OneRail is named a Representative Vendor in the 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for Last Mile Delivery Technology Solutions. Seventeen additional vendors were named in the report. “Supply chain technology leaders can use this research to diagnose the market and evaluate solutions,” the market guide states.
The report states: “The last-mile delivery application market is extremely dynamic and fragmented. The evolution of customer demands and new business models have shaped the requirements for certain capabilities in transportation software applications that were lacking in existing solutions.”
The Gartner® research also states: “New digitalization initiatives, the increasing adoption of online shopping, the need to optimize transportation costs, improve the end consumer experience and increase in engagement with the brand are some of the challenges LMD solutions must solve. Pre- and post-purchase processes have been impacted by those challenges, requiring organizations to adopt technology that enables optimized delivery orchestration to provide more comfort, options and a better experience overall to the end consumer.”
The market guide digs into last mile fulfillment considerations like own fleet vs. outsourced fleet, big and bulky, delivery speeds, shipping channels and more, and breaks down each vendor’s last mile capabilities with side-by-side comparisons.
Which providers were listed as Representative Vendors in the report? Gartner® noted that the list isn’t exhaustive — they are simply vendors who are regarded as relevant in the last mile market and were surveyed, having provided researchers with detailed surveys and briefings.
In the report, Gartner® emphasizes the importance of customer experience.
“And while delivery orchestration is an important part of LMD solutions, customer experience capabilities are as important if not more. Customer experience is so critical that some software vendors are deeply specialized in this area, providing solutions that focus on the post-purchase experience,” the Gartner® report states.
In addition to the post-purchase experience, the market guide categorizes the last mile capabilities across the pre-purchase and optimization stages of last mile delivery.
For those looking for last mile delivery solutions that lead to cost savings across the pre-purchase, optimization and post-purchase stages, see how OneRail can benefit you. We’ll tackle those stages one by one.
Offering Pre-Purchase Options Is Critical to Last Mile Success
Whether customers make their entry point via WMS, ERP, POS, e-Commerce, mobile, web, social, call center, catalog, shipping from store or more, an exceptional customer experience begins with setting the stage for success. OneRail’s omnichannel solution removes the friction with a platform-plus-people approach that streamlines last mile delivery fulfillment.
Pre-purchase, OneRail provides the consumer with loads of delivery options. From time-slot selection and carrier selection to mode selection and delivery speed, as well as options for curbside delivery, in-store delivery, white glove delivery and more, providing such breadth of choice leads to a far better customer experience.
Variances in fleet vehicle sizes, accessorial capabilities and service speeds require an entirely different approach relative to more standardized shipping modes like Parcel, LTL and FTL modes.Oftentimes, a customer doesn’t prefer one transportation mode over another; they just want their items when they want them. Other times, it’s important to a customer that a more sustainable option is provided, such as using an electric vehicle.
A critical component of the customer purchase decision is when the delivery will arrive. A delivery service-level agreement (SLA) can range from hotshot delivery to same-day and next-day, all the way to future date and scheduled delivery.
When an SLA is set, you’re making a promise to your customer. And the customer needs to be in the driver’s seat, so to speak. With real-time tracking and visibility, they can see every delivery stop along the way, even for the fastest SLAs. One same-day SLA not standard across the industry is 1- to 4-hour delivery. Many last mile solutions do not offer this crazy-fast delivery speed because it’s not easy to pull off, let alone do well.
But the 1- to 4-hour delivery SLA is second nature to OneRail, whose Logistics Partner Network of 10 million+ drivers across 350 major U.S. cities makes hitting that SLA not only possible, but reliable, as evidenced by OneRail’s near-perfect on-time rate.
Optimizing Your Supply Chain with Delivery Orchestration
The delivery orchestration stage of OneRail’s last mile fulfillment solution is where crucial supply chain optimization comes into play. Shippers don’t have the time or the manpower to make phone calls in every market to find the best shipping rates or the most reliable couriers. With automated rate shopping feature, OneRail has done the legwork, developing relationships with couriers in every available market, so pricing is set before a courier even initiates a delivery, leading to significant cost savings every step along the fulfillment journey.
With an aggregated network of 600+ couriers and carriers coast to coast, OneRail can act as your internal fleet or can supplement your own internal fleet, as well as connect with LTL/FTL, parcel and contracted partners, ensuring real-time unlimited capacity in all major markets. OneRail’s supply chain visibility software with Smart-Matching instantly finds the right vehicle for the right delivery so shippers gain low prices and greater capacity to rapidly scale their businesses.
For example, OneRail’s API won’t match a 2 lb. package with a box truck; and if it finds that SLAs are slipping in a particular market, it can immediately access that courier supply in milliseconds and track it all the way through to proof of delivery (POD), using real-time shipment tracking technology. In short, if a particular driver can’t make the delivery, another one is instantly at the ready.
Real-time tracking is essential to keep the customer in the know, online or through the app. For POD, you’ll want a delivery service provider who confirms that the item(s) arrived on time via the use of a photo, a signature or both.
The Post-Purchase Experience Raises the Bar on Last Mile Customer Experience
While your last mile delivery fulfillment solution could have the world’s best technology, the best last mile delivery tracking goes beyond technology. OneRail’s secret sauce is a mix of technology and the human touch to create an exceptional customer experience.
Shipping optimization software alone can’t make judgment calls when delivery exceptions (ex. traffic, weather interruptions, a flat tire, not being able to locate an address) get in the way of a successful delivery. That’s why having intuitive people trained in logistics making customer-focused decisions on the fly is a huge competitive advantage. OneRail calls this unique offering Exceptions Assist™ — a 24/7 team of U.S.-based logistics experts who tracks every route and vehicle to ensure on-time delivery by getting ahead of delivery exceptions.
OneRail Exceptions Assist™ team members communicate both with the driver and with the customer when the automated delivery risk score indicates that a particular delivery is at risk of not meeting its SLA. This happens in real time and is a powerful way to fully resolve issues before the end-consumer even notices there was a problem.
Another reason shippers might insist on doing their own delivery is because they don’t want their customer receiving messages from a third-party logistics company — it might confuse them. With OneRail, all communications with the end-consumer are branded to the shipper, the customer relationship is always intact, and the shipper’s brand message is carried from end to end.
Any solution worth its salt will also offer up a robust set of predictive analytics, which can influence future decision-making in last mile workflow. Not only do analytics allow shippers to gain clarity on current issues, they also help them anticipate future problems, mitigate risks and improve overall practices. Shippers can also take advantage of real-time net promoter scores that build trust with the end-consumer and ensure carrier compliance. By enabling consumers to rate the drivers and their overall delivery experience, OneRail shippers are gaining 100% control of the customer experience.
If the need for exceptional customer experience, visibility, sustainability and other key business drivers are making it necessary for you to fill in the gaps in your last mile operations, contact us to schedule a demo. OneRail is easy to activate, and any investment you’ve already made in a fulfillment platform is 100% protected, because OneRail integrates with any TMS.
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