â€śBy 2018, products ordered on-line will generate over 1.35 billion deliveries.â€?
The online purchasing and delivery markets are rapidly growing due to the increase in usage of tablets and mobile devices. This trend provides logistics providers and retailers the opportunity to offer customers a constant and real-time interface by fully integrating the whole value chain. As a result, customers obtain end-to-end control of the delivery process, allowing them, for example, to change destinations in real time.
While Re/e-tailers seek to control all customer communication (and contact), end-to-end logistics players can take advantage of their customerâ€™s physical touch points. By generating insights into customersâ€™ behaviour patterns and preferences, logistics providers can improve their own services, such as preferred delivery time windows and increased efficiency in terms of speed, price, and quality.
Data analytics tools help to transform data into quantifiable information which can be easily understood and utilized by the organization. Several aspects of the logistics chain can be analysed leading to optimum utilization of resources like warehouses, vehicles, storage spaces, routing and distance, loadability, better inventory management, and improving customer experience among other benefits. Analytical tools give an understanding of the current situation, and help forecast future trends.
To better understand the role of analytics and technology in the industry, let us take the example of a leading same-day service provider. After having identified that 50% of the households were empty during the day, they introduced notification services. This service enabled logistics provider to contact the delivery recipients via text or email to schedule a convenient delivery period. If the scheduled time is unsuitable, recipients could arrange a suitable point of delivery or even reschedule the delivery and communicate the same to the logistics provider. This service saw a rise in successful deliveries.
Though this improved customer contentment, it invariably took toll on managing movement of trucks. To locate convenient routes and to supervise truck movement, logistics provider chose Mobility solution. Through this they could keep track of traffic patterns, unplanned events, fuel usage and vehicle maintenance. All this information let them plan future deliveries to avoid delays and in turn improved customer satisfaction.
The technology also allowed delivery staff to photograph goods left at a safe place, and send a picture of the successful delivery to the recipient, providing proof of delivery to both consumers and retailers, and minimizing fraud risks within the process. Since using this technology (Analytics, Mobility & Information Management), logistics providerâ€™s clients have noticed uplift in repeat purchases, providing mutual benefits for both parties.
Looking into the future, it is predicted that insight driven decisions will pave the way for further enhanced services, as consumers will want more specific delivery information with more options, including inflight options and alternative pick-up points.
One thing is for sure, logistics providers will continue to invest in analytics based technology platforms to enable them move to next level and to remain a key player in an ever-evolving market.