The Last Mile is the final stage of the supply chain process where goods are transported from the transportation hub to the final destination, typically to a customer’s doorstep or a retail outlet. In recent years, Last Mile Delivery has become as increasingly important aspect of Supply Chain Management, especially for start-ups and small to medium sized businesses (SMESs). This is due to the growing focus on sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
Sian Young, an International Speaker, Health Coach, Founder of Sustainable Success Coach, Co-Founder of ©Centre for Sustainable Action and ©SDG – Assessment App and SPF + the Sustainable Development Performance Indicators (SDPIs) Scorecard for organisations, a UN and TEDx a Multi-Award-Winning entrepreneur and Author.
For many years, Last Mile Delivery was a neglected aspect of the supply chain. Companies focused on improving efficiency in upstream processes like manufacturing and distribution, neglecting the challenges and the rise of online shopping, Last Mile Delivery has become critically important. Consumers today demand faster and more reliable delivery options. This has put immense pressure on logistics providers and supply chain managers to optimise their Last Mile Delivery processes.
Start-ups and SMEs are particularly venerable to the challenges of the Last Mile Delivery, unlike large corporations, they often lack the resources and expertise to manage complex supply chains. They also face stiff competition from established players in the industry. However, Last Mile Delivery can also be an opportunity for start-ups and SMEs to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By offering more sustainability and environmentally friendly delivery options, they can attract customers who prioritise sustainability.
One reason why start-ups and SMEs need to start reporting on their sustainability and ESGs is that it can help them attract customers. According to a 2021 survey by Accenture, 60% of consumers globally say they will reduce their purchases from companies that do not take environmental issues seriously and 70% are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products.
Reporting on your ESGs can help build brand loyalty and trust.
Many investors and stakeholders are increasingly demanding that companies report on their sustainability ESGs due to regulatory pressure on them to prove their investment portfolios are sustainable. If you are an SME who is part of a corporation’s supply chain (77% in UK are) then come January 2024 the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) regulations will be applied and corporations will need to prove that their supply chain is acting sustainably.
Are you ready as an entrepreneur of SME?
In conclusion, Last Mile Delivery is a critical aspect of Supply Chain Management, especially for start-ups and SMESs. By optimising their Last Mile Delivery processes and reporting and verifying them as being in line with sustainability and ESGs, these companies can differentiate themselves from their competitors, attract customers who prioritise sustainability, and manage risk. In the future if entrepreneurs and SMEs want to stay in corporations Supply Chains, they will need to start proving not only to the corporations but to customers that they are acting sustainably. It’s time to get ahead of the curve and act NOW on these vital areas of your business.