A few things to think about when drafting some of the issues to consider when drafting your “last mile” strategy:
Territorium and road infrastructure – Gain a clear understanding of road conditions and travel times required to deliver. Also, think about seasonality and how the rainy reason will affect your distribution final mile companies. There aren’t all roads that can be used during rainy seasons and your preferred mode of transportation, e.g. 4-wheel-drive could be affected by the weather. Road infrastructure and seasonality will influence your network design, e.g. designing routes.
The growth of the service delivery point In a range of African markets there are plans to aggressively expand and expand the reach for health centers. It is important to understand what effect this will affect the supply chain or pipeline.
Distribution centres (DCs) also known as cross docking Cross docking – In Africa distribution distances are usually large and DCs can be limited. Overnight routes and driver per diems can add cost and lower the efficiency of trucks. Consider the need for more DCs and the role cross docking plays in streamlining distribution processes and decreasing costs.
Demand-planning Demand planning Tanzania has moved from a push system (demand set at the Central level) to a pull system (demand is determined at the hospital level). Health workers in health facilities are responsible for the submission of demand requirements (or R&R forms). Common issues are delays in the submission of forms, and a lack of capabilities or capacity to finish forms. It is essential to recognize and recognize the bottlenecks. Consider what can be done to reduce the burden, e.g. restrict the pull to specific Stock Keeping Units, and assist in reducing the workload of health workers, e.g. introduce regional demand coordinators.
Cycle of ordering Review the ordering period (or the frequency) along with order groupings, where applicable. Assess unplanned orders and volumes per drop for each segment, e.g. health facilities versus dispensaries.
Scheduling Ad-hoc deliveries need to be evaluated, particularly in the “last mile” level. Check that the schedule has been documented in place.
Delivering processFind out how long on average the delivery process will take (time) and review the delivery guidelines in writing. For instance In Tanzania all deliveries to villages have to be scrutinized with members of the Village Health Committee. It is a good system to make sure checks and balances are in place, but it is also a risk to delay the process due to committee members being unavailable.
Use the right vehicles The Landcruiser is widely used , but it is not always the ideal vehicle to do the task. A lot of African countries have a poor infrastructure, but Landcruisers, with high capital costs aren’t always needed. See my previous post on this subject.
Rewards for distribution Examine ways in which rewarding employees can increase efficiency. Incentive programs could focus on the time it takes for truck turns around, loading and dispatching.
It is the use of third party distributors 3rd third party distributors (3PLs) could play an important part in the distribution. Local operators allow you to access a lower-cost structure and offer greater flexibility.
Fourth party logistical (4PL) (also known as transportation agents) A 4PL is defined as an organization that gathers the resources, capacities, and technology of its own company and that of other organizations to create supply chain solutions. In Africa the health institutions tend to be in a state of deficiency and lack the capacity to manage and identify 3rd parties that distribute. 4PLs or agents are able to play a crucial role in this regard and assist in reducing the amount of work for health workers. Local operators, or 4PLs, could be better position to negotiate better rates for transportation and also manage the scheduling.
The right courier service will assist in growing your business and help you retain customers. We all know the amount it takes to acquire a customer, and more efforts to keep them. If we are investing in our business to grow our market share, we usually overlook one aspect of the customer experience which is the delivery.
Many companies have online aspects of their service to make it easy for customers to make reservations and pay for their products. The next step is to complete of the order and the delivery of it.
The fulfillment process is usually done in house and the delivery is outsourced to a mail service, the parcel courier, or next day delivery courier. Customers rarely complain when they receive their products to them by a same-day courier. However, customers frequently complain about received a delivery from a parcel courier.
Because companies are focused only on the costs of transportation They fail to take into account the overall impact of what happens when they try and cut costs. In the end, the customer is able to go to another place.
I recently surveyed business people via twitter. 77% of them reported their top annoyance as not getting a parcel and having to drive out of town to pick up the parcel.
This is how it works.
A customer finds your business,
They order online,
You can send the products
When they get home, they find they’ve not received their package.
Then they travel 20 miles to take the parcel.
They travel 20 miles to return to their home.
They’re happy with the package, but that does not completely offset how they feel about having to take it to the post office to pick it up. An enjoyable shopping experience has been affected by the delivery.
The mail service can also be employed to great effect at the very least, in this case, they don’t have to drive away from the city to pick up their package. They can visit the local sorting station. The problem for the consumer taking delivery of the package is that they are confined to office times, or to the hours of business of the parcel courier.
The cost of winning customers is the largest portion of your marketing budget. By using the correct courier service, you can maintain growing your company. Make sure you do some investigation and in turn this will give your company huge returns and will keep your customers loyal.