It’s that time of the year again! FedEx says it expects deliveries between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve to rise 8.8 percent over last year, to 290 million. Similarly, UPS is anticipating an 11 percent increase in shipments over 2013.FedEx plans to hire 50,000 seasonal workers, up from 40,000 last year. UPS says it will add as many as 95,000, up from 85,000.
Last year, over 1.2 million express packages handled by UPS and over 600,000 carried by FedEx failed to get delivered on time by Christmas day. Its clear that the delivery and logistics challenge is massive.
So how can the delivery industry better manage their resources to address the growing demand, while being flexible enough to real-time issues and disruptions in the field?
Mobile Technology is already helping delivery companies increase efficiency and reduce costs. Delivery companies can maximize resources, while at the same time lowering fuel costs and waste, and providing high quality customer service.
For any company utilizing mobile workforce, there are two key issues that need to be addressed. First, how do you manage thousands of new contract workers that are hired and rapidly get them to be productive? Secondly, how do you manage last mile delivery in real-time in a fast changing environment?
To solve the problem of managing contract workers, companies need the ability to quickly provision these field workers as and when needed. A worker’s cell phone can be utilized to provision certain mobile workforce management solutions with tight privacy controls working over text messaging and smartphone apps.
The Last mile delivery requires several capabilities that need to be brought together to handle an internally built logistics plan (as laid out by Ops and IT team) with real-time activity and data gathering from the field. All delivered over any phone device of choice. For e.g. — Job dispatch to delivery locations requires real-time monitoring of delivery resources in the field through phone tracking solutions that are available today. Optimum job allocation to field workers and optimum routing to the delivery location is required to maximize resource utilization. Workers are in the field need to be alerted to real-time disruptions, delay and/or deviation from the expected route. Once at the customer site, there needs to be proof of delivery including image and signature capture. All this data from the field must be aggregated and analyzed for a better understanding of worker efficiency in the field and to improve route optimization and logistics.
To ensure happy holidays and successful on-time delivery to customers, companies should look at these mobile & SaaS technology based solutions to manage delivery and logistics across the board.