How Elite EXTRA is Changing the Game for Parts Delivery Drivers

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Blog, Industry Insights

The primary focus of most corporations is on the sales side of their business, which is getting new products to the market. While this is important because it’s the primary source of revenue for any manufacturer, it is also essential for corporations to factor in their ability to service their customers’ assets with the necessary spare parts.

The availability of service parts is a critical aspect of the supply chain for industries that depend on machinery and equipment. It ensures that the necessary parts and equipment are always at hand when needed, reducing downtime, increasing operational effectiveness, and ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction. Parts delivery drivers play a central and critical link in the supply chain. They are the ones who ensure that parts are delivered safely and on time.

This article looks at how improving and optimizing their experience can help your business deliver on its commitment to customer satisfaction.

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The Role of Parts Delivery Drivers in The Supply Chain

Truckers play an invaluable role in keeping businesses running and economies growing. They are the unsung heroes of supply chain management, ensuring efficient transportation of goods across vast distances. Thanks to their services, corporations can meet customer demands. In the US, the trucking industry is responsible for moving over 70% of all freight tonnage.

When products are expensive, essential to customers, and expected to last a long time, it is crucial to have a supply chain that can anticipate failures and respond with the required parts whenever and wherever a customer needs them. Drivers not only move freight but also know how to do so efficiently because they understand supply chain metrics. They support the supply chain by optimizing routes and planning ahead to meet globalized expectations of the parts delivery business market.

Brands that successfully manage their service parts supply chains have a solid competitive advantage because the modern consumer is often willing to pay more for a product that they are confident can be repaired quickly. Consider these examples: Imagine a robotic assembly line in an automotive factory producing engine components encounters a breakdown, or the communication system in a large automobile manufacturing plant with 2000 employees experiences downtime due to a critical system component failure. In both scenarios, the cost of downtime is substantial, and companies prefer investing in premium services to ensure optimal performance, avoiding the frustration, inconvenience, and loss of productivity associated with these disruptions.

Challenges Experienced by Parts Delivery Drivers

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 severely and abruptly disrupted supply chains. Distribution centers temporarily shut down, unpredicted shortages became ubiquitous, and supplier instability radically altered traditional business models. These changes also exposed vulnerabilities that posed various challenges to parts delivery drivers. From driver retention to obsolete technology to increasing customer expectations, the trucking industry faces several issues that threaten its overall efficiency in delivering parts.

The most significant challenge for delivery drivers is dealing with the jobs’ unfavorable working hours and physical demands. There is also the issue of using outdated technologies that lead to inefficiencies since the driver cannot effectively perform their role. Without the right tools and technology, drivers risk delays that can cause significant disruptions to maintenance schedules, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction. Spares like automotive parts are often highly specialized and must be delivered to specific locations. Route planning and optimization become complex and time-consuming tasks without the right technology.

Another challenge for parts delivery drivers is the lack of real-time visibility. For instance, automotive parts are often shipped through complex supply chains, making tracking their progress difficult. In this case, lack of visibility makes it difficult to manage drivers effectively to avoid delays or lost shipments. Drivers cannot determine the most efficient routes to their locations and waste precious time and fuel. At the same time, miscommunication and human error result in slow and inefficient parts delivery service.

Changing The Game for Parts Delivery Drivers With Elite EXTRA

Technologies like automation, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have all become instrumental in the trucking industry, with more organizations seeking innovative ways to remain competitive and profitable in an increasingly dynamic market. The innovation in trucking is sure to move the industry forward and inherently change how goods are transported worldwide.

Elite EXTRA is helping steer the technological revolution in logistics by offering industry-leading software solutions that power the last mile of the supply chain. Juggling constantly changing delivery requests, finding a driver available to make the delivery, and organizing the delivery process while still trying to manage your employees efficiently does not have to be a hectic commitment. Elite EXTRA automates and organizes your parts delivery drivers to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Elite EXTRA offers several features through its suite of software solutions that can help parts delivery drivers streamline their operations. These features enable the management of service parts logistics for suppliers of mission-critical equipment and ensure customer satisfaction. Such features include:

Real-Time Tracking and Visibility

A graphic showing real-time parts delivery driver locations on a map screen

Adopting real-time tracking systems in parts delivery has revolutionized the process, adding unprecedented transparency, efficiency, and reliability. The systems use advanced technologies like GPS and IoT to monitor the movement and condition of goods as they transverse through various supply chain channels. They are comprised of multiple components that work synergistically to provide end-to-end supply chain visibility. This helps reduce costs, identify bottlenecks, and improve customer satisfaction.

Real-time tracking technology gives parts drivers predictive visibility that can influence their actions and ensure smooth delivery. It also helps dispatchers identify gaps, route diversions, delays, and other inefficiencies affecting delivery, thus minimizing downtime. The tracking technology also helps boost drivers’ performance by eliminating manual tasks like handling hard copy dispatch documents and frequent phone calls to pinpoint delivery locations.

Route Optimization and Efficiency

Route optimization software integrates with GPS to empower and equip drivers with tools to serve customers better. Parts drivers can receive instant notifications on changes in traffic, weather alerts, or road accidents. This enables them to take the most efficient paths available, resulting in significant fuel and labor cost savings and less wear and strain on the vehicles.

Unfamiliar roads, road closures, or traffic make it stressful for drivers to fulfill orders. However, effective route planning ensures drivers prepare and consider risks and constraints to maximize productivity. Additionally, efficient delivery routes empower parts drivers to complete more deliveries in a shift to have more time to pursue interests outside work and with their loved ones. The lack of a good work-life balance is one of the reasons the trucking industry struggles with high turnover rates.

Elite EXTRA automates routing and dispatching with an optimization engine that works in adherence to your rules to streamline the route planning process. It helps you accurately calculate and plan service time for each spot. It factors parameters like time windows, pickup time, loading time, travel time, time between stops, and unloading time to establish realistic performance expectations for drivers.

Communication and Coordination

For parts delivery drivers to achieve the maximum number of on-time deliveries, there should be seamless communication between all parties involved, from the delivery managers to dispatchers to drivers and customers. Since drivers are busy on the road, it is unsafe to bother them with numerous calls or expect them to constantly update you on the delivery status or share their location.

Proof of delivery photo and signature on the EXTRA Driver app on mobile devices

Using a driver mobile app eliminates paper manifests while providing real-time status updates to keep drivers on schedule. This removes the guesswork and minimizes disruption to delivery drivers with unnecessary calls. It also facilitates better collaboration and communication among the various spare parts supply chain stakeholders. The app is a centralized communication channel where teams can coordinate efficiently, share information, solve issues promptly, and streamline parts delivery operations.

Usually, routing and dispatch software are combined with a mobile app or SMS integrations to allow you to notify drivers and customers about a package’s delivery progress. You can automatically send ETA alerts with a link to a tracking page where customers can view live updates and make the fulfillment process swift. In addition to that, most apps have a photo and signature capture feature for drivers to record proof of delivery with e-signatures and pictures, giving the drivers confidence they completed their delivery accurately.

Integration With Automotive Supply Chains & Technologies

To ensure orders pass smoothly into the software for dispatch, Elite EXTRA supports integration with other business systems you may use, such as ERP, POS, eCommerce, and many more. This enables seamless communication and automatic data transfer from your other systems to the logistic software. Manual input is eliminated, ensuring efficiency and accuracy in order processing, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

Empower your automotive parts supply chain by integrating with a Delivery Network, which helps solve driver shortages and meet customer delivery demands. The feature gives you more delivery options by allowing you to choose from multiple integrated third-party fleets. You can also compare the costs and times of each party in real time and choose the best option to make your customers happier, no matter the status of your internal fleet.

Other integration features include Returns Automation, which automates the returns process, and Fleet Telematics, which issues alerts and keeps track of maintenance schedules and driver management data.

User-Friendly Interface

A good logistics software must have a streamlined interface that enables effortless navigation across its functions. Parts delivery drivers already have a lot on their hands, and therefore, you want to adopt a solution that they can quickly learn and navigate without intensive training or onboarding. The goal is to make deliveries easy and efficient, which can only be achieved when a solution fits seamlessly into your operations. Our software is simple to install and intuitive, allowing users to navigate all its features easily.

The Impact of Technology on Driver Satisfaction and Retention

Technological innovations give the trucking industry an unprecedented opportunity to leverage software solutions to streamline operations and improve performance. Drivers often complain about long hours, and most are dissatisfied with the directions they receive on the route to the consignee, especially when facing traffic or delays. This leaves them frustrated and unenthusiastic about their job. However, real-time monitoring can help boost driver morale by improving logistics and saving valuable hours. Logistics software enables fleets to optimize scheduling and routing and effectively communicate with drivers to ensure they follow the fastest and most efficient route to deliver parts.

Technology and software solutions also streamline record keeping, freeing up drivers’ time on the road. Manual paperwork is eliminated, reducing the occurrence of form and manner violations, and in their place, electronic logging apps automatically help drivers fill in necessary compliance information to minimize record-keeping penalties.

Solutions like Elite EXTRA empower the trucking industry with critical data that provide visibility into the parts supply chain, enabling key decision-makers to see how drivers play a role in the success of the process. The highly integrated platform provides stakeholders with valuable insights they need to maintain their workforce, equip them, and capitalize on their skills while improving their work experience.

Streamline Parts Delivery for Drivers with Elite EXTRA Today

Do you need help to meet your spare parts delivery needs? Elite EXTRA offers an advanced last-mile delivery solution to help you enhance customer experience, reduce operational costs, and track shipment status and essential KPIs for parts delivery drivers. Your customers deserve the right parts, delivered at the right time, every time, no matter where they are. Request a demo or contact us today to learn more about how our solutions can enhance your logistics operations.


Mallorie Barabas

Mallorie Barabas


Mallorie is the Marketing Strategist at Elite EXTRA; if you ask her about her job, she will immediately tell you to follow @EliteEXTRA on LinkedIn (that is your cue;) When she isn't at the office, you can catch her teaching aerial yoga, swimming, or just generally enjoying the outdoors.

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