Logistics companies live or die on their ability to get a parcel delivered from A to B. Irrespective of the timeframe within which a customer expects a delivery, the parcel must arrive by then. Anything that can impact on this happening will have a negative effect on the customer’s experience and on the company’s reputation.
If they haven’t already, companies must start looking at new ways to take a more proactive approach to their supply chain and their use of data analytics; changing their approach to one that allows them to predict possible problem areas, rather than finding themselves doing a post crisis analysis and looking at data after something has gone wrong.
There is a lot of data in telematics and in delivery trucks, as well as general business data that companies can utilise but many are not taking full advantage of it. Other external data sources can also help them to figure out if there is a better, more efficient way to operate.
Fundamentally, when a business is able to use data to show when they are going to be busy, they are able to increase resources in line with this and adapt their delivery processes accordingly.
For example, some companies are starting to think differently and are using their own data and predictive analytics to see in which postal areas they encounter problems when delivering parcels – such as areas where they have no drivers or depots - and have looked at how they can resolve these. There are definitely some very interesting developments taking place when it comes to delivery processes and customer services.
eBay is a great example of a non logistics company that has teamed up with retailer Argos to help improve its customer service; with customers being able to pick up their deliveries from local Argos branches rather than opting for home delivery. Littlewoods and Very have also taken similar approaches, implementing CollectPlus. Furthermore, a Click & Collect service is proving popular with other retailers such as John Lewis. Partnering with another company, convenience store or branch is an extremely viable option to help improve delivery times and customer service and it results in customers not having to be at home during certain hours and risk missing their delivery.
But it’s not just the big names that can have such success. All companies should know exactly what is happening at every stage of their delivery process and through the use of next generation technology, big or small logistics providers or couriers are able to achieve the same and at a cost price that makes it even more worthwhile.
Laurence Armiger, Director, Zizo