Don’t shoot the messenger

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I was reading a report* the other day looking at the costs of failed deliveries and not only do the numbers make depressing reading but so too do the findings.

The average cost to a UK retailer of a failed delivery was said to be £14.35. But this figure did not take into account the damage to the brand’s reputation caused by poor delivery.

I think what depressed me most was the intolerance and lack of culpability behind these statistics on the part of the consumer. When asked why they thought their order was late, 43% blamed the courier while 34% blamed the retailer.

And I hope you’re sitting down for this one. Only 9% of customers saw providing incorrect details as a cause of failed deliveries. Seriously?

A staggering 80% of retailers say customers often don’t realise that failed deliveries occurred because they mistyped their address! And that’s what the logistics, manufacturing and retail industry is up against. Undoubtedly, deliveries fail for a variety of reasons but customers supplying the wrong address details shouldn’t be one of them.

Customers apparently find inputting their address a chore, with 61% claiming they’d abandon their purchase if they encountered issues inputting their details. Until as a human race we’re all chipped in some way whereby built in RFID tags mean we never have to complete personal details ever again, then I’m afraid the industry is going to have to do all it can to make the address verification process as idiot-proof as possible.

Address labelling is a small but vital part of the whole labelling process. And according to the latest report†, the ‘real estate’ on a label needs to be managed properly so that its stakeholders (marketing, regulatory, product management etc) can own and control their layer of information. More than 68% of $1b+ companies surveyed, have over 10 people directly responsible for labelling.

And with so much emphasis on labelling, what of the analytics and devices being used to print them? The survey† revealed that the majority of organisations don’t have business intelligence for labelling. However, more than 71% of $1b+ companies are interested in real-time analytics and reporting to gain visibility of constantly changing and vital information like labels, printers, print jobs, users and audit data.

They want to know which printers are doing the most work, what labels are being printed most, which templates are least used, who’s making label changes, is there a better way to route particular print jobs?

Having this intelligence not only optimises printer maintenance schedules but also analyses trends in label production schedules. And such real time intelligence is available now with solutions like Zebra’s Asset Visibility Service platform. It can monitor’s the health, location, usage level, repair status and performance of devices like printers, handhelds and scanners.

So, while companies have little control over the intelligence of customers mistyping their address details they can minimise the risk of delivery failures through solutions like address verification and AVS. It could go some way to reducing the 19%* of failed deliveries that retailers claim are due to inaccurate delivery address details.

Or maybe, somewhat depressingly, customers will still continue to shoot the messenger rather than question their own culpability.

*Source: Fixing Failed Deliveries, PCA Predict

† Source: 2018 Top 5 trends in enterprise labelling, Loftware.

Richard Gilliard

Renovotec is the UK’s largest independent rugged hardware and maintenance, software and services company. Managing Director Richard Gilliard has helped lead the organisation for over 15 years, supporting customers across many sectors including warehousing and distribution, transport and logistics, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, seaports and field mobility. Richard's drive is to enable firms through…

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