Delivery Success Demands Delivery Planning
DC Velocity recently ran a good article on how Home Delivery Success Starts at the Order that had some good pointers on delivery success in general. The article, designed to help retailers, gave the following advice:
- Steer the Customer to the Delivery Times You Want Them to Take
If you're not really setup for next-day service, but you have optimized 2-day service, steer them to 2-day.
- Upsell Premium, Expedited, or Tighter Time Windows and Value-Added Services
Delivery doesn't have to be free, and if it's low-cost (or free), it doesn't have to be speedy. After all, the if the customer wants a speedy, free, delivery -- he can pick it up in the store (unless it's Best Buy, where he'll get to stand around and be ignored by no fewer than three associates before anyone even attempts to serve him). Time may not always be money to the end consumer, but it is always valuable. If you're working, an evening install is worth a small premium vs. having to sit home all day waiting. And if you'd rather watch the game than drive 2 hours to get something for tomorrow, that's worth it too.
- Omni-Channel Retailing Needs Omni-Channel Delivery
All deliveries should go through one scheduling solution -- whether the order was made in-store, on-line, or over the phone.
If you reverse this, you can see how you can optimize your inbound supply chain delivery success when ordering from a supplier.
- Try to Choose a Delivery Schedule a Supplier/Distributor Wants You to Take
If you have a set of almost equal choices to you, pick the one that's the easiest / most cost-effective for the distributor / supplier. Not only will it keep your costs down, but it will maximize the chances of getting the order on time as you will be using schedules (and routes) the distributor / supplier has optimized for.
- Avoid Unnecessary Expedited Shipping or Value Added Services
Suppliers will use the same tactics on you that you use on consumers to maximize their revenue. It doesn't mean you have to buy into them. In many cases, shaving a few days off of shipping time to the warehouse doesn't make much of a difference, especially if you forecast properly, and paying the supplier to do trade document management that your 3PL can do cheaper with an effective system integration isn't worth the savings of dealing with one less partner.
- Single-Channel Ordering Should be Fulfilled, Whenever Possible, by Single-Channel Delivery
If you are ordering five products from the supplier, and they can all fit (and go) on the same truck, they should all be on the same truck. Delivery density reduces costs.
Pretty simple, eh? Almost as easy as getting the mouse in the bottle ...