Delivery management

Delivery management is a fundamental component of successfully running an ecommerce business. If you can't scale your delivery management system to meet rising demands, you’ll have a hard time building your consumer base. Find out why analyzing and optimizing platforms for managing deliveries is vital for your business’ success.

What is delivery management?

Delivery management is the action of employing logistics processes to ensure that items are efficiently delivered. For ecommerce businesses, the goal is to make sure that customers receive their orders on time and undamaged. This is especially important for ecommerce DTC brands, since the delivery is one of the only ways their customers interact with the brand.


Why is delivery management important?

Competition among retail businesses has increased as ecommerce has grown in popularity. Meanwhile, increasingly more brick-and-mortar stores are incorporating digital tech into their delivery systems to supplement the in-store shopping experience.

Thanks to this advent and the worldwide surge in efficient shipping popularized by Amazon, customers expect to receive packages quickly, often in as little as 1-2 days. This has resulted in a dramatic change in customer behavior, thereby affecting:

  • Demand patterns
  • Consumer expectations
  • Delivery turnaround time
  • Order fulfillment strategies

In this environment, employing the most advanced delivery processes, including automation tools, is the key to boosting profitability and retaining customers.


Who is in charge of delivery management?

The delivery manager oversees delivery management at a company. This professional is responsible for ensuring all goods are delivered to the proper recipients in a timely manner. They do this by effectively managing team members and their work schedules.

To this end, delivery managers facilitate the production and implementation of software and other administration tools. Their goal is to maximize the accuracy and efficiency of deliveries. Delivery managers remove any obstacles that may hinder a project’s progress and establish timelines for product delivery.


What are the challenges of delivery management?

Delivery is complicated, especially when you consider the number of orders a delivery manager is typically responsible for. Delivery managers face the following major challenges:

  • Field staff visibility
  • Route planning
  • KPI measurement
  • Managing costs
  • Verifying customers’ addresses

Last-mile delivery

The single most critical stage of any delivery, and the make-or-break factor in its success, is the last-mile delivery. This is the final transport of an order from a local shipping carrier’s distribution center to the customer’s doorstep. As the toughest part of the delivery cycle, the last-mile stage is dependent upon route efficiency and operational management and can impact delivery expediency and customer satisfaction.

"In the last two and a half years, I think we’ve had four or five misships, which out of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of orders is incredible."
David Bronkie
co-founder of Siblings

How do you improve delivery management?

By improving your company's delivery management, you can help reduce human error and streamline warehouse operations, in turn improving the customer experience. In doing so, you’ll enhance operational effectiveness across the whole of order management. At the same time, you'll improve company infrastructure, manage costs and mitigate risk. There are several ways you can improve deliveries in your company.


Automation is key to improving all aspects of your delivery management. Automating delivery systems and processes involves implementing a software delivery model using SaaS (software as a service) technology. With this technology, you can automate repetitive tasks currently handled manually. Automation reduces human error and increases efficiency by following a prescribed set of rules to make decisions in a fraction of a second. 

Automating dispatch, in particular, can help you better offer on-demand delivery at scale. On-demand businesses must be able to dispatch orders as soon as they come in. Automated dispatching software systematically assigns deliveries to the nearest drivers able to complete delivery within the time frame allotted.

Route optimization

Mapping the shortest but safest delivery routes is essential for continued delivery success. Algorithms can much more efficiently plot out the best delivery routes than any human worker can because they can process so much information at once. Artificial intelligence (AI) can do this while still accounting for various constraints, such as:

  • Delivery windows
  • Driver schedules
  • Vehicle capacity
  • Travel patterns

You can even use algorithms to generate more accurate estimated times of arrival (ETAs.)

Fleet productivity

Using software to make fleet movement visible in real time helps dispatchers adjust to changing circumstances as they happen. Such circumstances may include a driver getting lost, getting stuck in traffic, or experiencing vehicle trouble. Armed with this invaluable vehicle tracking data, you can help avoid costly delays and save vital resources. Customer support teams can also leverage real-time tracking to improve customer communications. By tracking metrics around fleet activity and driver behavior, you can also help to reduce liability insurance costs.

Enhanced customer communications

An omnichannel customer communications system can help make customer communications more effective. This way, no matter how customers contact you—by phone, email, chatbot, or some other method—all the information needed to provide top-level support is available.

The right delivery management software can also help you deliver prompt updates to customers on the progress of their deliveries, including ETAs.

Enhanced team communications

Drivers need a way to communicate with dispatch if there’s a question or problem with a delivery. The telephone has always been the standard method, but it’s also inefficient and subject to several potential impediments. For example, a phone call can’t display a live location on a map.

Instant messaging helps simplify and streamline communications between drivers and dispatch. It can also convey useful information such as the details of the active delivery and the driver’s current location.

Proof of delivery

Standard methods of verifying delivery include customer signatures or photos of package delivery locations. However, modern alternatives that involve barcode scanning are often more efficient and easier to track.


What are the advantages of efficient delivery management?

Today’s on-demand economy has reshaped how deliveries are handled and customers’ expectations. Companies that adopt new strategies to improve their logistics operations will be able to adapt to these changes and thrive. Such strategies include reliable and effective delivery software to help eliminate redundant procedures.

Improving your company’s delivery management systems and processes can help improve your business’s:

  • Productivity
  • Profitability
  • Customer service
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Carbon footprint
  • Regulatory compliance


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