The surge in eCommerce, online food ordering, and online services have put tremendous pressure on the last-mile delivery system, the final stage in the entire ecosystem that brings a variety of goods to the consumers’ doorstep.
As people continue to expect same-day or instant delivery, the last-mile delivery executives are stuck in a bottleneck. Geofencing technology can be particularly useful in optimizing last mile delivery.
What is Geofencing?
Geofencing is a virtual fence or geographical boundary of a specific area on a map. It enables computer algorithms to trigger a response when a piece of certain hardware equipment–GPS sensors, RFID, or Wi-Fi–enters or leaves the virtual barriers.
Many applications that use geofencing incorporate Google Earth to define boundaries on top of a satellite view of a geographical area. Other applications define boundaries by longitude and latitude or through user-created or web-based apps.
Geofencing for Last-mile Delivery
Using GPS tracking, delivery fleet companies, for example, monitor the position of their vehicles and share this information with customers. Thanks to geofencing, whenever a delivery executive deviates from the predefined route, the deviation is immediately detected, and the executive is notified immediately.
Geofencing is transforming the way logistics and last-mile delivery work. Its application has helped companies and employees, both. Some of the benefits include:
Efficiency. By establishing geofence perimeters, fleet managers can ensure that delivery personnel follow the recommended path to avoid wasting fuel and arrive at their location on time. Geofencing also fast tracks deliveries. To ensure that a delivery person is available to complete an order within 30 to 60 minutes of placing it, food ordering applications collect orders according to location, time, and day. Such coordination with the delivery executives reduces order cancellations.
Communication. GPS tracking software with geofencing helps communications between members across the logistics and last-mile delivery teams. This entails customer notification about delivery, returns, and progress updates. With regular updates, companies can reduce resource wastage and improve customer satisfaction.
Safety. People accidentally go over the speed limit for not seeing road signs, resulting in undesired penalties. However, with geofencing technology, companies can digitally cordon off certain areas. For instance, Ford is trailing a technology that reduces the speed of vehicles to comply with speed limits without having to read road signs.
Cost-effective. One of the major challenges that most last-mile delivery services face is inefficient fleet management. It leads to increased delivery costs, idle waiting time, and delayed deliveries. According to Accenture’s ‘The Sustainable Last Mile’ report, 5 to 10 percent of all last mile deliveries fail, and every failed delivery costs about $5. Companies can turn to geofencing-based location technology solutions to keep costs down.
Prevent Malpractice. Vehicle fleets are expensive to purchase and maintain. Theft, damage, and misuse are common occurrences. Geofencing can track the location of mobile devices installed in vehicles.
Using Software for Geofencing
To set up a geofencing service, companies need to use GPS or RFID-enabled software to create a virtual boundary around the desired location. System administrators then need to assign a “response to action” to trigger when vehicles enter, exit, or come near the delineated area.
Employees will need to use mobile apps on their mobile devices to track and relay their location. Companies can achieve this by using reliable mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
The geofencing features help system administrators remotely monitor and control several mobile devices from a single web portal. Device management solutions offer many benefits including:
- History of locations
- Track lost or stolen devices
- Enforce around-the-clock GPS services
- Remotely deploy logistic applications applications
- Disable the logistics apps when overspeeding
- Put the mobile device in kiosk mode for a distraction-free environment
- Remote communication for managers to stay in touch with delivery executives
- With the use of geofencing, seamless voice switchover from one voip service to another is possible without any disruption in delivery.
Last-mile delivery is a demanding job. Delivery executives need all the support to meet customer expectations. Companies that Implement device management solutions can leverage geofencing capabilities to deliver efficient last-mile deliveries. The benefit is twofold: First, efficient fleet management.
MDM with geofencing features helps manage fleets, and schedules routes for companies to manage their last-mile deliveries with greater efficiency. Second, insights for constant improvement. For instance, custom reports from MDM solutions help managers make decisions that help achieve cost savings.