Software for last mile deliveries explained. Part 1: Mobile apps.

In our Software Explained series we’re looking at how software is changing mobility and logistics industries and how this influences the way businesses, customers and partners interact with each other. In part 1 of the last mile logistics series, we’re looking at the role of mobile apps.

Simon Schoen
December 19, 2019
Mobile apps for your delivery fleet act as mobile workstations that support your workforce and help reduce errors.

As an integral part of logistics software, mobile apps have proven to be a powerful tool for logistics businesses, with their ability to provide customers, drivers and operations teams with familiar, easy to use interfaces, that can be accessed and used anytime and almost anywhere. This location independent connectivity allows for the instant transmission of orders, live-data and communication, which opens up completely new opportunities for last mile delivery services.

A fully connected delivery workforce

Dispatching new orders in seconds, tracking the live status of every delivery and quickly updating order details is made possible through dedicated mobile apps for every unit in your delivery fleet. This always-on connectivity is required to enable business models, such as same-hour deliveries, especially in urban environments where local deliveries are time-sensitive.

With the main goal of logistics software being to increase overall efficiency, it’s the job of logistics management tools to increase the transparency of all processes and to reduce blind spots for your operations teams. Whether you are dispatching orders instantly as they come in or creating delivery routes that get assigned to your drivers at the start of a shift, it’s important that you can stay flexible to adapt to unforeseen changes. Delivery apps for your drivers can instantly notify your fleet of any changes, or send them updated order details.

All-in-one last mile operations toolbox

The last mile delivery process should be clearly documented along the way, to enable precise analytics of your logistics operations and so that it’s easy to resolve any questions that might come up after a delivery is completed. Together with a mobile app to record data, the smartphone is a powerful logistics tool that provides additional features, such as GPS for navigation to the next delivery location and in-built cameras to scan barcodes or take pictures that document a deliveries. Additionally proof-of-delivery can be obtained by having recipients sign directly in the mobile app.

To increase efficiency for the last mile of your delivery process, mobile apps also make it easier for your delivery workforce to communicate the live status of ongoing deliveries. Whether they’re stuck in traffic, have just completed a delivery or are currently arriving at the delivery address, drivers can easily communicate their status via a few taps. By providing a standardised process for completing a delivery, you also ensure that no step, such as getting a signature, is skipped by accident.

Always by your customer’s side

The most important part of any delivery software is the system that allows new orders to be created. While this step is in some businesses completed by the operations teams or through web booking apps, a dedicated mobile app for customers can be a valuable asset for increasing customer satisfaction and reducing customer support requests. As customers are already used to ordering things online and shopping on their phones, mobile ordering of deliveries is quickly becoming the new standard in logistics. With technology becoming more democratised, for example through technology providers (such as M-TRIBES), which provide end-to-end software solutions for last mile deliveries, it’s become much easier for businesses to launch their own white label delivery apps for customers.

Not only can customers complete the ordering process from the app, they can also receive live updates of their deliveries or even track the live-location of their orders on a map. Additionally mobile customer apps provide a direct link to interact and engage with customers that require support or have any questions. By utilising targeted notifications and voucher campaigns, mobile apps can also be a great marketing channel to increase customer loyalty.

What’s the best way for logistics companies to launch their own apps?

Mobile apps are just one part of a complex infrastructure that powers digital delivery businesses. The software architecture powering the apps, the servers that receive and process all data and the cloud systems that keep all systems operational 24/7 are just as important in the last mile technology toolbox (stay tuned for part 2 of this series). That is why last mile delivery businesses looking for mobile-first software solutions should consider technology providers that can provide complete systems from the point of creating an order to completing an order on the road.

Delivery software, such as M-TOOLS, uses the latest logistics technology to provide secure interfaces and apps that can be customised to fit the needs of individual logistics businesses. Learn more about our end-to-end software for last mile deliveries here or send us a message to request a personal demo.

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Simon Schoen
Growth Lead at M-TRIBES

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