26 November 2019
failures demonstrate need for smarter use of delivery technology
Just as Black Friday has cemented its place
as an annual festival of shopping for discounted deals, so too have the stories
of customer dissatisfaction linked with the delivery of items bought online at
The thing is, in previous years it may have
been a case of deliveries being too slow, a lack of options or even damage
occurring during transit. But now the key reason behind shoppers’ discontent is
one that wouldn’t have seemed possible a decade ago – that deliveries are
arriving too early.
That’s right. According to a survey from consumer watchdog Which?, more than
half of online shoppers from November 2018 to January 2019 experienced at least
one problem regarding delivery, and the most common complaint was that orders
arrived earlier than expected when no one was home to collect.
It goes to show the effect that technology
has had on the delivery process. While consumers now expect a very high
standard of service, which has largely been driven by the retail market, they
also want a service that fits around their needs.
But with the focus being weighted heavily on speed, has the need for a
smart and flexible delivery offering been left behind?
Logistics is under more intense customer pressure than ever before and
the standard is being set by one-day and even same-day deliveries, such as
Amazon Prime Now.
Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD) systems are crucial to
underpinning these rapid services. But it’s not all they can do.
The best systems will offer real-time tracking, instant invoicing, reduced
paperwork, easy integration with other platforms and even vehicle and resource
Let’s look at the Which? findings in more detail. As well as 29% of
consumers finding deliveries were attempted earlier than expected, other
- 24% said couriers did not follow instructions
- 17% were late
- 24% did not arrive
- 9% left a note even though customer was home
- 6% courier rescheduled.
What we can conclude from these findings is that speed isn’t
everything. You need to be smart too and if you’re offering personalised
delivery options, you must back them up and be able to make changes on the fly.
The point is, whether business or residential, customers want
real-time information at their fingertips. This means accurate ETAs,
geo-fencing and integrated IT systems from intake to invoice.
Having better control of the ‘last mile’ of delivery is vital. It’s where
drivers can offer a personal touch to help raise customer satisfaction at the
point of delivery.
At a time when items can be bought and delivered with minimal human
interaction, it’s important to retain a customer service element and this where
drivers – especially those at SMEs - can shine.
Of course, they still need to be supported by accurate information in
order to fulfil these duties, which the latest mobile devices and EPOD
solutions can provide.
No matter what the future brings, EPOD will provide a number of
benefits both internally and externally.
Businesses gain an increased level of visibility to help with job
scheduling and vehicle tracking, which in turn helps increase efficiency and
accuracy. Customers gain an advantage by being able to track their own delivery
and gain an electronic proof of delivery – providing reassurance and confidence
particularly to those buying high-value goods.
In today’s competitive marketplace, and looking at the challenges and
opportunities that may arise in the future, businesses equipped with EPOD will
be well placed to cope with whatever is thrown at them.
Why choose TouchStar?
TouchStar’s PODStar solution offers tangible and immediate
benefits to your operation, including
- Improved cash flow through faster invoicing
- Rapid ROI through improvements in workforce
- Paperless and automated system reducing error
- Save time and money wasted in the search for
lost POD paperwork
- Optimised delivery performance resulting in
enhanced customer satisfaction
- Fuel reduction and improved carbon footprint
through efficient routing
- Quickly view productivity by individual resource
or vehicle, enabling you to determine sources of profit or loss
- Enhanced safety of drivers and the general
public through automated vehicle reminders and checks.
TouchStar occupies a unique position as a supplier of EPOD
and tracking solutions to the fleet sector, being a system integrator, hardware
manufacturer and software development house. If you already have core system
components in place, TouchStar can work with you to examine how to optimise or
extend these, in order to accrue additional operational and business benefits.
If you’d like to find out more about PODstar contact
the team today.