Extending Your Reach With Delivery Services
Kyle Scobey, Supply Chain Evangelist
Companies are always looking for ways to build relationships with their customers that will extend beyond the product and build customer loyalty. One method being adopted by many companies is providing delivery services to their customers. In a world of social distancing and increased regulations for operating instore activities, having the ability to provide delivery services is increasingly important to keeping businesses viable. The New York Times reported that online consumer spending jumped nearly 40% at the height of the pandemic. In-person shopping had already dramatically decreased prior to the coronavirus as younger shoppers opted for online options.
Delivering the product to the end customer in many cases can run 30% with food deliveries as high as 45% of the total meal cost (TMC) cost. This can be difficult to hide in the cost of the product and is often waived as a competitive edge. Use of third-party delivery services has traditionally been the answer to this question, but many companies such as Amazon are opting to build out their own delivery services. The phenomenal growth of digitally-enabled delivery services indicates that customers value the convenience and variety they provide. McKinsey estimates that the digital food delivery market alone will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Now many companies are looking to tap into that revenue by internalizing their delivery services.
Properly run services can increase customers loyalty, provide lower cost ability to respond to emergency product demand, maintain control of customer data, and tighter control of the delivery process. Delivery services can also be a source of revenue for the seller and increase margin if effectively managed. However, poorly run delivery services can be a costly mistake.
To be effective in planning and executing deliveries, companies are adopting delivery management solutions to streamline how their delivery services are performed. Being able to organize routes and build delivery plans are critical to providing effective services and lowering the cost of managing delivery operations.
NetScore’s Delivery Routing application is built on the NetSuite ERP system to provide a complete planning solution for organizing delivery orders into routes. A mobile application is included to provide drivers with everything they need to carry out the deliveries.
Getting organized is a key element to running a successful delivery operation. As sales orders are processed and fulfilled in your NetSuite solution, NetScore’s Delivery Routing system takes the orders and creates delivery orders. The route planning capability using a geo-point mapping solution to organize the delivery orders into stops on the route. A rule based system allows for further control over the building of routes and can control the number of orders to be included, management of weight and volume capacity by truck type, and time to complete routes based on the calculated transit times between stops. Routes can be adjusted to meet the route planner’s preferences and assigned to a driver.
Keeping control over your delivery fleet is critical to ensure drivers are following the most effective route and keeping on schedule. NetScore gives planners the ability to view graphical representations of each route and see updates as deliveries are completed. A map view shows the planner all drivers location in real time. Routes can be adjusted while they are in progress if needed due to changing requirements by the customer. Delivery orders can even be moved from one driver to another in the event a delivery vehicle breaks down or additional assistance is needed to complete the route.
Making your driver’s life easy is key to running a delivery service that is cost effective and efficient. Route plans that provide the most effective method of accomplishing each delivery is critical. Being able to properly load trucks in reverse stop order makes sure each order to be delivered is properly positioned on the truck. NetScore’s solution produces a route plan that can be used as a picking document or loading document to properly position orders on the truck.
Execution of the route plan is critical to achieve the objective of delivering product on time and at the lowest possible cost to the service provider. Mobile applications now put powerful tools in the hands of drivers to assist them in carrying out their deliveries. Effective applications like NetScore’s Delivery Routing solution provides:
- Graphical depictions of the route plan.
- Travel time between stops.
- Turn by turn instructions.
- Order contents to be delivered.
- The ability to send alerts to customers of impending delivery.
- Enter reasons for delivery cancellation if the customer refuses delivery.
Proof of delivery is an important element to any delivery service to capture signatures, photograph product drops, and note other key information regarding the delivery. This gives the service provider undisputable evidence that the product was professionally delivered and accepted by the customer. NetScore’s mobile application incorporates all these features and allows the driver to quickly gather the information. The proof of delivery information is then automatically uploaded to the backend system and attached to the delivery record. NetScore gives you the value added integration to Google Drive to store pictures and signatures keeping your NetSuite data storage to a minimum.
Moving beyond delivery can be advantageous to many companies to optimize what their delivery service operation can produce for the company. Being able to perform functions like:
- Picking up returns during their delivery route.
- Accepting payment from customers for outstanding invoices or cash on delivery orders.
- Picking up product based on purchase orders issued by the service provider.
NetScore’s Delivery Routing application provides all features described above to your NetSuite system and the associated mobile application.
To help you plan and implement your delivery service, please reach out to NetScore Account Executive.