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Unlock Your Outbound Logistics – How To Make Your Customers Rave

Is your outbound logistics still stuck in the dark ages? If it’s taking a day or more to get your products shipped and your operation isn’t exactly customer-centric, it’s high time for an upgrade! Join me as I look into the current state of outbound logistics. In particular, I will highlight five key objectives that will enable you to guarantee a superb delivery experience for your valued customers.

“The supply chain stuff is really tricky.”

Elon Musk

Outbound Logistics Have Undergone Significant Changes, Becoming Increasingly Crucial to Customer Satisfaction.

Outbound supply chains have evolved from a mere back-office function to a cornerstone of the customer experience. The main reason for this is the surge of ecommerce. Indeed, it’s imperative, more than ever, for businesses to tailor their supply chains to meet customer expectations. Without a doubt, the essence of an outbound supply chain is to focus on efficient delivery of goods to customers. Hence, it is vital for companies to weave logistics seamlessly into the entirety of the customer journey. Positively we’re witnessing a transformative shift in outbound logistics prompted by ecommerce. So, let’s examine how it has become the most critical element in enhancing the customer experience.

1. Outbound Logistics – How Has Ecommerce Changed It?

With the rise of ecommerce, businesses can no longer treat logistics as a mere cost center. In fact, this cost-centric mindset must shift if a business is to survive. This is because now many end-customers are now online consumers, These types of customers are expecting not just the delivery of a product, but an experience, a delighted customers experience. As a result, outbound logistics needs to expand its service offerings. This includes last-mile delivery to consumers and an omnichannel customer contact center for seamless order delivery and post-purchase support.

2. Outbound Logistics For Ecommerce Has Many Customer-facing Distribution Channels.

Back in the day, outbound logistics primarily focused on commercial deliveries to retail stores and other businesses. Now, with businesses making more and more deliveries to ecommerce consumers than to other businesses, supply chains are getting more complicated. Indeed, there are now numerous distribution channels, ecommerce models, that companies used to deliver orders to end-customers. Specifically, the primary distribution channels include Business-To-Consumer (B2C), Business-To-Business (B2B), and Direct-To-Consumer (D2C). For a more detail explanation of ecommerce distribution models, see SC Tech Insights’  The Meaning of eCommerce Models and Relationships – B2B, B2C and other Acronyms.

“The most important thing is to obsessively focus on the customer. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Jeff Bezos

3. Outbound Logistics Is Now, More Than Ever, A Critical Part Of The Customer Experience.

No longer can store clerks or even state-of-the-art customer contact centers keep the customer delighted. Now, it is outbound logistics operations that assures a delighted customer experience. Specifically, it does this by having competent order processing, efficient order fulfillment, flawless last-mile delivery service, and a proactive, knowledgeable customer contact center.

Undeniably, who else besides outbound logistics operations can minimize shipment order errors? Further, who can avoid insufficient inventory and minimize missed delivery commitments? Lastly, who can prevent a bad customer experience? In all these cases, it is outbound logistics that makes the difference. Also, another challenge with ecommerce is that there are more chances for errors. This is because there are more and more smaller orders going to more and more delivery addresses. 

For more information on how outbound logistics is changing, see Elogii’s The Impact of Outbound Logistics on Last-Mile Delivery and Fareye’s What is outbound logistics?

Tony Hsieh on Customer Service - Outbound Logistics and eCommerce
Tony Hsieh on Customer Service

A New Set Of Goals For Outbound Supply Chains.

So the question is, “is your outbound logistics operation lagging behind the times?” Indeed, merely performing well in outbound logistics isn’t sufficient. In particular, many logistics operations lack customer focus and fail to offer a competitive advantage. Positively, it’s high time for most businesses to unlock their outbound logistics potential. Quit treating your outbound logistic operation as a cost center. To help, I recommend the following five objectives that every outbound logistics operation should pursue. Indeed, committing to these goals will assure your customers have a positive delivery experience.

5 Goals For Outbound Logistics

  1. Get The Order Information Right Every Time. Goal to eliminate defects with order processing.
  2. Focus On Having A Perfect Order Every Time. Goal for order fulfillment to complete every order on time, no stock-outs, no miss picks, and no damage.
  3. Meet Your Delivery Commitments Every Time. Partner with transportation carriers to minimize shipping delays and errors.
  4. Enable Your Customer Contact Center To Proactively Resolve Exceptions The First Time, Every Time. Minimize “Where is my stuff?” calls and assure customer service has info to resolve exceptions fast.
  5. Measure Performance Using Click-To-Delivery Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Management uses KPIs, to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain and take steps to eliminate them.

For a detailed explanation of these 5 goals for eCommerce outbound logistics, read my article, Advice For Reduced Costs and Time From Click-To-Delivery.

eCommerce Supply Chain Advice For Reduced Click-To-Delivery Time And Costs

Wow! Imagine this for your ecommerce supply chain operation. You eye last week’s stats on your operations dashboard and see that every delivery was on-time, no stock-outs, and the warehouse picked all orders correctly. On top of this, no customer had to call your contact center asking “Where’s my stuff?”. So how do you get a competitive edge? Click here for 5 tips to help you improve your eCommerce supply chain operations and ensure your customers have a great delivery experience.

Also, see ShipBob’s Inbound and Outbound Logistics: KPIs , for more ideas setting goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for outbound logistics. Further, for more tips on improving your ecommerce operation, see my article, The Best eCommerce Operations Traits You Need To Have: Fast, Proactive, Reliable, Tailored, Data-Driven

For more articles from Supply Chain Tech Insights, see our supply chains topics section.

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