Americans spend more than $100 billion on furniture a year, with nearly $10 billion in sales through online purchases, according to Furniture Today.
Shopping is made easier by the ability to use tablets and smartphones, especially for Millennials and higher-income consumers, according to Dana French, industry journalist with Furniture Today. She reports that, “Half of consumers with a smartphone used it both before and during a brick-and-mortar furniture store shopping trip.” While the shopping and buying has been easier, one of the major complaints consumers have had is not knowing when their furniture will arrive at their home.
In order to manage the delivery, consumers must take time off from work and rearrange appointments. Now, a logistics company serving major furniture retailers around the country has improved the timing and communication to the recipient for home furniture delivery. Last Mile Home utilizes integrated tablets and smartphones on the Verizon network, with routing software called Dispatch Track in key markets.
This technology combination enables the company to efficiently route hundreds of deliveries per week and keep the consumers and retailers notified when the truck will arrive at a specific location within a 30 minute window. Dennis McGrath, business development specialist at Last Mile Home, says because of the technology and reliable network service, they can accommodate specific requests from customers about time of day deliveries. Drivers update their Dispatch Track routing list after each completed delivery, in some cases with images and a customer survey, if instructed.
They then move to the next stop using the mobile device, which includes a map and navigation. At that time, they can send a text to the customer at the next stop, telling the customer that they are on the way. An additional benefit to furniture retailers is they can measure on-time delivery stats. With this technology, Last Mile Home has quickly opened new distribution centers around the country. Currently, the company is in Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis and New Orleans, with plans for additional markets by the end of the year.