Part two: On Time Delivery and Quality of Experience
So why the bad experience? The market has expanded dramatically over the past decade, but vast majority of parcel companies are still using the same dated technology and paper based processes that were introduced in the early 2000's.
Can it really be efficient and smart to have each individual driver manually map out his own route each morning; make his assessment of the best way to deliver all of these 'brand crucial' deliveries to many different locations; then attempt to match his preferred delivery path with the arrival time expectations of the end consumer?
The entire process is time consuming, inefficient, prone to error and provides the business with no way of measuring or guaranteeing performance. And it is all paper based.
Despite an investment in handheld devices to record customer signatures and the availability of an excellent 3G network organisations and drivers are still heavily reliant on paper. No wonder the quality of customer experience is so often poor; and the percentage of perfect deliveries far below even acceptable practice.
Given the quality of the wireless infrastructure available there is no excuse for this level of apathy. Organisations may balk at the cost of investment but not only are drivers routinely wasting up to one hour out of every working day simply getting in and out of the depot, but brand reliance on the quality of service to reinforce rather than undermine reputation is about to seriously fragment the market.
Those parcel delivery companies who recognise that delivering a higher quality experience, who can offer reliable delivery slots with exceptional, transparent communication,and who can track the entire process seamlessly are set to steal a march on the competition.
Accuracy and traceability at every stage of the supply chain are essential – from validating the initial arrival of goods all the way through to capturing not only the name & signature of the individual that received the goods; but also a picture and a timed GPS co-ordinate to provide full proof of delivery.
With full confidence the right goods have been received and processed at each point in the chain and are on the right vehicles at the start of the day, it is a simple process to inform the end customer accordingly of expected delivery times.
Operational efficiency and effectiveness is not only a delight for the parcel delivery company, it is a blessing for the end customer, and therefore becomes a USP for the brand.
This desired level of performance is a world away from the quality of experience currently encountered in the market. Yet with Internet sales increasingly dominating revenue, the brand decision as to which third party delivery company to use is becoming business critical. Those companies that can make the path between brand and customer as smooth as possible, deliver best practice and upwards of 99.99% perfect order deliveries will reap the rewards of a vastly more efficient and effective organisation.
Parcel companies are doing far more than just delivering a parcel; they are representing the brands that are paying for the delivery service. Poor service will damage those brands and brands will go elsewhere. It is time for management to top shirking responsibility and passing the buck to the drivers. Parcel companies of every size need to proactively take control over the last and every, mile of delivery.
Article by Airclic CTO, Pol Sweeney.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.