The proliferation of technology in the logistics world is undeniable. While the dispatch offices of the past typically included planning boards, maps, and stacks of paperwork, receipts, or log books; these days they’re increasingly becoming rooms full of computers, monitors, and little else. The expanding use of software to manage transportation planning, monitor fleet activity, and to communicate has led many companies to implement Transportation Management Systems (TMS).
While TMS platforms give companies a decided advantage across their full supply chain and logistics operations, they sometimes neglect to include some of the nuanced features included in last mile delivery management softwares like Onfleet. The last mile portion of transportation can be significantly different than the first or middle mile. Last mile drivers are often making considerably more stops, and are interacting with your customers either by phone or text, in-person, or on a doorbell camera. These differences, amongst others, can make it difficult for a TMS software to provide all the necessary tools to perfect last mile delivery. So let’s take a look at 4 reasons why layering Onfleet on top of a TMS can make sense.
In the first and middle mile, the transportation model tends to be relatively rigid. One driver, one vehicle, transporting one trailer-load from point A to point B over the course of hours or days. While this may be happening in volume across a large fleet, the majority of the time drivers are on the road and little action is necessarily required by their dispatchers. This portion of logistics is like a pipe of water flowing along nicely, then the water chaotically sprays out the opening at the end - that opening is the last mile.
Inevitably, the increase in the number of pickups and dropoffs, the interactions with multiple parties, and increased time operating in urban centers means there are many more constantly-changing variables that dispatchers need to react to on an hourly or even minute-by-minute basis. The ability to have constant visibility and make changes on the fly in Onfleet can make a big improvement in the overall delivery experience for everyone involved.
Specialized Route Optimization
The first and middle mile of transportation is achieved quite often by use of FTL - full trailer loads. This means many TMS platforms optimize routes differently than a last mile platform might. This is because optimizing full trailer load routes across longer distances and times requires different considerations than the high velocity nature of last mile delivery.
Onfleet provides the ability to optimize 100’s of deliveries across teams of drivers in minutes; while considering delivery windows, driver schedules and service time, vehicle capacity and type, as well as realtime, predictive, and historical local traffic data. This means you can be confident that your delivery drivers are truly operating at peak efficiency.
Proof of Delivery
In a world where everything feels like it’s being recorded, proving a delivery has been completed can be important. This can make a driver’s life difficult when they need to capture, save, and send a photo; obtain a signature, and update inventory - potentially in multiple systems.
Onfleet’s top-rated driver app (iOS and Android) allows drivers to capture photos, signatures and also scan barcodes for inventory control, right in the app. Regardless of what proof of delivery you require, Onfleet ensures you’re consistently gathering and maintaining this information.
Many dispatchers have a radio or phone in their hand all day long, but what if they didn’t have to spend the day waiting for drivers to either answer or call back?
Onfleet provides easy-to-use messaging tools for dispatcher↔driver, dispatcher↔dispatcher, and driver↔customer (anonymized) communication. Onfleet’s diverse set of webhooks automates the process to provide customers with a tracking page, ETAs, and text messages based on a variety of customizable criteria. This multi-faceted approach to communication means that all parties will be on the same page, producing happier drivers and loyal customers.