The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major cultural and social changes to everyday life.
For those who have lived through it, it’ll be what we tell our children and grandchildren about one day. As the consensus on an end date varies, many agree on one thing: life and common practices aren’t going to look the same after this is past.
We’re watching people find creative solutions to practices that have to change due to social distancing. Teachers who were used to face-to-face interaction with students are learning how to teach via digital means. Knowing education must continue, teachers, students and parents joined together to meet a new set of challenges. Now, we’re finding that education can continue even in the midst of a pandemic.
Businesses, too, have pivoted in order to survive. Airlines’ are working to find new sources of revenue. Passenger planes are now being retrofitted for parcels and freight delivery. Restaurants that had only done on-premise dining are finding new ways to serve their customers. Many have branched out to curbside pickup and meal delivery, as well as adding “family-sized meals” to their menus.
Final mile delivery has faced its own set of challenges that brought about the changes that are likely here to stay:
The official beginning of paperless transactions
Proof of delivery was one of the sticking points in converting supply chains to paperless. As many companies touted a transition from paper receipts to a digital POD, they weren’t in a hurry to make it official — until now.
The pandemic has consumers wary of face-to-face deliveries and potential contamination by signing for their goods. Making every effort to keep supply chains flowing, companies are officially flipping the switch and moving their POD’s to digital. The “Big 3” national parcel delivery companies have even adjusted their signature requirements during this time.
Most carrier companies have had the ability to provide digital POD’s for years, but needed the approval from their shipper customers to utilize it. Instead of signatures, carriers have the technology to provide photographs of a package being left or, if someone is available to speak to, noting their name.
More localized fulfillment centers
‘“I think our retail stores are going to become fulfillment centers,” Galleria Dallas’ general manager, Angie Freed, said in an interview.”’ With a 208% increase in buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) purchases, many don’t expect to go back to retail shopping the same way again. As many consumers will resist returning to in-store shopping, many stores will become micro-fulfillment centers.
The stores’ proximity to consumers will allow for shorter shipping times and provide the convenience of a BOPIS for those who want to use it.
We’re here to help
Adapting to consumer preferences has been the key to survival for decades. The pandemic caused cultural conveniences to shift faster, and businesses again will need to keep-up.
At eTrac, our team of experienced last mile professionals has created a platform that allows your last mile to adapt as needed. With a single integration, you can connect to your entire last mile, sending and receiving data and important alerts in real-time. As you grow your last mile, we have a comprehensive network of carrier partners that you can instantly connect with, allowing you to pivot and grow as needed.
Learn why eTrac is the best way to reach the final mile by scheduling a demo here.