OneRail

How Last Mile Logistics Can Transform Product Manufacturing

A product manufacturing factory floor

It’s not news that the Covid-19 pandemic has put a massive strain on global supply chains. Thanks to social distancing guidelines and a big shift toward working from home, consumers started building at-home alternatives to normally external activities. The rush on products like electronics and exercise equipment has upended last mile logistics in product manufacturing. No wonder the critical shortage of microchips became one of the big stories of 2021.

Any huge spike in demand works its way back along the supply chain, and manufacturers without a good grasp of their ordering and shipping processes will feel the pinch. The last mile — your product’s final journey to your customer — is especially crucial. It’s also the most expensive part of the fulfillment chain. Setting up a robust last mile logistics process customized for product manufacturers can save you not just money, but also, time your team doesn’t have to spend tracking down a stray shipment.

Get a Clear View of Last Mile Deliveries

Having comprehensive, real-time visibility into your order fulfillment takes a lot of stress off both your team and budget — especially if you’re dealing with multiple couriers. Without this visibility, you’ll have a harder time figuring out which driver has your shipment, or if it’s en route to its final destination (as opposed to waiting in a hub).

The best way to gain this clarity is with a last mile logistics platform that gives you a central, up-to-the-minute source for all shipment tracking information. Product manufacturing logistics companies will also help you head off exceptions before delivery delays cause problems for your customers. And for unavoidable exceptions (like a big storm slowing travel), it lets you communicate with customers right away and reroute if possible.

Automate Your Last Mile Logistics in Product Manufacturing

Manually processing orders and trying to keep track of them on spreadsheets can eat up a lot of time. For each order you process manually, you can spend up to 16 minutes on comparing shipping costs, finding courier availability and dispatching the order to your customer within your promised time window.

Automation of your product manufacturing logistics will free up a lot of time your team can spend on other business objectives. With a last mile delivery platform, you can pick the right shipping mode for your product, find a courier with the capacity to handle your order and track the delivery from dispatch to delivery. With all of these tasks in one central location, your team can fulfill orders in a fraction of the time they needed for manual ordering.

Another benefit of automating last mile logistics in product manufacturing is that a good last mile platform can show you carrier rates at a glance. Instead of having to call around to find the best prices across your multimodal delivery network, you can rate shop with ease.

Optimize Routes Across Your Carrier Network

If your carrier network includes parcel, courier, LTL, FTL, cross-dock and more, choosing the right mode and carrier can be a big headache.

Keeping costs low and meeting SLAs requires finding both the best carrier and the best route for each delivery. With a last mile delivery solution, this task becomes much easier. Let the software keep track of no-entry windows, potential weather delays and peak traffic times to plot the right course and choose the right carrier for every shipment. A good platform can even alert drivers to changing conditions and reroute them before the delivery gets held up.

Use Data to Your Advantage

If you’ve implemented a last mile logistics solution, it’ll collect tons of data for you. It can show you your number of deliveries per location, SLA completions and average shipping costs, all in a central platform you can make available to key stakeholders. With all of these data points in hand, it’s much easier to see where your fulfillment process is hitting snags and where you can make your operation more efficient.

Basing your supply chain decisions on this actionable data helps you select better couriers and routes so you can focus on other business goals.

Are you in need of last mile delivery solutions for product manufacturers? Contact us to schedule a demo today.

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