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Logistyx President Ken Fleming Chats with ARC Advisory Group on Trends and Challenges in Shipping and Logistics

Logistyx President Ken Fleming recently sat down for a chat with ARC Advisory Group’s Chris Cunnane – the 20-minute discussion covered many areas, including:

  • The state of parcel shipping
  • The holiday season
  • Cross-border sales
  • Industry trends
  • Returns management

For the quick recap, visit: https://logisticsviewpoints.com/2021/10/20/parcel-shipping-logistyx-technologies/

Otherwise, you can view the entire conversation on YouTube:

Contact Logistyx today to see how we can prepare you for current and future shipping and logistics challenges.

 

Logistyx Technologies Recognized as 2021 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics

Logistyx Technologies has been named a 2021 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics. The importance of supply chain and logistics technology solutions has been brought to the forefront for many companies in the last year as a result of recent business disruptions. The Inbound Logistics audience continues to rely on technology solutions to drive efficiencies, provide visibility, and hone execution.

“Logistyx Technologies continues to provide solutions Inbound Logistics readers need to achieve the visibility and control that drives successful supply chains,” said Felecia Stratton, Editor at Inbound Logistics. “As shippers, carriers, and 3PLs increase their use of logistics IT, Logistyx stays flexible and responsive, anticipating the evolving needs of both customers and the market. Inbound Logistics is proud to honor Logistyx for innovative solutions empowering logistics and supply chain excellence in 2021.”

The leading cloud transportation management system (TMS) for high volume parcel shipping, Logistyx helps manufacturers, retailers, and logistics providers ship millions of parcels worldwide at the lowest possible cost. Logistyx’s flagship software, TME, is the world’s first single engine specifically designed for parcel shipping. Combining advanced Business Intelligence and a global network of 550+ carrier integrations, TME provides carrier compliance, predictive analytics, and tracking on shipping from start to finish to enable on-time delivery and increase profits per shipment.

Every April, Inbound Logistics editors recognize 100 logistics IT companies that support and enable logistics excellence. Drawn from a pool of more than 400 companies, using questionnaires, personal interviews, and other research, Inbound Logistics selects the Top 100 Logistics IT Providers who are leading the way. Editors seek to match readers’ fast-changing needs to the capabilities of those companies selected. All companies selected reflect leadership by answering Inbound Logistics readers’ needs for scalability, simplicity, fast ROI, and ease of implementation.

The Top 100 data drives the Logistics IT Decision Support Tool, where the Inbound Logistics audience can enter their IT requirements and match the solutions providers best suited to their needs.

To learn more about this recognition, check out the official announcement from Inbound Logistics here.

 

Parcel Shipping: How to Strategize for 2021

Supply chain leaders should be looking toward 2021, and in a normal year, parcel shipping plans would be well underway. But 2020 has been anything but normal, and in an environment where every week introduces a new challenge, it can be difficult to anticipate next Monday, let alone next year.

So what’s a supply chain leader to do?

Navigating Uncertainty Requires Agile Parcel Shipping

Continuing to take a rigid approach to parcel shipping is no longer effective for most supply chain teams. Supply chain leaders instead need to adopt a more agile approach, one that allows them to anticipate, adapt, and prioritize within shorter time frames in response to everything from changing market dynamics to carrier capacity issues.

Companies that have been successful in 2020 are those that have been able to optimize order fulfillment strategies on the fly. They are quickly comparing order fulfillment scenarios and making smart decisions to adapt to ongoing shifts in consumer demand, mitigate on-time delivery risk, and stay ahead of the competition.

One key area where these supply chain leaders have recalibrated their approach to parcel shipping in today’s unpredictable environment: digitizing and integrating the supply chain technology stack.

Improve Supply Chain Agility for Parcel Shipping in 2021

In the 2019 Third Party Logistics Study, 42% of survey respondents said they had not made necessary changes to improve their agility over the past five years. This lack of agility was further underscored by 38% of shippers admitting they were inconsistent at executing in an omni-channel environment (seamlessly serving customers both online and in stores), and 36% admitted they have no capability in this area.  Introduce a global pandemic into this equation, and it’s easy to see why some shippers are suffering.

Adding insult to injury: this lack of agility comes at a cost. According to Supply & Demand Chain Executivetop supply chains perform at one-fourth of the costs per $1,000 in revenue.  This difference means a bottom performer with $5 billion in annual revenue could incur $403.9 million in additional supply chain costs per year.

Despite these grim statistics, there are countless examples of shippers that are not only surviving but thriving in today’s environment. Consider the pandemic-induced pivot from in-store shopping to online—a big change that came with great opportunities, such as reaching more consumers in geographically dispersed locations. Shippers that had integrated inventory, order management, warehouse management, and parcel shipping systems were able to make this pivot seamlessly and ship goods from any point of origin (store, distribution center, warehouse) to any destination.

bullet points for supply chain agile companies based on blog text

In addition, these organizations embraced the cloud to decrease supply chain risks. A digitized supply chain, most easily established via cloud solutions, can help organizations predict and anticipate risk while improving transparency and coordination across the supply chain. Digitized supply chains are faster, more accurate, and more flexible than other supply chains, and each is anchored by a single system of record or source of truth for the organization, often a warehouse management system.

With an eye on how quickly the world in which we operate can change, more organizations have also come to realize the benefits of integrating a cloud, multi-carrier parcel management system with their supply chain technology stack to expand their transportation network beyond the “big three” and leverage multiple carriers, including regional carriers and couriers, for cost-effective order fulfillment and parcel shipping. Carrier rate shopping, for example, has become more important than ever as surcharges increase.

Sophisticated multi-carrier parcel management solutions will also yield analytics and reporting to improve the process for critical decision making. Some shippers who have not prioritized the use of real-time analytics in the past have now opened their eyes to the benefits as of late. Having the ability to analyze e-commerce fulfillment data and unlock insights can transform fulfillment and slash costs by identifying problems, their root causes, and opportunities to improve.

Logistyx enables supply chain teams to anticipate, pivot, and win.

To achieve omnichannel fulfillment, supply chain teams need to be able to share data seamlessly, pandemic or no pandemic. And this is where multi-carrier parcel management systems come in. A multi-carrier parcel management system like Logistyx TME enables shippers to adjust and respond to any reality to successfully meet order fulfillment KPIs.

As a leader in the parcel shipping technology industry, Logistyx solutions integrate with the entire supply chain technology stack, giving everyone across the business visibility into order fulfillment. And with Logistyx TME, supply chain leaders can quickly and accurately create and compare different scenarios to support decision-making. They can swiftly weigh the impact of, for example, a carrier surcharge, before executing a transportation strategy, eliminating guesswork and instilling confidence their decisions will yield the right outcomes.

Despite current challenges, there’s no better time for supply chain leaders to empower the enterprise to thrive in a new era of strategic supply chain planning.  Learn more about how your organization can effectively plan for 2021 in this e-book: React, Recover, Prepare: Future-Proofing Supply Chain Management.

How to Get Last Mile Delivery Right

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down non-essential retail worldwide, e-commerce was the biggest driver of growth in parcel shipping volumes.  But customer expectations for quicker and cheaper deliveries have made it difficult to manage these volumes and getting last mile delivery right is one of the biggest challenges facing both online retailers as well as the carriers within their transportation networks.

Unfortunately, the stakes are high.  Consumers make purchasing decisions based on the delivery experience.  In fact, almost 50 percent of all online shoppers will forego a purchase if they’re dissatisfied with their delivery options, and a new study from Voxware reports that 69% of consumers “are much less or less likely to shop with a retailer in the future if an item they purchased is not delivered within two days of the date promised.”

But what makes success in the last mile so elusive?  The answer lies at the intersection of cost and efficiency.  According to the Supply Chain Last Mile Report 2020, supply chain executives identified transportation spend and on-time delivery as their two biggest challenges in the last mile landscape.

The Challenges of Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is expensive – the most expensive portion of the end-to-end delivery equation. According to BI Intelligence, the total cost of shipping for the last mile is 53 percent of the total delivery cost.  And with the ubiquity of “free shipping,” customers are unwilling to pay a delivery fee, forcing retailers to absorb the cost.

Why the high price tag?  For starters, consider that in the last mile there are multiple delivery stops, each with a low number of parcels, and there’s significant manual labor involved compared to other transportation segments.  In last mile delivery in a suburban or rural environment, for example, drivers go door-to-door to drop off parcels, and there might be several miles between those doors.  In cities, the delivery landscape isn’t any better.  What urban areas make up for in delivery stop proximity is quickly neutralized by traffic congestion and continuous delays.  And if there are several delivery attempts because the recipient wasn’t home to sign, the delivery costs increase that much more.

ebook logistyx future-proofing-supply-chainIn addition, the definition of “parcel” has changed.  As e-commerce continues to boom, the products purchased online are expanding. Suddenly, shoppers are buying furniture and home appliances online, and there has been a substantial increase in “white glove” last mile delivery services, where the purchase is delivered, and then assembled and installed in the customer’s home.  For manufacturers and retailers, the good news here is there’s a growing e-commerce market for their products. The challenging part for these shippers, however, is that while brick and mortar retailers have provided this service for a long time, the service usually came with a fee, set delivery days, and large time windows for delivery.  But in today’s market, customers now expect these services to come with the same flexibility as their small parcel deliveries.

The Future of Last Mile Delivery

What will last mile delivery look like in the future?  It’s likely Pick-up/Drop-off (PUDO) and Buy Online Pick-Up In-Store (BOPIS) options will be a popular solution.  Spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak, BOPIS increased 208% April 1-20 compared to the same period a year ago and shows no signs of stopping.  In fact, as restaurants and brick-and-mortar retailers experiment with different ways to connect with customers and keep team members employed, many are adding BOPIS to their distribution mix – and for good reason.  BOPIS is a win-win for retailers and customers, as shoppers can get products quickly and in person, and retailers keep customers coming to their storefronts, maintaining repeat interaction with their brands.

Looking even further ahead, ground vehicles with lockers, basically roving Pick-Up/Drop-Off (PUDO) facilities, are a possibility. Bots are another.  To no one’s surprise, Amazon is assuming a leadership position on this front, investing heavily in its Scout autonomous bot.  Drones and other autonomous vehicles are also a consideration, though upgrading to a fleet of autonomous-delivery vehicles would be expensive, not to mention putting the necessary regulations in place and winning consumer confidence in these technologies.

The One-Two Punch of Omnichannel Distribution and Cloud Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

To overcome challenges in the last mile, retailers should utilize an omnichannel inventory approach, maximizing their number of inventory sources, including distribution centers, warehouses, and stores, so they are closer to the customer.  A key component to this approach will be cloud multi-carrier shipping software, which seamlessly integrates with a retailer’s system of record to automate high volume, multi-carrier, omnichannel shipping.  The software will automatically select the right carrier service for each order according to the point of origin, point of destination, carrier contracts, and business rules; create or acquire the tracking, labels, and documents;  monitor delivery events and automate event exception workflows; manage the manifest and end-of-day processes; and analyze carrier performance.  With the one-two punch of omnichannel distribution and cloud multi-carrier shipping software, retailers can satisfy customers’ delivery requirements and drive down the cost of shipping – transforming logistics into a profit center within the business.

Furthermore, cloud multi-carrier shipping software also ensures retailers have the right mix of last-mile carrier services in their transportation strategy from the onset.  The software aggregates and normalizes shipping data across carriers, so retailers know when deliveries moving to a particular region, customer, or via a particular carrier are not meeting service levels. Retailers can hold carriers accountable for failing to meet expectations and wield hard data to support rate negotiations.

Finally, the right multi-carrier shipping solution will also have a Control Tower that allows the retailer to provide customers with visibility into their parcel’s delivery journey, including in the last mile.  The system will send early warning signs when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” empowering customer service teams to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer in real time. For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker.

A Control Tower even makes it possible for retailers to provide customers with the ability to track and trace shipments on their own (not the carrier’s) website – reducing inbound calls about shipment status to customer service and increasing the customers’ browsing behavior while on the website, which (fingers crossed!) could lead to additional purchases.

Take the Lead in the Last Mile

Delivery can make or break the way customers experience a brand, and the last mile is the mile customers will remember.  As a result, it’s become the first place retailers are looking to implement new technologies that drive process improvements and give them a lead over competitors.

Retailers using cloud multi-carrier shipping software are able to execute an omnichannel distribution strategy and leverage the services different carriers offer in the last mile – optimizing costs from the point of origin to the point of destination.  They also have the tools to ensure their carrier transportation network can meet their delivery promise to the customer.

To learn more about how multi-carrier shipping software can help you improve delivery in the last mile, contact a Logistyx expert today.

How a TMS Future Proofs your Organization: Hugues Bouard Shares Insights on Logistics Manager

Today, logistics operations are undergoing constant transformation, from increasing demands for same-day delivery… to cross-border shipping complications on the heels of Brexit… to sudden inventory movements resulting from the coronavirus outbreakLogistics Manager recently investigated the role a Transportation Management System (TMS) can play in this fluctuating environment, and in particular in supply chains experiencing ongoing growth of e-commerce parcel shipment volumes. In the overview, Hugues Bouard, vice-president of EMEA sales at Logistyx Technologies, provides input on how the integration of a TMS with enterprise applications empowers organizations to deal with these changing demands – both now and in the future – and how an organization can successfully integrate a TMS with enterprise technology applications to scale operations quickly and maintain supply chain performance.

Read the full article on Logistics Manager.

Logistics in the Manufacturing Industry: The Shift from Efficiency to Customer Experience

Business purchases are rapidly moving from offline to e-commerce. But is the logistics focus of the manufacturing industry shifting along? Discover why efficiency in logistics is now secondary to the online experience of your customers.

As a consumer, I can order a laptop today and have it delivered tomorrow night, right between dinner and my visit to the gym. From the moment I order I get constant Track & Trace updates, so I know exactly when to expect my parcel. And if the laptop is not entirely to my liking, it will be collected and returned free of charge, wherever and whenever this suits me.

Black box for business buyers

This scenario is the norm in B2C commerce. But for business buyers, it is still far from reality. The delivery of business orders is still often a black box in which the receiver enjoys little to no control or transparency. The question is for how long will this remain?

E-commerce becomes the standard in B2B

business buyers' expectations chart - next paragraph explains data

E-commerce is rapidly replacing the physical order forms and product catalogs that have dominated B2B sales for decades. According to Gartner (2018), 75% of all business procurement within five years takes place via online marketplaces and sales platforms. This creates a huge opportunity for manufacturers, but it also brings challenges.

The new generation of decision makers effortlessly projects the service they receive at Amazon, Zalando or Zappos onto their expectations towards business suppliers.

According to research among 6723 business buyers, 69% now expect an Amazon-like buying experience from their B2B suppliers (Salesforce Research, 2018). 67% already switched vendors because they offer an experience that is more alike the one in consumer retail. Both percentages are even higher among the new generation of decision makers born between ’81 and ’99.

What does this mean for the delivery of goods?

This consumerization of the business purchasing process is leaving its marks on suppliers. No fewer than 84% of B2B providers now consider it their top external threat (Episerver, 2019). This also translates to the delivery of goods. Shipments become more fragmented and smaller, which increases your dependence on parcel carriers.

inbound logistics chart

Source – Inbound Logistics, 2019

Although cutting transport costs continues to lead the list of shipping challenges, we see that the rise of e-commerce has become the number two challenge for today’s shippers. Closely followed by improving customer service. With the knowledge gained  from B2C e-commerce, we are likely to see the following delivery services become increasingly important in the B2B space:

Choice of multiple delivery options

In a business environment  there is usually  someone available to receive a shipment during business hours. However, this does not mean that one-size-fits-all shipping is sufficient. One customer might be willing to wait longer, at lower delivery costs. Another might need his delivery today. To meet this varying demand, offering a wide range of delivery options and delivery speeds is crucial; from same-day delivery for the most time-critical shipments to Economy-options for slower deliveries. You might be able to offer these via a single delivery partner, but due to ongoing carrier specialization, a mix of carriers is becoming more common and preferable.

Full transparency of shipping costs

Just like consumers, business buyers do not like to be surprised. By offering maximum transparency about delivery costs, including any handling fees and costs for customs clearance, you prevent uncertainty and significantly improve customer experience.

Real-time Track & Trace Insight & Updates

The need for transparency remains once the shipment is in the hands of the carrier. By proactively informing receivers about the status of their shipments, especially in the event of any delays or exceptions, you will optimally meet this need. Moreover, you keep control over the customer experience and prevent customers from contacting you or your carriers in frustration.

Localization of delivery options

With e-commerce, you can theoretically sell anywhere in the world, provided you can also deliver. In B2C e-commerce, we are currently seeing that retailers localize their delivery offerings, combining major carriers such as DHL, FedEx and UPS with local specialists. This isn’t just for cost saving reasons. Local carriers typically meet the demand of end customers in a particular geography better.

More shipping locations

Affordable, but fast, delivery is definitely at the top of the customer wish list. As a result, the distance between shippers and end customers is reducing. It shows in the opening of several, smaller shipping locations as a replacement or extension of traditional mega warehouses. Ship-from-store is the ultimate example of this trend. Omnichannel retailers use their store locations for the fulfillment of online orders, making even same-hour deliveries feasible. But this trend is also visible in the manufacturing space. Aided by the rise of 3D printing and robotics, production is shifting to decentralized locations, increasing the number of shipping locations in manufacturing.

How do you respond to this as a manufacturer?

The major logistical change that successful e-commerce parties, both B2C and B2B, bring about is the shift from push to pull. Where previously the supplier dictated delivery conditions, it is now the customer who determines where, when and by whom goods are delivered.

Partly due to this development, successful manufacturers are now saying goodbye to their efficient, but very rigid, supply chains. To meet the needs of the new generation of business buyers, flexibility is the new adage. By building in flexibility at tactical places in your supply chain, you prepare yourself for the rapidly changing and the wide array of wishes of all your customers. Take look at your supply chain through the eyes of customer experience and ask yourself – what would I think of this as a consumer? The answer might hold the future of your manufacturing business.

Want to know more about logistics trends in manufacturing?

get the white paper: 7 logistics trends that will change the manufacturing industry in 2020Download the white paper “The 7 logistics trends that will radically change the manufacturing industry in 2020”. In this white paper, we cover the logistical trends that every manufacturer must know to remain competitive in our dynamic market.