Delivering the packages efficiently and safely
Delivering the packages efficiently and safely to the customers is one of the most hectic jobs in the last mile delivery business. There are many constraints that you have to look at when you are working on the delivery business. For that, you need package delivery software, just like Zeo Route Planner, to help you in delivering all your packages to the customers on time, safely, and efficiently.
Some delivery teams rely on manual delivery processes to deliver their packages. Other groups use multiple different tools and apps to complete last-mile delivery. Not only are both methods inefficient and resistant to scale, but they cause you to pay more for each stop, more on fuel, more on labor, and more on tools that aren’t helping you in the long-run.
The solution is to find package delivery software that helps get packages to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible while minimizing the number of tools your drivers and dispatchers need to use at any one time. Zeo Route Planner has been in the market for quite some time now. We have helped many individual drivers and small to medium delivery companies tackle all the problems of the last mile delivery and increase their profits bars.
With the help of Zeo Route Planner, you can get the customer’s package delivered ASAP by creating optimized routes; also, with the Zeo Route Planner delivery app, your customers can track their packages in real-time, and most importantly, you can collect proof of delivery to keep a record when and where the driver has delivered the package so that it can help you to create transparency between you and your customers.
Let’s take a deeper dive to understand how delivery teams often damage their profitability by planning and following inefficient routes, making multiple delivery attempts per stop, and managing lost package disputes between courier and customer. After that, we will look at how the Zeo Route Planner delivery app helps you provide seamless features to manage all the delivery process problems.
How inefficient package delivery hampers your business
The delivery team always tries to reduce the time taken by their drivers to deliver the products so that they can save a lot of their time and fuel expenses, but complications quickly arise that cause your entire team to spend more time on a stop, not less. These complications are similar whether you’re responsible for a small delivery service at a local business or a courier company with hundreds of clients.
Let’s look into some of these common mistakes.
- Planning inefficient routes for delivery: Planning routes is challenging because of the variables such as time windows, location, traffic patterns, number of drivers, and other factors that need to be accounted into the route. Thus these variables make it hard for the delivery team to plan efficiently manually. No matter the size, every delivery team can benefit from route optimization software that uses advanced algorithms to create the fastest route possible.
- Attempting multiple delivery attempts: It often happens that the packages need a recipient’s signature. If the customer isn’t home when the driver attempts delivery, the driver must come back later. Now, you’re spending more money on labor and fuel costs in making that delivery. You can solve customers’ problem of missing their delivery window by keeping them updated with an accurate ETA, which we cover in the section below.
- Missing packages creates disputes: At times the drivers don’t find the customers at home when they arrive to deliver their package. If you leave the package at the customer’s front door or with a concierge, you run the risk of missing package disputes. The easiest solution here is to use a proof of delivery tool to verify when and where the driver delivered the package.
What many delivery teams make is that they go for different free apps for all the delivery process, i.e., Google Maps for route planning and navigation, and apps like Detrack for tracking and capturing proof of delivery. Instead of finding individual solutions for each of these problems, it’s easier (and more cost-efficient) to use an all-in-one package delivery software. This beats having multiple tools and apps because your drivers and dispatchers don’t need to toggle back and forth through different platforms, meaning they can do their jobs more efficiently.
How can Zeo Route Planner help in delivery packages efficiently
Let’s take a look at how delivery packages get from your office or local small business to your customer’s front door when you’re using Zeo Route Planner.
The first task is in the delivery business to collect all the addresses for the delivery. The dispatcher usually does this job. Most delivery businesses handle customer addresses in two ways: manual entry or spreadsheet import. But let’s see what features which you get with Zeo Route Planner.
- Manual Entry: Smaller businesses or drivers only use manual entry themselves when they need to add a stop to their route while it’s in progress. But we know it’s still a vital feature, so we use the same auto-complete functionality that Google Maps uses as you’re typing in an address. This feature significantly helps reduce the amount of time it takes to enter a list of stops manually.
- Spreadsheet import: Most of our customers use this feature because it’s quick and easy. Just download your customer addresses into one of these files (.csv, .xls, .xlsx) and upload them into the Zeo Route Planner app.
- Image capture/OCR: We realized that some small delivery businesses or individual drivers get the package from the dispatching center for delivery. It was hard for them to add the addresses into the app manually, so we developed a unique feature. You can scan the addresses on the package using the Zeo Route Planner app, and the app captures the addresses and get them ready for you.
- Bar/QR code scan: We developed this feature to ease the process of the drivers. Using the Zeo Route Planner app, they can scan the bar/QR code embedded on the package, and the app gets the address imported, and you can begin delivering the packages.
- Pin drop on Maps: You can also use the pin-drop feature in the Zeo Route Planner app to add your addresses, where you can move a pin on the map to add that address for the delivery.
- Importing addresses from Google Maps: We developed this feature recently, and this feature is loved by the customers who have recently shifted to our Zeo Route Planner platform. If you have a list of addresses added to your Google Maps, you can directly get it imported in the Zeo Route Planner app, and from there, you can optimize the routes and start the delivery.
Once your addresses are loaded into Zeo Route Planner, you can start optimizing routes.
Route optimization is practically impossible to do without advanced algorithms to help you plan the stops. Many delivery businesses still use Google Maps to optimize their routes. We have compiled an article to help you understand the problem with Google Maps, which you can read here. The primary limitations being that Google Maps can’t create routes with more than ten stops, and it doesn’t have the software required to optimize a route.
With the help of Zeo Route Planner‘s advanced algorithms, you get the best-optimized route within 30 seconds, and the efficiency of our algorithm is useful in that it can optimize up to 500 stops in one go. Not only this, you get the option to add several constraints for your delivery which are:
- Priority Stops: If you have a stop that needs to occur early in the route, you can set it to be the first stop. You can arrange the delivery to be ASAP, and the app will optimize the routes considering that address to be the priority.
- Time duration per stop: To increase optimization, you can set the average time per stop. Let’s say you’re a courier company that delivers to businesses. Your drivers may be at a stop for 15-20 minutes, meaning their optimal route may be different than if they were only going to be at their stop for 5 minutes based on that day’s traffic patterns.
Recipients notification and customer dashboard
At the start of this post, we talked about the potential drain on delivery team operations when the driver has to make multiple delivery attempts. Multiple delivery attempts occur when a customer needs to be present for delivery but isn’t at home or is unable to come to the door when the driver arrives.
The solution here is keeping the customer updated on your driver’s ETA with status updates. Most customers can’t or won’t be willing to wait at home all day for packages. But by knowing when their package arrives, your customers can go about their day and make it back home when needed. You can use Zeo Route Planner recipient notifications to make sure your drivers don’t have to check back in to try and make a delivery later in the day.
Zeo Route Planner‘s recipient notification sends an email or SMS message with a projected delivery time as soon as the package is out for delivery. In that message, they are given a link to a dashboard that they can use to track real-time updates of their delivery. Once the driver gets closer to the customer’s stop, the customer receives a message with an updated time frame. At this point, the customer can even communicate directly with the driver, such as messaging them a gate code or precise directions.
Real-time route monitoring
We also offer Route Monitoring services so that you can track all your drivers in real-time. It’s essential to keep communication open between customers, drivers, and dispatchers. With the help of this feature, dispatchers get real-time tracking of routes as they’re in progress.
Tracking the drivers is helpful when dispatchers need to field calls from customers inquiring about their package’s whereabouts. It’s also beneficial when dispatchers need to make last-minute changes to ongoing routes.
Proof of Delivery
We have discussed how Zeo Route Planner can help you prepare for the package to leave the warehouse. And we’ve talked about how it helps customers stay informed when routes are in progress. Now let’s look at how Zeo Route Planner helps delivery teams complete their deliveries and maintain the transparency between the customers and their business.
Zeo Route Planner offers two types of proof of delivery features in the app: Capturing a digital signature and capturing a photograph. With Zeo Route Planner, the driver can collect the customer’s signature using their smartphone app. The customer signs on their phone using their finger.
If the customer is not present for the delivery, the driver can collect proof of delivery via photo. After the driver leaves the package in a safe place, they use their smartphone to take a picture of where they left it.
This way, the customer receives photo verification of when their item was delivered and where it was left, reducing the risk of missing package disputes.
Delivery logistics are a complicated part of running your delivery team. There’s a real need for advanced route optimization making sure you’re dispatching your drivers on the most efficient route possible. But optimizing routes isn’t as simple as looking at a map and trying to stick all stops within specific zip codes. You need software that can factor in routes, traffic patterns, the number of drivers, time constraints, and priority stops.
Besides that, whatever time you save by optimizing your routes can be lost if your customers aren’t home to receive their package or your drivers can’t verify delivery with a signature or photo. We learned that the best delivery solution gets the customer’s package to its final destination without slowing down the drivers or dispatchers by talking with our customers.
Zeo Route Planner can solve all the problems which are related to the last-mile delivery business. Since the modern problem requires modern solutions, Zeo Route Planner can help you to solve all the challenges you face in real life in the delivery business.