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Shoppers are utilising the high street less and less thanks to the convenience of shopping from home via the Internet. This change in behaviour is (should) be initiating a range of responses by retailers. Taking action will help them avoid the fate of Woolworths and other high street brands who have gone bust in recent years. In addressing the changing expectations of clients many focus on the ‘front end’, that is the website, contact centre, invoicing, etc, but fail to address issues at the ‘back end’, that is, those associated with delivery. The rise in online shopping not only implies making more deliveries to greater number of locations for the retailer but there is also a new, remote customer contact point that is loaded with buyer expectations.
It is critical to carry out deliveries efficiently to minimise internal costs but, moreover, the delivery must meet the expectations of the customers who demand delivery when promised, with an appropriate level of personal courtesy. The alternative could imply having clients who at best fail to return and in the worst case the retailer gains a bad reputation through poor reviews. This could in turn influence actions of future customers in a negative way.
Boost the Processes of Planning and Strategic Decision Making
Companies that make deliveries require route planning software to ensure not only that delivery routes are optimised on cost but, moreover, that strategic business decisions are made with accurate, reliable delivery cost data. A manual planner could argue that criss-crossing a town to deliver items does not constitute efficient use of time for a driver: However, such criss-crossing cannot be avoided if a large number of deliveries have ‘narrow’ time windows which meet customer expectations. Route optimisation software has the ability to report on the cost implication of high proportions of time-window deliveries versus most economic delivery routes. Such analysis helps managers in striking revenue-cost balance in providing deliveries within specific time-frames.
Certainty for Customers and Employees
Utilising delivery route planning software implies you are well-positioned to afford clients and employees more qualified certainty pertaining to actual delivery time. It means that employees fielding calls from clients can answer queries with unmatched success through several ways:
Interfacing to Third-Party Software
Highly versatile, the multi-drop route planner software can significantly improve the order-to-delivery process through interfacing to other supply chain software. For example, by transferring data from route planning software into the warehouse system should improve efficiencies in the order pick and load process. More strategically, by exporting cost data per delivery, route, region, etc into a financial analysis system enables senior managers to critically appraise transport costs versus income highlighting, for example, where deliveries would be more cost effectively delivered by a courier.