On-time delivery is key to building strong relationships with your customers. Today, time is more valuable than ever and demands are ever higher. Speed of delivery is one of the factors most valued by customers when selecting and purchasing a product or service, and providing an agile service is a very important point of differentiation for online shops.
Optimising times to achieve timely delivery of products is not an easy task and requires rigorous planning. Here are some guidelines on how to achieve this objective:
- Optimise routes
It is important to plan optimal delivery routes by analysing the different variables that can affect time management and speed of delivery: traffic, road conditions, traffic jams, etc. In planning, it is also key to take into account loading and unloading times, taking advantage of vehicles’ return journeys… The aim should be to reduce delivery times, serve as many customers as possible per day, cover fewer kilometres, consume less fuel and free up carriers more quickly.
- Digitise processes
New technologies must be integrated into the logistics chain to help reduce delivery times. ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) cover a broad group of technology, e.g. information and geo-location systems such as GPS, software applications for efficient route calculation, voice control, etc. In order to achieve the best product delivery logistics today, it is necessary to be attentive towards the technological innovation that is constantly developing.
- Analyse repetitive demand patterns
Identifying cyclical and predictable demand patterns is a key tactic to optimise logistics response. The analysis of demand patterns allows the company to anticipate in order to have the appropriate resources and provide a more agile response to these regular variations.
- Prioritise the customer experience
Offering customers a satisfactory purchase and reception experience is fundamental for their loyalty and to convert them into brand prescribers. There must always be an open communication channel to resolve any doubts or complaints promptly and to detect opportunities for improvement.
How to optimise your e-commerce order management
The work starts the moment a customer pays for a product in the online shop: the order has to be communicated to the warehouse, the product has to be located, packed, shipped and transported to its final destination.
Many companies manage orders directly from the ecommerce platform, but with large volumes of business it is ideal to connect the online shop with the company’s ERP software. With an OMS (Order Management System) that is not connected to the ERP, you will end up having to enter information manually. This is clearly an inefficient process that multiplies the time spent on the management of each order. Work must be done to minimise duplication and downtime caused by inefficient workflows.
Products should be correctly labelled and coded so that they can be easily located. Warehouse management processes should have a clear protocol. The warehouse must have access to orders in real time so that agile processes can be implemented in line with customer needs.
Inventory must always keep a minimum stock of the products with the highest turnover. A product that is out of stock means missing out on some orders.
Product delivery logistics is a matter that every company must consider in order to be competitive. To achieve this, one option is to contract a Fulfillment service of high excellence such as that of Noatum.