We all love ice cream, don’t we! That is why it is such a vast global industry with loyal consumers and a wide variety of product offerings!
However, not only does the ice-cream industry face challenges that all other delivery businesses do, but it also operates under some very unique constraints that other industries don’t have to tackle e.g. highly perishable products.
Therefore, the benefits of using the best last mile delivery software for an ice-cream delivery business – such as fleet management, real-time location data, route optimization, and advanced analytics – are that much greater.
How to Manage an Ice Cream Delivery Business using a Delivery Management Software
Ask yourself a simple question: how many people have you ever heard say “I don’t like ice cream”. Well, chances are, never! It really is a universally loved item! People from all over the world, across all ages, economic strata, education, and ethnicities – everybody, but everybody, loves ice cream! And, that is why this ubiquitous product is a global force with regard to revenue generated and volume of consumption.
It also needs mention that due to the convenient availability of efficient machinery, and relative simplicity in its production procedures, ice cream can easily be produced and sold almost anywhere on the planet. Therefore, consumer demand for this product is always at a constant high and this is expected to grow annually.
An important factor in fuelling this growth is also that the business has kept abreast with the latest technological improvements. For example, food-delivery Apps, cloud kitchens, and delivery management software that help in receiving orders from online customers and getting the ice-cream orders out to them have not only improved beyond recognition but continually keep doing so. As a result, all aspects of the business are helped greatly.
However, just like any other industry, the ice cream business also has several challenges and deep-rooted problems. Some of these become heightened when analyzed in context with the ice-cream delivery model.
Quite expectedly, the most challenging aspect is its perishable nature – this, by itself, spawns a whole range of problems across cost and logistics including the need for a frozen supply-chain network.
What are some challenges faced by an ice-cream delivery management system?
1. Highly perishable: Undoubtedly, this is the most difficult aspect of the ice-cream business to manage. Not only will this highly perishable product perish if it isn’t stored or transported under the prescribed temperatures but it is also at risk of losing taste, color, and flavor. This is a great threat and can – and, unfortunately often does – result in huge losses for the ice-cream business. Typically, the required temperature for its transport and storage is -12.22° C.
2. Getting product catalog right: Well, this is a classic case of the “double-edged sword”. On the one hand, the sheer variety and choice that ice-cream catalogs offer is a driving reason for large consumer consumption but on the other hand, it also creates the problem of excess.
Manufacturing – and, offering- too many choices to the consumer often creates trouble on the supply side. Their resources and cash flow get stretched across too many items and could ultimately result in an inefficient and unprofitable business for the manufacturer, supplier, and supplier.
At the same time though, enough choice must be offered to the consumer for him to make repeat purchases regularly. Getting the equation correct is always a challenging task.
Additionally, the ice-cream delivery management software must also be equipped to handle such breadth and depth of products.
3. Fiercely competitive: As though the above challenges weren’t enough, the ice-cream industry is characterized by the fiercest competition!
It stems from the fact that since ice-creams can be mass-produced fairly easily, the correct equipment is commonly procured, it doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how, and since it enjoys constant demand from consumers, it naturally attracts numerous competitors.
It is also an industry where a manufacturer cannot patent a flavor or procedure. Therefore, gaining and preserving market share becomes a tough task. Manufacturers need to constantly invest in consumer research, test new flavors, and optimize their delivery services to become more efficient, and cost-effective.
What are the benefits of using a good ice cream Delivery Management Software?
Modern Delivery Management Software is an advanced, capable system that is equipped with several features. With it, suppliers can manage all aspects of an ice-cream delivery business with complete transparency and visibility.
As mentioned earlier, the ice-cream delivery business operates under several severe constraints such as completing delivery before it melts (or, even softens), quick selection, loading, and dispatch of products to reduce transit time.
Given below are some leading benefits:
1. Optimized routing: An all-important feature since it ensures that the quickest possible route is selected. Remember, the “quickest” route isn’t the shortest, but the one that ensures the least transit time. The ice-cream delivery management software takes into consideration all elements including traffic, road distance, weather, tolls (etc.) to arrive at the optimal route. The route also assesses (and, includes) all other deliveries in the same – or, similar- vicinity so that overall efficiency across as many deliveries as possible is maintained. This goes a long way to create Customer Satisfaction, and ensure repeat orders.
2. Automated order management: The software is automatically programmed to assign orders received with the available resources i.e. vehicles, drivers, delivery agents (etc.). This ensures that no order is awaiting dispatch without being under process. Again, a critical part of ensuring that the quickest delivery time is maintained.
4. Live tracking: A great disadvantage with legacy route-management and delivery systems was lack of visibility i.e. once the order was “out for delivery”, there was little, -if, any- way for Fleet Managers to monitor the field teams.
However, with a delivery management system, the movement of the delivery team is tracked in real-time. The customer, too, receives real-time updates. This two-way communication enables any last-minute changes or clarifications e.g. confirmation of address, change of delivery window, etc.
5. Fully digital: Two-way electronic feedback enables faster, paperless processing. It captures customer feedback, thoughts, trends, and delivery-agent performance e.g. e-signing on tablets for orders received. This provides insight into which actions can be taken to improve the service, and ultimately, grow the business.
4. Insightful reports: With its robust data analytics, AI and ML, the system generates deeply insightful reports. Past problems like failed (or delayed) deliveries, agent performance, customers’ order history (etc.) are all maintained and mined in various ways to generate insight. Again, using this as the bedrock for decision-making drives a manifold increase in the business.
Conclusion: Using a dedicated ice-cream delivery management system in conjunction with last mile delivery management software, the ice-cream industry can improve its delivery business significantly to run a healthy, profitable business.