How Technology Delivers Strategic & Tactical Value for First and Last Mile in a Disrupted Market

A TMS can buoy efficiency from the first mile to the last mile - even during volatile and disrupted markets.

Logistics professionals are no strangers to disruption. Consider that a typical transportation cycle is defined by fluctuating produce seasons, holiday peak surges, massive weather events, and changes in trade policy – all of which require preparation and flexibility, from the first to the last mile.

Global disruption like COVID-19, however, is something no supply chain team could anticipate. Production shutdowns, dramatic shifts in consumer demand, and a volatile freight market created a logistics environment that shook even the most advanced, forward-thinking companies.

Technology solutions focused on the first, middle, and last mile provide strategic and tactical solutions for this disrupted market.

Understanding the Market Dynamics

The pandemic ushered in a shift in consumer demand that left many brands struggling to keep up. In some cases, these companies declared bankruptcy or shut down entirely. Success in today’s competitive, customer-driven market requires organizations to reevaluate business practices and evolve quickly to remain profitable, viable, and sustainable.
To do that, you must consider the market dynamics that create challenges and opportunities:
  • Evolving consumer expectations: The pandemic forever altered customer expectations, particularly around last mile delivery. Consumers now expect delivery to be free, fast, visible, and safe – anything less will not suffice.
  • Flexibility & scalability: The shift to online shopping means that demand for a product can change overnight. Today’s businesses must be ready to pivot and scale quickly to meet existing demand without increasing costs.
  • Labor shortages: Shippers and fleets face the realities of the “Great Resignation” and growing driver shortages. They must do more work with fewer people, battle to recruit quality talent, and stay within salary budget parameters.
  • Visibility: Today’s customers demand visibility and access to order status in real time, but visibility is more than a mapping location in an app. Logistics teams can leverage advanced visibility solutions to proactively identify exceptions and intercept issues in advance.
  • Skyrocketing costs: Inflation impacts operating costs from every angle. Fuel prices are increasing, talented people cost more, and transportation rates are wildly unpredictable. These factors erode the bottom line. Your business must do all it can to minimize and counteract costs in real time.
  • Sustainability: Climate initiatives and sustainable practices are more important than ever. Reducing miles and vehicles on the road reduces CO2 emissions and improves a fleet’s carbon footprint.
To successfully navigate today’s complex market dynamics, you need a robust final mile strategy and dynamic technology solutions.

Technology Solutions to Drive Strategic & Tactical Value

Today’s complex market dynamics demand advanced tactical solutions to deliver results in the last mile.
Final mile technologies for vehicle routing, scheduling, and dynamic optimization are essential for combating disruption and improving delivery outcomes. These systems are designed to help businesses and fleets do more with less: less drivers, less vehicles, less time, and less people.
Key system capabilities include:
Route and Asset Optimization
Execute the most deliveries with the fewest miles, vehicles, and drivers. Optimization engines should utilize advanced machine learning to plan routes and reroute dynamically in response to real-time disruptions.
Personnel Optimization
Optimize and automate workflows to create a more efficient and productive workforce. Optimization solutions eliminate the need for separate dispatch offices running local fleets and allow for the development of centralized dispatch personnel.
Real-Time Shipment Access
Access shipments throughout the lifecycle in real time. This allows customer service teams to make operational changes, track ETAs, and monitor delivery signatures instantly. Real-time access makes it possible to standardize exception responses and manage issues proactively.
Predictive Delivery

Integrate easily with the existing TMS to execute dynamic routing and autonomous logistics. This eliminates most exceptions by offering automated course correction and quickly identifies exceptions that require manual management. Logistics teams can solely focus on issues that threaten delivery schedules.

Throughput Visibility

Prioritize shipment visibility, from inbound to end-customer, and across all modes, including last mile street level. True visibility means eliminating data holes to improve customer service while saving time and money. Real-time visibility enhances the customer experience and builds brand loyalty through accuracy and delivery assurance.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Navigate Disruption and Drive Value with MercuryGate Final Mile

The MercuryGate Final Mile platform was designed to optimize last mile route planning, even the toughest freight markets.

MercuryGate gives businesses complete visibility to shipments to manage exceptions in real-time and provide world-class customer service. To learn more about how you can drive value across your first, middle and last mile, download our eBook.

For a deep dive on the topic, be sure to watch our on-demand Velocity webinar, Driving Strategic and Tactical Value Across the First, Middle, and Last Mile. It features MercuryGate Final Mile experts Jeff Groenke and Greg Confer and a customer case that reveals the quantifiable value across your first, middle and last mile transportation.

Find out how how technology drives strategic & tactical value across your First, Middle, and Last Mile.

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