe and provide a secure experience for users.
Customers rely on these alerts to track orders and plan their time accordingly. SMS and email notifications will update customers on every step of the delivery process.
Customers can be alerted of the following changes in order status.
- Order confirmed.
- Order shipped.
- ETA calculated.
- Order delayed/canceled.
- Courier en route.
- Order next in line.
Live tracking and ETA
Delivery management software is incomplete without the live tracking feature. When live tracking notifications are enabled, customers get a real-time tracking link by email or SMS.
When your customers know exactly where their drivers are, they won't need to call or email you for status updates.
5. Optimize processes
Businesses need to keep track of the number of completed, failed, on-time, and delayed deliveries to improve their performance. When it comes to streamlining your logistics operations, analytics is your best bet. If you want to make the most of your resources, you need to have reliable reports and analytics.
With delivery driver software, you can access real-time analytics as well as historical performance reports. Advanced delivery management software will allow you to export different types of reports depending on your needs.
- Stats per driver.
- Route summary.
- Overview of orders.
- Overview of items.
- Route costs.
- Costs savings.
All data is usually exportable in CVS, PDF, or JSON formats. Most delivery management software will let you customize the data fields and select the KPIs you want to display.
Delivery management software is a valuable tool that can automate and streamline a number of manual tasks. It can reduce the amount of hardware you need, eliminate courier mistakes, optimize your operational costs, and improve customer service.
We've given you an overview of how delivery management software can help your business save money and time. You can now find the delivery management tools that best meet the needs of your business.