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Cloud Multi-Carrier Parcel Management Systems Give Shippers Digital Agility

For supply chains to successfully weather (pun intended!) unexpected events, they require digital agility.

In a BCG study of more than 200 companies, digitally agile businesses achieved 1.8x higher earnings growth than digital laggards—and more than double the growth in total enterprise value.  BCG also found that digitally agile companies are best situated to realize a “resiliency dividend,” by leveraging technology and digital capabilities to steer their business in real (or near-real) time to strengthen their position in the midst of a crisis.

But what does it mean to have digital agility?  And how can your organization get there?

ebook logistyx quadrant Choosing a TMS for Parcel ShippingAccording to Peter Fretty, technology Editor at IndustryWeek, digitally agile businesses use automation to reduce cost and errors, while improving productivity and raising revenue.  And when it comes to supply chains, and in particular to parcel shipping, businesses can find this agility in multi-carrier parcel management technology to rate shop across multiple carriers, improve real-time delivery visibility, monitor KPIs in real time, and ultimately position themselves to successfully weather (pun intended again!) the unexpected.  Below are three features a best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management system should have in order to help companies improve the digital agility of their supply chains:

The Latest Cloud Technology

Best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management systems leverage state-of-the-art cloud technology.  Cloud multi-carrier parcel management systems allow businesses to seamlessly connect people, processes, and third parties to their parcel shipping operations in real time, regardless of location and with minimal upfront costs and IT investment. All users can execute, track, and analyze parcel shipping processes in a single solution – improving reaction time, collaboration, and decision-making accuracy when the unexpected occurs. ​Furthermore, using a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system enables businesses to realize a return on investment quickly — without the hit of an initial investment and with the benefit of accelerated implementation and integration processes.

Control Tower

Companies that leverage digital technology have end-to-end supply chain visibility and are able to anticipate disruptions and take preemptive action to maintain KPIs.  For example, multi-carrier parcel management systems with a Control Tower provide real-time information on delivery events and estimated arrival time of shipments.  The system will send early warning signs when there are parcel delivery issues or “exception events,” providing customer service teams with the necessary agility to proactively trouble-shoot the exception event and communicate delivery updates to the customer.  Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables businesses to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and giving them more maneuverability in carrier contract negotiations.


Business Intelligence

Digitally agile companies have the ability to easily collect and organize their data to inform decision-making when unexpected events occur. Often, they’ll leverage best-of-breed multi-carrier parcel management systems with Business Intelligence tools to quickly address issues and improve their shipping operations.  This may come in the form of identifying and adjusting improperly invoiced items relating to contractual rates, accessories, guaranteed service rebates, claims management, address correction validations or even manifested but not shipped transactions, or it may come in the form of modeling and comparing selected carrier services against actual carrier performance to find routing alternatives with lower cost implications and/or faster delivery times.  Regardless of how a business leverages Business Intelligence, however, what’s important to take away is that the net result of each endeavor can be significant from an agility perspective. As stated by our V.P. of Business Intelligence, Mike Eisner, in Logistics Viewpoints, “When businesses connect the data… and then apply Business Intelligence, complex decisions and tasks get simpler.”

Prepare for Anything

Achieving digital agility is critical for companies to navigate unpredictable environments. Leveraging a cloud multi-carrier parcel management system with a Control Tower and Business Intelligence like Logistyx TME ensures businesses are prepared for anything.

Learn more about the benefits of Logistyx TME.

 

 

Why Your TMS for Parcel Shipping Needs a Control Tower

Today, the consumer experience has many touchpoints from discovery to delight, and to become a true Direct to Consumer (DTC) brand, manufacturers must own responsibility for each one. Introduce friction at any moment in the end-to-end consumer buyer experience… and risk losing consumer loyalty. Despite the criticality of providing a seamless buying experience, recent research highlights the many “hiccups” that occur from click to consume, particularly when it comes to fulfilling orders at the speed and convenience shoppers expect. In fact, the biggest gripes for buyers who’ve had negative shopping experiences mostly relate to delivery and returns. For example, over the last 12 months, 60% of consumers in the UK reported their purchases did not arrive when expected, and 40% of shoppers claimed items did not arrive at all. The U.S. too, has its fair share of deliveries gone awry, and Sri Sridhar, CEO of  lateshipment.com (yes, there’s an entire website for this) states 15-23% of packages are delayed during the holidays. Statistics like these don’t bode well for manufacturers who are counting on repeat purchases and a good brand reputation to win the DTC game. According to a study from OSM Worldwide, 79% of online shoppers claim they will contact customer service when an urgent item is one day late, and worse: two-thirds will express frustration to friends and family. With a sad nod to Carnegie, this is basically the antithesis of how to win friends and influence people!

Install a Control Tower.  Receive “Exception Event” Alerts.

get the checklist: choose the right tms for parcel shipping

The good news is that in the same OSM Worldwide study, online shoppers reported how much they value parcel delivery transparency, with 40% stating they check on a parcel’s delivery status at least once a day, and 55% stating they expect an order’s status updates to be current as of a few hours. Don’t think this sounds like good news? Then you must not be leveraging a Transportation Management System (TMS) for parcel shipping. Manufacturers who have implemented a TMS for parcel shipping benefit from Control Tower functionality, which means they can provide shoppers with the transparency they value. 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. Customers can even track and trace shipments on company websites without the need to visit carrier sites, reducing inbound calls about shipment status to customer service and increasing the customers’ browsing behavior on the manufacturer’s website – which (fingers crossed!) could lead to additional purchases. Consider too that tracking delivery exception events enables manufacturers to capture accurate carrier performance data – improving carrier service measurement and better informing carrier contract negotiations.

Successfully Navigate the Complexity of Parcel Delivery.

By leveraging a TMS with Control Tower functionality to install “exception event” alerts in the shipping process, manufacturers can successfully navigate the complexity of DTC parcel delivery – ensuring on-time delivery in full and improving customer service performance metrics. To learn more about how you can leverage a TMS with Control Tower for parcel shipping in your own organization, download our brochure: TME 3: Flexible Transportation Management System for an Omnichannel World.