Having a significant drop in your customer retention rate may limit you from being profitable. Customers may stop transacting with you due to late deliveries and poor communication when there are delays. A decrease in your customer base would also lower your profits.
Close to 87 percent of customers who enjoyed your products or services are likely to transact with you again. Their loyalty to your business will improve when you know how to avoid delivery delays.
A good delivery service can allow you to process customers’ orders and grow your business. You’ll also make it convenient for customers to get their items since they will be delivered to their doorstep.
You risk experiencing delays if you don’t estimate the delivery times. Your business must accommodate the delivery times customers would want. Here’s a practical guide on how to avoid delivery delays:
Understand Causes of Delivery Delays
Factors such as customs delay, bad weather, and system failure may cause delivery delays. Others include documentation errors and package redirection. Understanding these causes can help you plan preventative measures for them.
Weather conditions like strong winds may hinder the carrier from meeting your delivery timeline. Your shipping container may also encounter customs delays due to document errors. Remember to update the shipping information before dispatch to prevent delays.
Technical difficulties on your e-commerce website may make it difficult for customers’ orders to be processed.
You should also hold customers liable for changing their addresses. That’s because it will take some time to redirect a customer’s package to another address.
Set Realistic Expectations for Delivery Times
Displaying delivery date estimates on your checkout pages is a good idea. Getting realistic estimates of the delivery times can be quite tricky.
Use an online shipping time calculator to get the estimated delivery time for your cargo. The tool will calculate the total transit time your package will take based on the average delivery times. These estimates are only for reference since they may be different from the actual shipping time.
Giving your customers a rough estimate of the delivery times will help manage their expectations. You also get to strengthen their loyalty to your business.
Use Automation in Your Delivery Process
Order fulfillment processes generate a lot of data and paperwork. Automating them would help reduce human errors like sloppy handwriting, missing signatures, and wrong labels.
You can embrace automation by using electronic signature capture and allowing electronic documents. Installing up a barcode scanner in your warehouse may also speed up the work. Though there’ll still be delays, it’s easier to resolve their causes with automation.
Use a checklist that will guide your employees when processing orders. You may also invest in logistic software for this work if your budget allows it. Hiring a quality assurance manager can help you ensure that the delivery process meets quality standards.
You may also use a GPS delivery tracking system on your delivery fleet. The device can help you track drivers, optimize routes and improve delivery efficiency. It will also help cut operational expenses like maintenance and fuel costs.
Prepare for Seasonal Disruptions
Seasonal disruptions may cause severe fluctuations in your delivery processes and cause delays. For instance, as the Chinese celebrate New Year, most factories and companies shut down. As a result, there are more containers stuck at the port and shipment delays.
Plan your shipping schedule around these seasonal changes to cope with delays. Your freight calendar should list all seasonal events that caused delays in the past. It should also take note of the events that are likely to cause delays.
Inform your customers and employees about the delivery delay to reduce their risk. Don’t make promises on the delivery times since these seasonal disruptions can take a while.
Build Healthy Relationships in the Supply Chain
Build and maintain meaningful relationships with stakeholders in the supply chain. This approach can make you appear like a valuable and trustworthy business owner. As a result, shipping companies will favor your orders over your competitors’.
Be courteous when communicating with your vendor if they fail to deliver orders in time. Work with them to find a solution on how to reduce the delivery times. You should look for another courier provider if the delays persist.
Put in Place a Good Warehouse Structure
Your warehouse needs a uniform and firm structure to ease order fulfillment processes. There should be enough space for your staff to load and process customers’ orders. A good warehouse structure guarantees efficient, fast, and optimal workflow.
Divide and name sections in your warehouse for easier access. You should also position stowage items like pallets and racks in a convenient place to allow smooth passages.
Choose shelving solutions that match your current inventory to improve workflow. You should also define shipping, office, sorting, and storage locations in your warehouse.
Use a Freight Forwarder
Hire a freight forwarder to reduce the delivery times for your customers’ orders. The company will manage your shipping providers, insurance requirements, and customs. They’ll also transport items from the manufacturer to your customers or retail store.
Choose a freight forwarder that operates on both national and international levels. They should also have the capacity to deport huge consignments and be versed in trading regulations.
Freight forwarding companies guarantee accurate documentation, security, and efficient track systems. They also handle inventory management and warehousing for businesses.
Consider their industry experience and reach when choosing a freight forwarder. The company should also have risk management measures in place and offer a wide range of services. Check their permits, certifications, or licenses before agreeing to their terms.
You’re Now Set to Avoid Delivery Delays
Most consumers like it when they don’t have to wait longer for their packages to be shipped. Your credibility as a business increases when you manage to solve delivery delays. You’ll also enjoy reduced operational costs and an improved inventory management system.
We hope this article informed you on how to improve delivery times in your business. Find more insightful content on business, entertainment, and health, among others, from our site. Subscribe, leave a comment and share any article that picks your interest.