Informative World

A Few Issues To Be Considered While Choosing Last Mile Service

The road and the territory – Gain a clear comprehension of the road conditions and time necessary for delivery. Also, think about seasonality and the way that rainy weather will affect the distribution what is final mile. There aren’t all roads that can be used during the rainy season and the mode of transportation you choose, e.g. 4 wheel-drive, can change. Road infrastructure and seasonality may influence your network design, e.g. designing routes.

Service delivery point growth – In a number of African markets, there are ambitious plans to expand and expand the reach of health facilities. It is important to understand the impact that this might impact the supply chain or pipeline.

Distribution centres (DCs) (also known as cross docking) Cross docking Africa, distribution distances tend to be large and DCs limited. Driver per diems can increase costs and impact the utilization of trucks. Evaluate the need for more DCs and what role cross docking could play in streamlining distribution and in reducing cost.

Demand-planning – Tanzania is moving from the push system (demand established at the central level) to an pull system (demand set at health facility level). Health staff at health facilities are accountable for submitting demand requirements (or R&R forms). The most frequent issues are delays in the submission of forms, and a lack of capacity or capacity to complete forms. It is important to identify and recognize bottlenecks. Look for ways to make the process easier, e.g. restrict the pull to specific Stock Keeping Units, and aid in reducing the burden on health professionals, e.g. create demand coordinators for regional areas.

Cycle of ordering Check the order period (or frequency) as well as order groups if any. Examine unplanned orders and the volume per drop for each category, e.g. health facilities versus dispensaries.

Scheduling – Ad hoc deliveries need to be evaluated, particularly when they are at the “last mile” level. Verify that the scheduling documentation is in place.

Process of delivery Calculate how long in average the delivery process will take (time) and review the written guidelines for delivery. For instance that in Tanzania all goods received in villages are checked through the Village Health Committee. It’s a great system to make sure checks and balances are in place, but it is also a risk to create delays due the committee members not being present.

Choose the appropriate vehicles A Landcruiser is a popular choice, but not always the right vehicle to do the job. There are many African countries have weak infrastructure, but Landcruisers with their expensive capital expenses are not required in all instances. Check out my previous blog post about this topic.

Distribution incentives Review how rewarding employees can drive efficiencies. Incentive programs could focus on the time it takes for truck turns around or loading, as well as dispatching.

The use of third party distributors 3rd party distributors (3PLs) are able to play an important part in distribution. Local operators allow you to tap into a lower cost structure, as well as offer greater flexibility.

Fourth party logistics (4PL) and transport brokers A 4PL can be defined as an organization that brings together the resources, capabilities, and technology of its own organization and that of other organizations to create supply chain solutions. In Africa, health facilities tend to be unable to meet the demands of capacity to manage and identify third party distributors. 4PLs or agents are able to play a significant part in this and reduce the amount of work for health workers. Local operators, or 4PLs, could be much more advantageous position to negotiate better rates for transportation and also manage scheduling.

A reliable courier service can aid in the growth of your business and help you retain customers. We all know how much it costs to gain an existing customer, and even more do to retain them. If we are investing in our business to grow our market share, we usually forget one aspect of the customer experience which is it’s delivery.

A lot of businesses offer an online element of their service to make it easy for customers to book and purchase their products. Next comes the fulfillment of that order and then the delivery of it.

Often , the fulfillment part is performed in-house with the delivery aspect outsourced to the mail service an express courier or same day courier. Customers rarely complain when their items are delivered by a same day courier. However, they frequently complain about an order from an individual courier.

Because businesses focus solely on the cost of transportation but fail to consider the impact that happens when they seek to cut costs. In the end, the customer is able to go elsewhere.

I recently surveyed business people via twitter. 77% of them stated that their main annoyance was not being in to collect an item and having to travel out of town to collect the parcel.

This is the scenario.

The customer is able to find your business,

They can order online.

Send the goods

They come home and find they’ve missed a delivery

They then drive 20 miles to get the parcel

They travel 20 miles to return to their home.

They are delighted to receive the package, however, that does not quite cover the way they feel about having take it to the post office to pick it up. An enjoyable shopping experience was sparked with the shipping.

The mail service is also used to great effect in this way, and at the least in the above scenario they needn’t drive away from the city to pick up their package, they can go to the local sorting office. The disadvantage for the person collecting the packages is they are limited to office times, or to the times of operation of the courier.

The cost of winning customers is the largest part of the marketing budget. With the proper courier service, you can maintain and grow your business. Take the time to do an investigation, and it will yield huge benefits to your business and will keep your customers happy.

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