By Peter Jenkins, Ops Manager at Shift
The capacity to track deliveries when fulfilling online orders is essential for a business and, in this age of Coronavirus, possibly much harder than before. The pandemic has heaped pressure on businesses to ramp up their ecommerce capabilities and review their logistics.
According to experts at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, global sales online jumped to $26.7 trillion in 2020. That was an increase from 16% in 2019 to 19% in 2020.
That’s a massive amount of orders to track and deliver. As the number of sales has grown, it’s become even more important to monitor the process.
Why is it so important to track deliveries?
There are a number of reasons why a business should track the progress of an order. Here’s a quick rundown of them:
To increase efficiency
Efficiency is crucial in business. Part of the reason people are ordering items online or hiring logistics services online is because of the efficiency. The internet allows them to hire a service quickly and at a decent cost.
Greater efficiency can free up employees for (more) important tasks. Tracking deliveries allows the business to identify any unnecessary steps in its processes and eliminate them. They can also detect any problems, find solutions and minimise any hiccups in processes.
Improves customer satisfaction
Customers appreciate speedy service. If a business can respond quickly and carry out orders, they can keep their customers happy.
It’s not just fast service that customers appreciate, however; good communication during the process can also win them over. If there’s a delay in the process, keeping the customer informed about what’s happening and how you’re solving any issues for them is important.
To enhance brand perception
Tracking deliveries allows you to respond effectively to customer queries about the status of deliveries. Your brand will appear truthful and reliable. The fact that you’re using a tracking system will also help your brand to appear as one that has its finger on the pulse technologically.
Implementing an order tracking system
Tracking deliveries means implementing a reliable transport management software system that can help you track the shipping of an order, especially if the process involves more than one mode of transport to deliver the product to its final destination.
Good TMS software can provide real-time tracking notifications, enabling logistics workers to be proactive and make any necessary revisions to a process so they can fulfil the order in the most efficient way the circumstances will allow. How do you implement it, though?
Define the client’s objectives
Before selecting a system, you must understand why you’re selecting it and what you hope to achieve from the system. What are the main business drivers? Establishing the aims, which may be part of the larger business strategy, will help you to choose the right system.
Involve the right people in the selection
The system is going to affect a number of different departments in some way. This means you should bring the right people into the discussion: finance, procurement, distribution, manufacturing, warehousing and, most definitely, your IT people, who will be necessary to help you integrate the many different suppliers and carriers who will serve the business.
Set up a steering committee and a project management team
Someone has to oversee the project and resolve issues at major points in the project. This would be the steering committee. You should also put together a small team to direct resources and make day-to-day decisions. This would be the project management team.
Identify the main user(s) of the software
Who will be the most regular user of the software? This person should work full-time on the implementation of it so they can make the right adaptations. The main user may come from any department and must learn everything there is to learn about the software.
Tracking deliveries is essential for a business. The right software can help them to manage the logistics of an order more easily and serve their customers better. That’s especially important at a time when ordering over the internet has become so much more popular.