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Why a Mobile-First Strategy Is Critical to Last-Mile Delivery

Mobile-first strategies are critical for the advancing last-mile delivery, a new report has found.

“The Last Mile Sprint: State of Mobility in Transportation and Logistics” global report from mobile and IoT management solutions provider SOTI comes as the transportation and logistics (T&L) industry has seen significant disruptions thanks to a steep rise in e-commerce and rapidly changing consumer expectations that have been accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

With a greater variety and quantity of purchases being shipped directly to homes of consumers by choice and need, as physical stores and personal shopping has been limited by pandemic protocols, combined with expectations that require rapid, often same-day deliveries, last-mile delivery strategies have never been more important, SOTI said.

However, in the report, commissioned by SOTI in partnership with Arlington Research, last-mile delivery is the most inefficient process of the entire supply chain, according to 59 percent of T&L companies in the U.S. and 78 percent in Canada. Arlington Research conducted 450 interviews using an online methodology among IT managers, directors, senior management and C-Suite executives in the T&L vertical in Canada, the U.S., U.K., Germany, Sweden and Australia.

To create powerful and transparent customer experiences, 82 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 88 percent in Canada agreed that it is critical for T&L companies to ensure a mobile-first strategy around last-mile delivery. A mobile-first strategy is defined as viewing smartphones, tablets and task-specific apps as the primary tools for getting work done.

“The stakes have never been higher for transportation and logistics companies in North America as consumers increasingly embrace a delivery culture,” Shash Anand, vice president of product strategy at SOTI, said. “By implementing a robust mobile-first strategy, companies will not only be able to provide better customer experiences, but will increase speed, minimize costs, ensure transparency in the delivery channel for the customer and end consumer, and edge out the competition.”

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Companies know that a mobile-first strategy for last-mile delivery can transform their business operations, evidenced by 74 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 80 percent in Canada who said their organization would benefit or have already benefited from an effective mobile-first strategy for the supply chain’s final mile. In addition, 49 percent of respondents in North America with a mobile-first strategy in place for last-mile delivery said it has effectively reduced their operational costs.

An effective mobile-first strategy also provides companies with increased productivity and visibility into their business. In North America, 58 percent of T&L professionals said a mobile-first strategy has enabled them to gain visibility into critical aspects of their supply chain. In the U.S. specifically, 45 percent indicated it has created a better, more responsive customer experience and 44 percent have used their mobile strategies to support real-time decision-making.

The report found that 49 percent of T&L companies globally said their technology was outdated. In Canada, 68 percent of T&L companies said so, as did 41 percent in the U.S.

The report also found that T&L companies lacking a mobile-first strategy are at risk of losing customers. Half of T&L executives whose organizations use outdated technology believe they will lose, or have already lost, customers because of it and 30 percent of senior management using technology directly attributed this to falling behind competitors.

“Ensuring your technology is constantly updated and having an integrated mobility and IoT management platform in place is an effective operations strategy that helps minimize disruptions to your business and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction,” Anand said.

SOTI has more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. Its innovative portfolio of solutions and services provide the tools organizations need to mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments.