The role of the customer in last mile deliveries: how to improve efficiency?

Customer involvement is regarded as a new way to increase last mile efficiency. Improved delivery designs call for customer involvement although it is not clear how customers can be involved and what the consequences are for organizations and customers involved in the last mile. 

While literature describes several roles for customers in service delivery, these roles have not been considered in the last mile context yet, and their implications for performance and control over the last mile are unknown.

In this thesis, by Dutch student Merijn Bouwman, important customer roles are identified while both the organizational and customer perspectives for the effects of involvement in these roles are examined. By performing interviews with a broad range of experts on the last-mile, it is shown that customer involvement is possible in a multitude of roles and that these roles can lead to increased performance and control.
By involving customers, the last mile can become more customer-centric while customer satisfaction, efficiency, and control over the processcan be increased concurrently.

Download this thesis here.

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