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Today’s customers expect the delivery of their products to arrive on time, in good condition, and without hassle. However, this perfect world of package delivery rarely goes off without a hitch.
In fact, with traffic and weather issues, delivery exceptions, and simple acts of nature, there are times when the delivery of commodities can and will inconvenience customers.
This is where last-mile logistics technology comes into play. This concept and the software that drives it helps shippers improve communication with customers, vendors, and carriers to ensure the timely and impressive delivery of goods to the customer.
The integration of some of these technology solutions helps shippers reassign deliveries based on customer requests, input from carriers, or other supply chain partners. When implemented correctly, it can save shippers money, improve package delivery and route efficiency, and most importantly – improve customer service. After all, leaving your customers feeling like their goods were treated as high-priority should always be your end goal.
So, what can you do to improve your white glove service without breaking your budget?
There are many steps involved in getting products to the end customer. From sourcing manufacturers and raw material suppliers to moving products through the supply chain, that final or last-mile of delivery is where customers are either satisfied or upset about the delivery of their products. The way in which the final mile is activated, communicated, and adjusted is considered a white glove delivery service.
Essentially, white glove delivery service is no different than service at a high-end restaurant or 5-star hotel. It’s an example of the company or shipper going above and beyond to cater to their customer requests. As a matter of fact, the term "white glove" is in reference to using clean white gloves to carefully move a customer's fragile items without damaging them while also keeping them clean.
Here is a practical example. Let’s assume that a customer has ordered a product from your online store.
They set up express air with next day delivery – with the promise that the delivery will be made sometime before 3 pm. Once they hit the submit button and the order has processed, they quickly remember that they have a business meeting at 1 pm and can’t be home to accept the package (as it requires a signature).
A white glove delivery or last-mile logistics service, such as the ability for the customer to update their shipping address, to a neighbor perhaps, allows the shipper to notify the carrier, and make changes to the delivery – before the order has been sent out for delivery.
This helps to ensure the customer gets their package without experiencing missed deliveries. It also saves the shipper money, since the carrier does not need to attempt a second delivery – or charge for delivery exceptions.
If the information above seems appealing to you, perhaps it’s a smart idea to invest in a few white glove service upgrades as your company transitions into the next decade. Here are a few ideas to consider.
Automation is a critical component of today’s supply chain operations. Smart shippers and retailers realize that automating their WMS or TMS can help to reduce several headaches. By setting up customer order and fulfillment solutions that permit customers to make last-minute changes to orders, you can ensure on-time delivery.
Customers have different methods of preferred communication. Some like text messaging, while others prefer phone calls or email.
A growing trend among shippers is upgrading their customer communication services. This allows the recipient to receive updates on their order fulfillment, such as text updates when a package has been shipped, is out for delivery, and where it was delivered.
The implementation of route management solutions allows businesses to optimize on-road performance. This type of SaaS allows a carrier to review their delivery and pickup routes, make changes to their route structure, and review the performance and impact of these changes. These crucial metrics are valuable for delivery companies to improve the optimization of routes, but also to better serve customers.
Whether you’re a retailer, fulfillment center, or carrier, improving white glove service to the end customer is a crucial component of supply chain management. A great resource to help you make smart decisions about improving last-mile logistics or white glove service is an experienced 3PL – such as Redwood Logistics.
If you’d like to learn more about the technical solutions that help improve delivery efficiency, while improving customer service, contact Redwood Logistics today.