A Delivery App is part of the modern, tech-enabled systems that Logistics and Distribution companies use to manage their vehicular fleets, drivers, and daily deliveries. It is typically used as part of a Last-Mile Delivery Software where the Driver App forms the last piece of the system and can be downloaded and operated by the drivers from their hand-held devices (e.g. mobile phones, tablets)
Driver Apps enable drivers and their Fleet Managers to plan their daily deliveries dynamically and stay connected in real-time for constant adjustments and updates to projected plans.
The result is a much greater and efficient logistics and distribution system that drives Customer Satisfaction.
What is a Delivery App?
A Delivery App forms one of two parts of a modern, tech-enabled route optimization system. The second part is made up of the Route Optimization (Last-Mile Delivery) Software. As the name suggests, the Delivery App is used by drivers and has features and tools that help them to execute their daily tasks.
It equips drivers, field-workers, and other delivery agents to access information and data about their daily deliveries (schedules, locations, routes) in real-time even when they are out on the beat making deliveries. Additional tools include live onboard navigation, ePOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery), and automatic reports.
The second part is the Route Optimization Software within which the Delivery App is integrated, thus enabling Fleet Managers to monitor the movements of drivers and vehicles on a live dashboard map. Therefore, Fleet Managers can use the system dynamically to schedule new deliveries, plan routes (also, re-routing), and dispatch cargo.
How does a Delivery App work?
The Delivery App for drivers forms the final piece within larger fleet-management software and is integrated within. Therefore, Fleet Managers can monitor the movements of their drivers and fleet vehicles 24*7 and in real-time (without or without the use of telematics).
The App can be downloaded from an app store (e.g. Google Play store), installed on the driver’s device (e.g. driver’s phone), connected with the central online system/server, and then operated as a regular app. The App makes use of several inputs and techniques such as geocoding, GPS, and mobile data to constantly track the (moving) hardware device on the dashboard maps.
While the real-time navigation feature of a Delivery App is obviously the most important one, the Delivery Apps are also enriched with various other features such as live reports, delivery-schedule management, pop-ups, in-app chats, and ePOD thus making it invaluable for use along with a last-mile delivery software.
The Fleet Managers upload the delivery details (locations, routes, number of stops for a driver/vehicle, customer details, emergency responses, etc.) onto the central system from where it is disbursed directly to the Delivery App and can easily be accessed by the drivers. Thereafter, Fleet Managers can monitor their fleet/driver movement on their live dashboard.
The Drivers cannot alter the data and they use it to get information about their daily deliveries. However, since it is a dynamic, two-way system, drivers can communicate directly in real-time with their Fleet Managers (as well as customers) in cases of feedback or emergencies e.g. an accident on their designated route that has caused a traffic jam and therefore requires re-routing.
Who uses a Delivery App?
A Delivery App – and, the fleet management software that it is integrated with – is used by Logistics and Distribution companies to manage their deliveries and fleets. Regardless of the size and complexity of their operations, Fleet Managers can conveniently use such systems to manage their fleets. Some examples of industries using last-mile delivery software and Delivery Apps include e-commerce, food, and groceries (whether for themselves or by the 3PL providers they outsource their fulfillment to).
What are the benefits of a Delivery App?
Five leading benefits are given below:
1) Fully automated: In today’s world of complex supply-chain networks and burgeoning e-commerce models, manual dispatching is a thing of the past. The pandemic has made it only more apparent as to how important modern technology is in managing today’s deliveries.
The management software, along with the Delivery App, both use a fully automated dispatch process to set up daily driver schedules and every unique (or, additional) delivery is simply added to the task-list on the dashboard and loaded onto the Delivery App from there. The entire system is automated, dynamic, and can be updated in real-time (new orders, canceled orders, re-routing, etc.).
2) Improved driver navigation: Perhaps, the most important feature of such a navigation system is its ability to quickly identify the optimal route between two points. “Optimal route” isn’t the one that is the shortest, quickest, or cheapest – it is the one that balances all critical factors such as traffic, distance, number of stops, weather, cargo, available resources, and client demands (etc.)
All this means that drivers spend the least possible time on the road – from the perspective of company operating-cost, it translates into minimized costs, maximized efficiencies, and therefore, optimum productivity and strong business results.
3) Real-time driver communication: Driver Apps enable real-time communication between Fleet Teams and drivers using features such as live-chat for contacting customer support and dispatch e.g. if a vehicle breaks down, the driver can immediately contact his support team directly.
Drivers can also contact customers directly using the chat feature to enhance the customer experience. Customers love regular updates from drivers updating customers on their progress, current status, ETA (etc.) because it makes them more appreciated and helps put a “human face” to the company that they are dealing with.
4) Real-time reporting: is another great tool of automated Delivery Apps and fleet-management software. All information and updates are immediately seen on the dashboard and updated on the Delivery App as required. This helps the entire team to stay abreast of the latest status of all deliveries and customers.
5) ePOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery): just like the “paper-receipt” of old, an ePOD confirms that a delivery has been successfully made to a customer. But, instead of collecting numerous paper forms signed by customers all day, drivers can now use their Delivery App to collect delivery confirmations via several electronic methods including:
- E-signatures, photographs, scanning barcodes, QR codes
This reduces the time taken to complete deliveries and improves productivity.
Conclusion: the usefulness of a Delivery App as part of a Last Mile Delivery Software is clear to see. It enables your Drivers with tools that help in navigation, efficiency, cost-minimization, and overall productivity. This maintains satisfied customers, which is the most important metric for a business to run profitably.