Blog Posts Transportation Management can be a Competitive Differentiator

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The majority of shoppers agree that the delivery experience is a decisive factor in deciding where to shop; however, just 11 percent of shoppers say that “delivery experience” is a strength of today’s retailers, according to a recent survey by Convey. The most common problems are late deliveries, damaged goods, and goods not arriving at all.

Clearly, there is an opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace through effective transportation management. Providing a consistently outstanding delivery experience should be a top priority, but it can require a level of commitment for which you may not have the necessary time or resources.

Top-Notch 3PL Can Improve Delivery Experience

An experienced third-party logistics provider can ensure that your customers get the delivery experience they deserve and allow you to focus on your core competency.

Not all providers can deliver, however. Here are five important transportation management capabilities to look for:

Proven on-time performance. Find a provider with the resources in place to achieve excellent on-time performance (ideally, 99 percent or higher). State-of-the-art transportation management systems (TMS), shipment planning tools with predictive modeling, and route optimization capabilities help to ensure that your deliveries arrive when expected.

Real-time visibility and reporting. In the Convey study, 75 percent of shoppers said proactive communication is important. If you know the status of a shipment, it’s easier to keep customers informed. That’s where a 3PL with a sophisticated TMS can help.

Quality focus. Seek out a provider with Lean and Six Sigma processes in place to ensure accuracy and a commitment to service excellence. Investigate their safety record as well.

Variety of transportation options. In today’s competitive marketplace, consumers expect a variety of delivery and store pick-up options. It’s good to have transportation choices – ground, air, intermodal, etc. – so you can provide the level of service they’re looking for at a reasonable cost.

Seamless integration. Integrating transportation management services with other logistics capabilities like warehousing, fulfillment and packaging helps to streamline solutions and improve service.

The delivery experience is proven to impact consumers’ buying habits. Make sure they have good reason to buy from you.