From teaching everyone how to use video conferencing software to improving our baking skills, the time many people spent at home during the pandemic introduced a number of habits that have led to growth in various industries.
For the retail and logistics industries in particular, the growth since the pandemic has been huge. The growth of ecommerce has skyrocketed: according to the US Census Bureau’s Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS), e-commerce sales increased by $244.2 billion or 43% in 2020. In turn, ensuring seamless and cheap delivery has become crucial, with more than 50 percent of consumers shopping online for free delivery.
With more pressure than ever on the last mile, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to take on whatever challenges come your way. Here are three tips to help improve your delivery performance:
Track your inventory
Yes, improved delivery performance all starts long before anything gets loaded into a van to make its way to a customer. After all, despite all the time and money that goes into getting your delivery process to work smoothly, your product isn’t actually the delivery itself, but the item your customer’s buying - so it’s crucial to make sure you’re tracking it correctly long before it’s in the van.
Surprisingly enough, one of the most common causes of delays getting products out to customers can often be simply not having enough product in stock in the first place. Having visibility into your supply chain through specialized software can help you in identifying sales trends, which is crucial not only for sales forecasting and making sure you’re never caught out, but can also be key for broader strategic planning.
Implementing supply chain software, like a warehouse management system, can also have immediate benefits on the warehouse floor: it can help you not only keep track of your inventory, but also help you identify and fix any bottlenecks that slow down the fulfilment process, such as issues with handling steps like sorting, packing, or scanning.
Communicate with your team
With all the tech tools available to manage every process in your business, some of the more obvious things can get forgotten. One of those is making sure you’re communicating properly with your team.
Proper communication not only means ensuring that you’ve adequately trained your team on new tech that’s been implemented, but also listening to their thoughts and feedback on what they’re seeing and experiencing through their work.
By listening to feedback, you may uncover issues that even the best tracking software can’t tell you - for example, your tech may be able to tell you that handling steps are causing delays, but may not be able to tell you the reasons why. An employee working on sorting, on the other hand, can give you direct insight into what’s going wrong and how it can be fixed.
Invest in route optimization software
Paper maps and spreadsheets may have cut it in the 90s, but with delivery now a major factor in consumer decision making, having the right software in place to get your products to where they need to be as fast as possible means it’s time to upgrade.
Route optimization software like Adiona can help you plan and dispatch your network, factoring in real-time changes in traffic and road conditions and communicating with drivers on the go to ensure they’re always on track. Customers, in turn, can enjoy greater certainty around delivery times, improving customer satisfaction metrics.