a few issues to be considered when drafting some of the issues to consider when drafting your “last mile” strategy:
Territory and road infrastructure – Gain a clear knowledge of the conditions on the roads and the time required for delivery. Also, take into consideration seasonality and the way that rainy weather will affect your distribution. Some roads are not passable during the rainy season and your method of transport, e.g. 4-wheel-drive might change. Road infrastructure and seasonality may also affect the design of your network, e.g. making routes.
Service delivery point growth In a range of African markets, there are ambitious plans to expand and expand the reach of health facilities. It is important to consider the impact this could impact the pipeline or supply chain finalmile.co.
Distribution centers (DCs) also known as cross docking – In Africa Distribution distances are typically large and DCs have a limited. Overnight routes and driver daily allowances can raise costs and lower the efficiency of trucks. Examine the need for additional DCs as well as the role that cross docking may play in streamlining distribution and in reducing costs.
Demand management – Tanzania has moved from the push system (demand established at the Central level) to pulling system (demand is determined at the hospital level). Health workers at health facilities are accountable for providing demand requirements (or R&R forms). Common issues are delays in submitting forms and limited capacity or ability to fill out forms. It is essential to recognize and identify the causes of bottlenecks. Consider what can be done to reduce the burden, e.g. limit the pull to a specific Stock Keeping Units, and reduce the load on health professionals, e.g. create demand coordinators for regional areas.
Process of order Check the order sequence (or the frequency) or order groupings if any. Examine unplanned orders and the volumes per drop for each segment, e.g. health facilities versus dispensaries.
Scheduling – Ad hoc deliveries need to be evaluated, particularly at the “last mile” level. Verify that the scheduling documentation is in place.
Delivery processFind out how long on average the delivery process will take (time) and read the delivery guidelines in writing. For instance that in Tanzania all goods received in villages have to be scrutinized by an official from the Village Health Committee. This is a useful system to ensure checks and balances, but it is also a risk to cause delays due to committee members being unavailable.
Make sure you choose the right vehicle – The Landcruiser is widely used , however it is it is not always the ideal vehicle to do the job. A lot of African countries have a poor infrastructure, but Landcruisers, with expensive capital expenses, are not always required. Read my previous article regarding this issue.
Rewards for distribution Review how rewarding employees can drive efficiencies. Incentive programs could focus on truck turn around time in addition to loading and dispatching.
Utilization of third party distributors – 3rd third party distributors (3PLs) can play a crucial role in the distribution. Local operators allow you to tap into a lower cost structure, and also offer more flexibility.
Fourth party logistical (4PL) and transport brokers A 4PL is described as an entity which combines the capabilities, resources and technology from its own and other organizations to design strategies for supply chain management. In Africa healthcare facilities tend to have limited capacity and capability to identify and manage 3rd party distributors. 4PLs or agents have the potential to play a crucial part in this and reduce the work load of health professionals. Local operators, or 4PLs, could be better position to negotiate lower rates for transport and to manage their schedules.
The right courier service can aid in the growth of your business and will help you keep customers. We all know the amount it is to get customers, and how much do to retain them. As we put money into our company to increase our market share, we tend to ignore one aspect of the customers experience – it’s delivery.
Many businesses have online aspects of their services to enable customers to make reservations and purchase their products. Next comes the fulfillment of the purchase and the delivery of it.
Often , the fulfillment part is done in house and the delivery part is contracted to the postal service, a parcel courier or a the same-day courier. Customers rarely complain when their goods are delivered via a same-day courier, but often complain when they have a delivery from parcel courier.
Because businesses are focusing solely on the cost of transportation but fail to consider the bigger picture of what happens when they attempt to save money . The customer is able to go to another place.
I recently surveyed business people on Twitter. 77% of them indicated that their most annoying thing was not being able to pick up parcels and having to drive away from town to pick up the parcel.
This is how it works.
If a potential customer discovers your company,
They order online,
You will be able to send the items
They come home and find they’ve missed a delivery
Then they travel 20 miles to get the parcel.
They drive 20 miles back to their home.
They are happy to have the package, but that does not completely offset how they feel about having get to pick up the package. An enjoyable shopping experience has been tinged by the delivery.
The postal service can be effective in this way, and at the least in this case, they needn’t drive away from the city to pick up their package. They can visit the local sorting office. The drawback for the customer taking delivery of the package is that they are restricted to working hours or the working hours of the parcel courier.
The cost of acquiring a customer is the biggest part of the marketing budget. With the proper courier service you can keep and grow your business. Do some research, and this will yield huge benefits to your business, and keep your customers loyal.