Why the Last Mile Should Be Your First Consideration
Of the hundreds or thousands of miles your products might travel to reach their final destinations and end-users, the last mile may be the most important.
It's where all the magic happens, and where a truly valuable logistics partner can shine, and make you shine in front of your customers. But it can also be where most of the mistakes are made, which end up costing you more in terms of repairs, time in the field or returns/replacement of product.
When looking for a third-party logistics partner (3PL), make sure their last mile services consist of the following:
- Brand Ambassadors — Your logistics partner should be a seamless extension of your brand. That means they must be eagerly willing to learn about your company's values, culture and expectations. They should then deliver upon those values with a high level of customer service by seeing each project through until it meets the customer's ultimate satisfaction.
- White Glove Delivery — Sometimes typical delivery and freight services aren't enough, especially in the realm of highly complex equipment where even a minor bump can have major consequences. You need a partner that understands the intricacies of your products and how transportation and delivery processes can affect them. Your provider should also be able to create customized procedures that will serve the best interests of you, your products and your customers.
- Expert Installation — Your provider of choice should have the capability to not only transport and deliver your products, but expertly set up and install them to full working capacity. At the end of the process, your customer should be able to use the product as it's fully intended.
- Real-Time Confirmation — Tracking and real-time confirmation of where your product is during transport is critical throughout the whole process, but is especially critical in the last mile, once it reaches its final destination. You provider should have a robust IT infrastructure in place to make it possible to track your shipment at any time, and also receive real-time confirmation, with signature and photo evidence, of the successful delivery and installation of your product.
- Single Point of Contact — The best supply chain partners will be single source providers that handle all of the moving parts for you, while proactively keeping you and your stakeholders updated on important deliverables and outcomes. Even better, they'll supply you with a single contact person to further simplify your logistics processes.
If you have questions about last mile services, contact us today and we'll provide our advice, or a helping hand if needed.