Omni-channel fulfillment is the new “it” term in logistics and delivery. But it is more than just a popular term to boost your company’s image. In fact, it is the reality towards all companies should head if they want to see the dawn of a new decade in business.
Customer Expectations: Excellence and Beyond
There are difficult times for companies who do not understand the major shift in customer behavior. From logistics, to customer care, to pricing and corporate social responsibility, everything must be the best you can offer plus a little extra.
People are more exigent than ever and less willing than ever to find excuses for companies which do not deliver on time, do not keep their promises and do not offer a seamless shopping experience at any moment and on any device.
Yes, we are talking about the impact of mobile internet and ecommerce on the manufacturing, logistics and distribution industries. The omni-channnel fulfillment theory states that if a customer spots a product they like on the street, they can take its picture, scan for similar products for sale, place an order and expect to receive the package once they are back from work.
This puts a huge pressure on retailers, transporters, packaging and logistic companies alike. But, as we have shown in various articles, if customers have a powerful shopping tool in their hands – the smartphone – companies also have next generation technology to fulfill their promises, as well as other smart strategies to make their work easier.
1. Wearable Devices – Making Order Picking Simpler than Ever
The Google Glass may not have passed muster with the general public, but it proves extremely useful in warehousing operations. Omni-channel fulfillment logic says that you should move fast and identify the closest stock of products to the customer. And since time is your enemy, you should use technology to the maximum extent and make order picking a swift and precise process, where no mistakes and no delays can occur.
2. Your Best Friends in Omni-Channel Fulfillment: The Packaging and Logistics Experts
At Logistic Packaging, we have served many customers with last minute orders. There are moments, such as the holidays, when there is a surge in sales and companies may find out that they’ve run out of plastic containers, crates and totes.
In such a situation, being in a long term business relations with a professional packaging company truly proves its usefulness: you can count on them to send you the packages you need just in time to keep your customers happy.
3. Make Returns as Hassle Free as Delivery
Everyone has one-day deliveries these days, but how many companies can offer one-day product returns and reimbursement? The moment when customers are unhappy with an order is the moment when your professionalism and your omni-channel fulfillment claims are put to the test.
By implementing lean logistic operations, you can make returns a smooth, hassle-free process and keep your clients loyal even when during touch and go moments.
4. Count On Technology, But Don’t Forget the Human Factor
Software products have glitches. The internet is down. Your computers are hacked. Any of these situations is a daily occurrence all over the world and proves the limits of technology. Automation is the solution of the future, true, but always with the human element overseeing it.
Do not love and trust your technology too much. It has no feelings to return and it will let you down if you leave it unsupervised.
5. Yes, You Need Big Data
The term big data is scary for many logistic managers. They envision global corporations and endless server rooms crunching numbers to come up with the next industrial revolution. In fact, big data is already produced in your company, is accessible around you and you should use it.
What if you never read the news and never correlated daily events with your business operations? You could send your products to a harbor where the entire personnel is on strike. You could lose customers because you forgot that there is a lockdown on customs and your products won’t go through. These instances are simple examples of how big data really work – even at a small level.
Last, but not least, omni-channel fulfillment can be achieved if you start from a simple premise: never promise more than you can actually deliver.