What is End-to-End Visibility?
End-to-end visibility is an emerging business requirement being set by leaders in the transportation and logistics industry. For customers, end-to-end visibility means having immediate access to real-time information about shipment location and status–all the way through the last mile. For carriers, it means transparency of routes, locations, and status for all jobs. For drivers, it means clear instructions on all assigned deliveries and a system that optimizes delivery.
When asked about top challenges facing carriers, the top 3 answers include:
- Cutting transportation costs
- Business process improvement
- Improved customer service
End-to-end visibility systems address these issues by making transportation companies more efficient in route management and delivery, paper-free when providing proof of delivery, and more transparent to their end customers in providing shipment status and location.
What are the Benefits to Carriers?
Now that we’ve outlined how end-to-end visibility systems work, let’s take a look at the top benefits to shipping companies.
The number one challenge that carriers report is cutting transportation costs, followed by business process improvement, and improved customer service1. Let’s look at how an end-to-end visibility system can help shore up some of these areas.
1 Source: Capgemini Consulting. 2016 State of Third-Party Logistics
Faster Deliveries / Lower Fuel Costs
Features like route optimization drives efficiency and lower fuel costs. Turn-by-turn directions and digital proof of delivery will speed up shipments and the time it takes to record successful delivery and sync back with the home system.
Eliminate Paper & Reduce Costs
Beyond speed, electronic proof of delivery makes paperwork unnecessary and also contributes to more accurate records. Less paperwork means less physical storage space in the office, and less time spent sending delivery confirmations.
Better Customer Experience
Give your customers the ability to see where their delivery is every step of the way. Similar to systems used by the industry leaders, customers can choose to receive automated shipping updates, or pro-actively check status on the web.
Research has shown that eliminating invoicing delay offers major financial benefits. Invoices sent within a week of work completion were paid on average in fewer than five days. Invoicing at the point of delivery will speed up your revenue cycle.
What are the Benefits to Drivers & Couriers?
Saving time and money while making your customers happy are important aspects of the shipping business. As well, taking care of your employees and guarding them from burn out is also critical and connected with the health of your organization.
If your drivers can’t deliver shipments quickly and efficiently, then other parts of the business will not be able to thrive. An effective end-to-end visibility system should include a driver component, typically loaded up on their mobile device that includes shipment and route information as well as the ability to update delivery status from the field.
With route optimization and on-the-fly adjustments, your drivers will be spending less time between stops, resulting in less driver fatigue.
Another desirable feature for your driver app is turn-by-turn direction functionality. Take guess work and manual research out of the equation.
Avoid re-work due to incomplete information by placing full shipment details for every delivery assignment in the palm of your drivers’ hands.
End-to-End Visibility: How It Works
Centralized, Online Dispatch Portal
01. JOB AND SHIPPING LABEL CREATION
End-to-end shipping visibility starts with a centralized dispatching system. This system is cloud-based and accessible from any internet connected device. Step one is to create jobs and enter all critical information including: request date, service and parcel type, pickup and delivery addresses, as well as details about all pieces to be delivered for a particular job.
02. JOB ASSIGNMENT & DISPATCHING
Once jobs have been created and labels printed, it’s time to assign the newly created jobs to your drivers. The dispatch portal will include list of all unassigned delivery jobs, and an easy drag-and-drop interface for dispatching jobs to available delivery drivers. To go a step further, there are tools that will automate the dispatching process based on routes and optimize jobs for the most optimal delivery time.
Each driver has their own profile, that is associated with their vehicle and shows critical information such as: weight of current load, real-time location, route information, scheduled delivery time for each job, expected time of delivery, and number of assigned jobs in queue.
03. REAL-TIME TRACK AND TRACE
Once deliveries have been assigned, your drivers can provide real-time delivery updates from the field via a synchronized mobile app running on their mobile device. First, the driver will scan the barcode on the package. Next, they’ll update the status as “picked up” which alerts dispatch of the status. Drivers also have the ability to update the delivery status while in-transit, and once the package has been delivered.
Even if drivers don’t update from the field, your track and trace system will automatically update the dispatch and customer-facing tracking systems with real-time location information from your driver’s mobile device and GPS coordinates.
04. ELECTRONIC PROOF OF DELIVERY
At the time of delivery, a driver simply:
- Scans the barcode on the package
- Captures the customer signature confirming receipt
- Updates the delivery status on their mobile app
Best-in-class systems will automatically provide your customers delivery documentation so you don’t have to. What’s more, is that you can invoice them immediately, without waiting for the paperwork to arrive back at the office, reducing the payment cycle.
Looking for a recommendation?
ShipTrack is a Global Pickup & Delivery solution that provides small, medium and large parcel and freight companies, trucking companies and private fleets with a complete Track and Trace system with Proof of Delivery for your clients. The entire solution is designed to provide information to your shippers and consignees that rivals systems that the largest carriers have deployed for just pennies per load.