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Improving home delivery time slots

How do you solve the dilemma of providing more delivery options with shorter delivery windows and adhering to your customer commitments, while simultaneously managing logistics costs and resources??


How to offer your customers tighter delivery windows during the day.

From our customer meetings and conversations one theme keeps re-occurring…..How to offer the customers’,  the deliveries they want, when they want it. 

Offering 5 hour time windows the next day, or all day appointments for the rest of the week (and notifying the customers the evening before, or morning of delivery) used to be considered acceptable…but consumers now expect a different level of service, including smaller time windows (such as 2 hours) agreed at the time of order, either next day or in some cases several days out, when it best suits the consumer to be at home.

They want this because customers have ever increasingly busy lives where convenience is king and arranging their busy schedule around limited delivery options is not convenient for them.  They no longer want to wait in all morning for the delivery or to put aside all of Friday. They want to schedule the delivery time around what they are doing.

So what’s the answer for improved route scheduling and home deliveries?

One answer is a single appointment scheduling, route optimisation and Mobile PoD system that considers your logistics capacity at the point of sale and on order confirmation, i.e. your real capability to deliver rather than a historical view of capability. Because the Routing and Appointment scheduling are part of the same solution, this helps to provide a greater visibility within the business and ensure that sales’ decisions also consider logistics costs.

  • At point of sale the appointments offered are based on actual fleet capacity, considering customer service and profit. Descartes uses knowledge of already confirmed orders and routes to incentivise customers to select options that increase route density. If a driver is scheduled to service a specific area/ neighbourhood, then appointment slots on the same day and around the same time will have the most profitable score and could be offered to the customers with an incentive to select them. This ensures all appointments are achievable (Don’t over commit) and offering the full range of appointments (Don’t under commit).
  • Automated routing adds the orders to routes at the moment of order confirmation with continuous optimisation. This approach provides earlier visibility of routes and load volumes for planners and helps to drive increased route density.  When compared to traditional “batch” solutions, it also gives the system more time to produce the optimal route, this can be especially important when faced with late cut off times or high volumes of orders.
  • Customer service offering is enhanced through providing visibility of live, real-time route data and accurate and reliable ETA’s. The route planning and mobile Proof of Delivery systems are all part of the same solution and information collected on the mobile device (including GPS Pings) will update the system in real-time. This real-time feedback from the mobile GPS allows for recalculated and projected ETA’s for all the deliveries on the route.

To learn more about the full power of a single application for appointment booking, route optimisation and mobile Proof of Delivery, please visit out scheduling and routing section of this website.