Customer experience increasingly relies on an organization’s ability to provide seamless product delivery. Disruption anywhere in the order-to-cash cycle sparks negative consequences. If calamity occurs at points closest to the end consumer, where public scrutiny is highest, satisfaction scores jeopardize brand identity.
Internal visibility to supply chain intelligence can make the difference in a clear runway and a catastrophe.
The 24th Annual State of Logistics Outsourcing identifies the close connection between customer experience and shipment delivery. In the e-commerce economy where residential deliveries create longer, less efficient routes, the report highlights shippers’ expectations that logistics partners meet their customers’ demands for free shipping and shorter delivery windows.
“Retailers are now emphasizing an always-on, always-open shopping experience that provides seamless interaction across all retail sales channels, which is forcing shippers and their logistics partners to be fluid and move quickly.”
When that interaction isn’t seamless, the impact can be significant, especially when growth opportunities quickly eclipse in an environment where U.S. Retail E-commerce Sales continues to become a larger part of the nation’s total retail sales.
Consequences of Failed Delivery
Rent the Runway’s business disruption following the failed implementation of a Warehouse Management System, according to a Bloomberg report, illustrates the critical role logistics providers play in the delivery of an optimal customer experience.
Adelante SCM President and Talking Logistics Founder Adrian Gonzalez chronicles the consequences of failed delivery, and its intimate connection to customer experience, specifically customer trust.
“Simply put, the consequences of failed delivery are many: damage to your brand’s reputation, loss of customer trust, loss of your job, slower growth and increased costs,” Gonzalez writes on LinkedIn. “And with customers complaining loudly on social media about their horrible experience working with you, the loss of a competitive differentiator.”
Data Equips Shippers with Power to Pivot
Data collection, validation, management and analysis are fundamental to managing disruption. Digital technology in the supply chain enables end-to-end decision-making by providing visibility to information and network analysis that supports operational responses in plants, DCs and retail stores.
Again from the 2020 Third Party Logistics Study:
“One widely recognized necessity for supply chain success is the ability to have access to data in real-time or near real-time, and also to mine and analyze that data to provide insight that can help to improve supply chain practices.”
Further, as shippers collaborate in meaningful partnerships that yield reliable solutions, they are “improving the end-consumer experience for the customer, which is allowing shippers to use the supply chain as a strategic, competitive advantage.”
The ability of Enterprise Logistics Providers to leverage analysis and transform data into intelligence helps shippers improve their decision-making. That’s why analysis is gaining in use, “levels of sophistication and utilization of available computational capabilities.” As 66% shippers surveyed in the 2020 3PL Study agree that analytics is key to successful working relationships with logistics partners, it becomes clear that deploying effective solutions increasingly relies on actionable intelligence.
In the face of disruption, rapid access to analysis can support operational improvement opportunities that effect:
- On-time and In-Full Order Fulfillment
- Shipment visibility
- Freight Costs per Shipment
- Transit Time
- Cost to Serve
- Order to Delivery Cycle Time
Shippers can realize significant benefits by accessing one seamless platform that includes multi-modal transportation information and optimal mode scenarios offered alongside information that empowers improved decision-making. Doing so, not only protects profitability, it also puts in place an operational foundation to execute omni-channel supply chain planning and pivot when disruption threatens customer experience, business profitability and the market’s perception of your brand.