Last Mile Delivery: How SAP® Integration Optimizes and Enhances It All

Last mile delivery is racing ahead before our eyes, fueled by customers’ insatiable appetite for quicker, greener and more transparent as USA Today highlighted in its recent feature on last mile delivery. Consider the transformation: electric and hybrid vehicles slicing through urban sprawl, micro-fulfillment centers within city cores slashing delivery times, and a broad spectrum of delivery choices right at your customers’ fingertips. Plus, consumers are expecting the ability to track a parcel in real-time, and 78% of shoppers demand delivery within two days.

SAP, a powerhouse in enterprise resource planning (ERP), offers a robust toolkit that, when integrated with innovative last mile solutions like OneRail, revolutionizes how businesses dispatch goods and confront this new era of last mile delivery. With such a strategic alliance setting new industry standards, companies don’t just keep pace but lead the charge in delivery excellence. Through the SAP Store, OneRail helps SAP customers tap into 100% visibility, trim operational expenses by 40 to 70% and accelerate delivery speeds by an impressive 35%.  

Last Mile Delivery Pain Points

Last mile delivery logistics are a speed-meets-satisfaction battleground. As e-commerce booms, customer expectations soar, demanding faster and fully transparent delivery experiences. With the limits of traditional logistics tested daily, let’s unpack how businesses are confronting this increasingly delicate last mile tightrope.

Evolving Customer Expectations

The digital revolution and e-commerce boom have reshaped delivery expectations, escalating demands for speed and visibility. Consider this: nearly 25% of consumers will pay a premium to receive purchases on the same day or even within hours. This demand for immediacy has become the standard, particularly among the younger, digitally savvy under-45 population. With advancements such as real-time tracking, 80% of customers expect to monitor orders from departure to arrival. Quick, trackable deliveries have become a requirement. If a retailer fails to meet these standards even once, 84% of customers are ready to abandon them permanently.

Operational Challenges

But let’s not sugarcoat it: living up to these sky-high expectations feels like trying to find your way through a rainforest blindfolded. The last mile is fraught with challenges like traffic jams, finding parking and, sometimes, identifying the correct address. Now, crank up the intensity because many consumers not only expect packages by tomorrow but within the next few hours. Meeting these unforgiving demands is about mastering the art of logistics by balancing the need for lightning-fast deliveries against the hard truths of budget constraints. And yet, things get even more challenging with customers increasingly pushing the shift toward eco-friendlier modes of transport like electric cars and bikes and sustainable shipping options.

SAP Integration As a Solution

Tackling logistics challenges is an uphill climb, yet integrating SAP with last mile delivery platforms offers a game-changing solution. It’s all about mixing innovative tech and sharp data insights to smooth out operations, boost customer satisfaction and clear the fog with transparency.

Real-Time Tracking and Analytics Unleashed

SAP integration is like giving businesses superpowers for their delivery systems. Beyond keeping tabs on your shipments, it’s about fine-tuning the entire process, from production to delivery, making everything run like clockwork. 

And the best part? Empowering your customers with pinpoint delivery estimates. Rain or shine, crystal-clear visibility throughout the process cuts through guesswork and boosts satisfaction for everyone. Plus, with SAP’s knack for getting different systems like ERP, SCM, and MES to talk to each other, everyone stays in the loop, making collaboration smoother and decision-making sharper.

Automation and Optimization

Through this partnership with SAP and the availability of OneRail’s Last Mile Fulfillment solution on the SAP Store, companies using the following SAP applications will gain the following capabilities:

  • SAP Transportation Management – With this integration, SAP customers can extend their transportation management system (TMS) capability and go further downstream to expand their delivery options. Customers can utilize last mile and rate-shopping capabilities as well as courier selection matching to find other modes for local same-day delivery.
  • SAP S/4HANA – With this integration, SAP customers can quickly implement nationwide same-day delivery. Customers will be able to gain a more holistic view of their business finances — from headcount to delivery spend to planning — all in a single pane of glass.
  • SAP Commerce Cloud – With this integration, SAP customers can process order requests for delivery execution via OneRail’s Last Mile Fulfillment solution, with its aggregated network of 12 million trusted drivers.

Key Considerations for Successful Integration

Integrating SAP with last mile delivery platforms requires a blend of technical finesse and strategic insight. It’s no wonder why; such a fusion impacts everything from inventory management to order processing and customer service and sets the stage for a seamless operational flow. 

Technical Aspects

The secret sauce to SAP integration success? Letting data flow effortlessly between SAP systems and delivery platforms. Think of it as having a crystal-clear window into the journey of every shipment, an up-to-the-minute update on your inventory, and a smooth, error-free process for every order. Imagine the peace of mind of knowing exactly where each item is at any moment and when it will safely land in the hands of its recipient. Beyond making operations run like clockwork, it’s about giving customers a front-row seat to the status of their orders, significantly lifting their satisfaction by keeping them in the loop from start to finish.

However, with great power comes great responsibility — especially regarding data security. Implementing robust security protocols is non-negotiable to safeguard sensitive information from prying eyes. Protecting customer data, financial information and proprietary insights is paramount, guarantees compliance with stringent regulations, maintains the trust of customers and partners, and shields businesses from the potential fallout of data breaches, including financial losses and damaged reputations.

Business Benefits of the OneRail-SAP Integration 

Now that we have covered the fundamentals of SAP integrations, let’s zero in on the standout partnership between SAP and OneRail’s Last Mile Fulfillment. It’s a perfect, real-life illustration of how combining SAP’s solid foundation with companies like OneRail and their nimble delivery solutions can take a business’s operations and customer happiness to new heights. By tapping into the strengths of both entities, it opens up a whole new level of delivery and logistics prowess, and we’ll explain why:  

  • Broader Delivery Reach and Efficiency: SAP Transportation Management’s integration widens the delivery spectrum, introducing last mile logistics, rate shopping and courier matching for quicker, cost-effective local deliveries.
  • Streamlined Nationwide Same-Day Delivery: Leveraging SAP S/4HANA, companies can activate nationwide same-day delivery, offering a unified view of finances and delivery operations for faster decision-making.
  • Efficient Order Processing with SAP Commerce Cloud: Connecting with OneRail’s network of 12 million drivers via SAP Commerce Cloud smooths out the order delivery process, ensuring timely and reliable service.
  • Enhanced Operational Insights: This integration grants deeper visibility into logistics operations, from monitoring delivery costs to optimizing the delivery network, all powered by real-time data.
  • Innovative and Cost-Effective Solutions: Through the SAP PartnerEdge® program, OneRail’s integration with SAP spurs innovation and provides a cost-efficient method to enhance logistics and delivery services.

Wrapping Up: How OneRail and SAP Integration Come into Play  

Integrating SAP’s powerhouse capabilities with OneRail’s dynamic last mile solutions is like unlocking a secret level in the game of modern e-commerce — one where rising customer demands become opportunities, not obstacles. This partnership transforms the mountain-like task of last mile delivery into a standout strength, guaranteeing that businesses not only meet but exceed customer expectations with every delivery.

By tapping into this blend of SAP’s reliability and OneRail’s agility, companies can revolutionize their delivery services. It’s a chance to turn the complexities of modern logistics into a victory parade, showcasing operational brilliance and unmatched customer service. 

Ready to level up your delivery strategy? Schedule a demo with OneRail and discover how your business can thrive. Take the next step and watch your logistics transform from a challenge into your biggest asset.

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