Offering fast, reliable final-mile delivery is a must-do in the current business environment, where customers expect quick deliveries, minute-by-minute tracking and high quality service. When vetting potential logistics partners, the final mile of your supply chain is not the place to race to the bottom on price and sacrifice quality and reliability. 

Too many companies leave this critical supply chain link to chance. For example, they’ll pick the cheapest carrier, only to wind up paying more in the long run due to added costs, service fees and other extras. 

Even worse, that low-cost provider acts as the face of the seller in the customer’s eyes. All it takes is one negative interaction or delayed shipment to create a bad taste in that customer’s mouth. The next time they go to place an order, they’ll probably shop elsewhere.

Put simply, what happens during the final mile can either delight or disappoint customers. An article from eMarketer sums it up nicely: “While last-mile delivery is the most expensive and time-consuming part of the shipping process, it is key to overall customer satisfaction.”

You can’t afford to make customers wait 

Making customers wait extended periods to get their orders, keeping them in the dark about where those orders are or ignoring the importance of those final-mile interactions can backfire on you pretty quickly.

The good news is that, according to research from Roadie and Supply Chain Dive’s studioID, quick delivery times backed by quality, reliable partners will always:

  • Make your customers happy
  • Increase your company’s revenues
  • Help improve overall supply chain
  • Minimize lost or damaged goods (particularly critical for high-value items)
  • Drive positive reviews and Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Preserve your company’s reputation  

Finding the right last-mile delivery partner

Crowdsourced delivery has become a popular way to diversify the last mile and provide a broader range of delivery options. When looking for a crowdsourced platform, it’s basic human nature to want the biggest bang for your buck — but trusting your final mile to a last-mile delivery partner that’s only there to undercut competition isn’t a smart move. Here’s why you should put more time into picking the right solution for this leg of the race: 

  • Low-cost delivery may wind up costing you more money. Don’t be surprised to find undisclosed charges and fees on your final bill. Fees to manage larger packages and expedited freight service fees are just some of the extras that may wind up on your invoice if you work with the cheapest provider. These fees add up quickly and may be folded into the fine print of your contract. 
  • An unstable provider may leave you hanging. Cost may be a tempting factor when selecting a logistics partner, but aligning with a stable final-mile logistics company will make your end-to-end supply chain stronger and more resilient. As a UPS company, Roadie has the experience, resources and established networks your company needs in today’s competitive business environment. 
  • Working with random providers multiplies your paperwork and account management. If you’re shopping on price then you’re probably working with myriad different final-mile providers, effectively multiplying the amount of paperwork and legwork needed for each shipment. With Roadie, current UPS customers can streamline billing and other recordkeeping requirements through their existing accounts. As an added bonus, customers will soon be able to include Roadie volume to be eligible for specific UPS rate tiers.
  • Brace yourself for delayed shipments and disappointed customers. Think about what a low-cost delivery option may cost you on the customer service side. For example, if the platform has trouble recruiting drivers or the solution runs on subpar technology, then the odds the order will actually get there on time diminish. This, in turn, can directly impact your customer service, reviews and future revenues. Think about this before turning your final mile over to a solution that leads with the lowest-price-possible approach.
  • Careless handling and damaged orders may become the norm. This one is both a customer service nightmare and a financial expense for your company, which will have to replace (or cancel entirely) orders that arrive damaged on your customers’ doorsteps. It also means your employees will have to go through the process of filing damage claims and trying to recoup those losses. You need an established last-mile delivery solution that carefully vets drivers and takes pride in helping goods get delivered in the best condition. An untested network may turn into a money pit for your company.

Make the right choice the first time

As same-day delivery gains popularity, more startups and regional options are popping up in the market. Your choice of delivery options matters in a world where the lowest cost doesn’t always translate into the best service. 

Some of the questions to ask last-mile delivery solutions before handing over inventory and letting drivers interact with your customers include:

  • How long have you been in business? 
  • Do you have a good reputation in the industry? 
  • What types of companies do you serve?
  • Do you work with large and/or reputable brands?  
  • Can I speak with a few of those brands to get their feedback on your services?
  • Do you have the technology in place to provide real-time tracking of shipments?
  • Can I read through one of your standard contracts? 

Take the time to vet all companies, read customer reviews and learn more about their reputations in the marketplace before making your decision. This will not only help minimize risk, it will also help maximize the benefits of the new relationship. 

To learn more about how Roadie, an established delivery platform, can help you improve performance in the final mile, click here