Can Situational Awareness Technology Solve the Last Mile?

last mile delivery-situational awareness

April 17, 2019

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The last mile logistics landscape is littered with complex challenges. Here’s how situational awareness technologies can streamline the supply chain for efficiency and customer satisfaction.

A popular donut sells out before 9 a.m. A brake pad flies off the shelves. Customers want more, now, but that’s easier said than done. Last mile delivery solutions are meant for situations like these, but currently require time-draining, ad hoc coordination across the supply chain. Here’s how implementing the right technologies could provide a better solution for transportation companies and their customers alike.

 

The Challenges of the Last Mile

Out-of-stock situations mean lost revenues in the short-term, and lost customers in the long run. In these situations, customers turn to last mile delivery solutions — but the solutions of yesterday leave much to be desired:

  • Too much manual communication. Customers, suppliers, and drivers are forced to coordinate through multiple phone calls and emails.

  • Time wasted at every step of the process. Making calls and confirmations, tracking delivery status, and managing the process takes up valuable time.

  • A lack of visibility into each stage of the supply chain. Customers must wait for the truck to arrive to know exactly what is onboard and whether it is on time.
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    Technology Brings Solutions for Last Mile Delivery

    Luckily, there’s a better way. With low-cost IoT sensors, plus the powerful capabilities of a situational awareness platform, all parties across the supply chain can participate in a more streamlined operation and overcome last mile delivery challenges. The following IoT capabilities are just a few examples of how last mile delivery technology can benefit the supply chain:

  • Sensors can help determine availability, keep trucks in proper working order, and ensure that cargo remains in acceptable condition.

  • GIS capabilities can help all stakeholders track delivery status, and help truck drivers calculate best routes.

  • RFID tags can quickly ensure that deliveries contain the right inventory.
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    Why the Last Mile Needs Situational Awareness

    Of course, all the information being generated by these IoT technologies needs to be actionable — otherwise, it will only be a burden. To deliver actionability, a situational awareness platform can integrate real-time data with transportation management software and other systems. Giving stakeholders throughout the supply chain the ability to work from a common operational picture, situational awareness platforms can transform last mile delivery with:

  • Real-time integration of relevant data.

  • A common operational picture, to keep all parties on the same page about delivery status.

  • Instant in-platform communication between all parties.

  • Insights into best routing strategies, delivery times, and more.
  • For more information on how situational awareness technology can solve common last mile issues for retailers, suppliers, and truck drivers, download our infographic: Situational Awareness Technology Brings Agility to the Last Mile.

     

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