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Delivery That Goes the Extra Mile: How to Spot a Successful Final Mile Delivery Service

December 14, 2018 last mile

80% of people want their products delivered on the same day of ordering. 61% want it 1-3 hours after placing their order!

Figures like these have delivery services rushing to meet the changing demands of a fast and impatient market. Some companies are managing better than others, with the speed and quality of service varying considerably across the board.

How can you tell from the outset whether your final mile delivery service is up to scratch? What should you look for in order to know your products are in good hands? Let us help!

Keep reading to learn 6 signs of a successful final mile delivery service.

Defining the Final Mile

Let’s start by considering what the final mile actually is.

It’s something of a metaphor in delivery services. Essentially, it’s a term that explains the final port of call in the ordering process: the crucial step of delivering the product from a distribution center to the customer.

This is the most important stage, which can make or break the customer experience, and a company’s reputation in the process.

Slow, unpredictable, inconvenient delivery is a recipe for disaster. In the next section, we’ll take a look at how successful delivery services manage the task.

6 Signs of a Successful Final Mile Delivery Service

Here are 6 things that all successful final mile delivery services do. If you spot these signs in your delivery service, you can rest assured that it’s in good hands!

1. Same-Day Delivery’s Offered

We’ve already seen how people now expect rapid and easy delivery.

Gone are the days when you’d order a product online and only expect to receive it a couple of weeks later! Giant companies like Amazon have raised the bar: same day delivery is now an expectation for a large proportion of customers.

There are significant challenges for services hoping to achieve it.

But with customers now hoping for delivery within a few hours of a purchase, a sure-fire sign of a successful final mile delivery service is the offer of same-day delivery.

2. The Delivery’s Visible to All

There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing when your product’s going to arrive.

This is where the visibility of service delivery’s so important. The best companies will show you exactly where your product and delivery person is, and when it’ll be at the door.

The convenience of this approach is key. With such information, a customer can plan their day around the delivery, safe in the knowledge they won’t miss it.

3. New Technology’s Utilized

Delivery’s no longer restricted to the old-fashioned ‘man in a van’.

Far from it. These days, certain forms of delivery would have seemed like science fiction 20 years ago. Technology has advanced to the point where autonomous vehicles (such as drones) will run the show in years to come.

Indeed, it’s estimated that 80% of last mile deliveries will be done by autonomous vehicles by 2025.

There are major advantages to this approach. Think faster delivery times in general, and to remote locations. Then there’s the reduced labor costs and manual handling of products.

Tech doesn’t just help in the actual delivery itself. It can also take the form of computer programs that register the efficiency of a service and make recommendations on potential improvements.

Whatever the case, the best services are constantly trying to leverage new technology to improve performance.

4. They Boast Many Distribution Centres

People order an item and want it as soon as possible.

Meaning delivery services have no choice but to find novel ways to speed up the final mile process.

One way to achieve this is to reduce the distance between the distribution center and delivery address. And this is possible by increasing the number of distribution centers in a particular place.

Any order that comes in will have the product delivered from the nearest of distribution centers.

The more distribution centers, the better for the service.

5. Flexibility’s a Key Component

Speed’s one thing, flexibility’s another. And customers want both!

Not only should items be delivered quickly, but a quality last mile delivery service should allow them to customize their delivery too. Instead of a one-size-fits-all, ‘here’s how it’ll be delivered and how much it’ll cost’ approach, there should be a choice.

Customers can decide when it’ll arrive and how much it’ll cost them. If they’re happy to wait a few days for less expense, then they can. Likewise, if they’re happy to spend top dollar for faster delivery, they can do this too.

There could also be the option to collect in-store or collect from a pickup location. And how about an option for the product to be left in a secure place?

Regardless of the type of courier, such flexibility is a clear sign of a competent final mile service.

6. Data Gets Analyzed to Optimize Performance

The best delivery companies collect data and analyze it.

It’s the only way to optimize the service. From customer satisfaction to delivery times, driver productivity, and so on.

The average customer may find it harder to know if this happens. But it’s something all the best services will do to ensure constant improvement and customer satisfaction.

Time to Get Delivering

The final mile is the crucial step of taking a product from a distribution center to a customer’s doorstep. Peoples’ expectations of item delivery are changing with the times.

These days, speed and quality of delivery are demanded by customers.

Delivery services have been forced to meet this expectation. The most successful services have risen to the occasion in different ways.

They offering same-day, fully visible delivery that utilizes new technology in the process. They’ve increased their number of distribution centers, created a fully flexible service and analyze their data to optimize performance.

Spot these signs and rest assured that your delivery is in good hands.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What’s the most important thing you look for in a delivery service? Let us know in the comments.

And get in touch to see how we can meet your delivery needs.