Route optimization and tracking technology help mitigate problems in last-mile delivery, says Anar Mammadov, technical founder of Senpex.
If retailers are bedeviled by anything in e-commerce fulfillment and delivery, it’s the huge number of orders coming in, compounded by the demand for delivery within one or two hours, Mammadov says.
“I have seen in the different warehouses that they're just struggling, and this hurts their performance and customer satisfaction,” he says. “Then, there is a problem with route scheduling and planning and last-minute changes of the route. It’s a huge mess.”
Mammadov says last-minute delivery changes ordered at the store level make it very difficult for the logistics side to optimize routes and keep to delivery promises within expected windows. “Definitely, you need to implement planning algorithms and AI [artificial intelligence] technology for effective route planning and scheduling.”
Another solution is to “have transparency for your clients in tracking options, such as in proof of the delivery.” Mammadov says most of the partners, from retail to warehouse to delivery, use different software. “All those need to be integrated through API [application programming interface] integrations.”
In his view, analytical dashboards are required to see the performance of drivers, on-time delivery issues and needed metrics.
How many players in the industry are utilizing the technologies that Mammadov recommends? AI-based route optimization is being implemented more and more, he says, particularly by companies pressured to make deliveries within an hour. “That’s a very complicated task.”
Voice-ordering options are gaining in popularity, he says. “By clicking a button, they can just send the request though the system.”
Integration is key, Mammadov believes. There are many different e-commerce platforms, and route optimization engines need to be directly integrated into them if the delivery process is to smoothy adhere to on-time scheduling.
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