‘Tis the season. The thought of Christmas brings excitement to nearly all of us. The one person that you might be surprised to learn gets anxious about the holiday? Well, that’s Old Saint Nick himself. The thought of delivering millions of gifts on-time and error-free, before any peeping children awaken from their slumber, is no easy prospect.

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The anxiety-ridden issue that Santa faces each December 24th is called last-mile logistics. The focus of last-mile logistics is to deliver items to the end-user as quickly as possible. Sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast. Take a peek at the infographic below and then answer that same question again. There’s a lot of moving pieces for deliveries to be timely and correct to order.

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The “last-mile” delivery, or the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination, aka your home on Christmas, can be daunting. Santa isn’t the only one fixated on the idea of the last-mile. Retailers are under more and more pressure each year, as the digital age and the ever-increasing surge of online orders have brought more attention to the importance of last-mile delivery.

In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.”

The logistics process has numerous steps, however, none are more important than the last mile delivery stage, where customers, who have a lot of different delivery companies to choose from, expect perfect delivery including speed, timeliness, accuracy, and precision of their deliveries.

 

The Steps to a Successful Last Mile:

Step 1: Requests or orders are entered into a centralized system 

Santa gathers every child’s Christmas list and enters them into his workforce management software. 

Step 2: Goods from the manufacturing line or supplier arrive at the transportation hub/warehouse for delivery to the end-users  

The toys the elves have produced are placed in the toy vault and are prepared for sleigh loading. 

Step 3: Task assignments are optimized based on routes and designated to delivery personnel  

Santa calculates his ideal delivery route with the help of scheduling software. 

Step 4: Items are scanned before loading onto delivery vehicles  

Santa’s elves (and Mrs. Claus) scan each item and check against each child’s wish list before placing the gifts on Santa’s sleigh

Step 5: Proof of delivery is obtained upon reaching end-users  

Santa scans every delivered package as well as a bar code hidden on the chimney of each home. Santa also has his elves viewing order statuses in real-time from the North Pole, making delivery adjustments to meet Santa’s deadlines.

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Final Thoughts 

Without a streamlined and error-proof last mile plan, it won’t matter if you’ve been a good boy/girl or not, because that top item on your wish list won’t be there on December 25th.  As logistics companies find themselves at the crossroads of a demand-driven supply chain and rising customer expectations, they need every advantage they can get to stay competitive and remain a vendor of choice.  

Kronos for Logistics provides the automated tools and on-demand visibility you need to ensure effective, on-time, error-free delivery. 

Download this solution guide to find out how you can better manage and engage your entire workforce for new levels of agility and responsiveness —especially in last-mile operations.

Interested in learning how Santa ensures he achieves everything on his to-do list before his last mile trip? Read Fran Amato’s blog titled 4 Items on Santa’s Scheduling Wish List This Year or Heather Badower's blog Manufacturers - the Real Elves Behind the Holidays.

 

Published: Friday, December 6, 2019