If you run a business where you sell goods online, you know that it involves a never-ending cycle of order fulfilment and delivery. But often, a timely delivery can mean a strong business reputation as well as positive customer experiences.
With this in mind, you need to be ensuring that goods and services are timely delivered. But how do you ensure that shipments are delivered on time and in good condition? In addition, how can logistics reduce delivery time?
In this article, we explore the answers to these questions to give you a breakdown of how you can make your processes more efficient.
But first, let’s take a look at what lead time is in shipping and why it is important.
What is lead time in shipping?
When we talk about shipping or delivery lead times, we are referring to the period between when an order is placed by a customer and when that customer receives the goods in their hands. In the sphere of logistics, lead time can include all the processes involved in ensuring an accurate delivery including preparation, shipping, processing, handling and delivery.
The importance of delivery times
We already alluded to the fact that fast delivery times equal a positive customer experience. But in addition to this, it can result in customer loyalty, further purchases, improvements in your bottom line and word of mouth marketing about your business or the quality of your products and fulfillment efforts.
Of course, there are challenges in ensuring that your lead times are kept to a minimum. Especially during peak seasons. Examples of issues you might face include volatile ocean and air rates, rolled cargo, container capacity scarcity, trucking delays and even increased cardo theft.
How to improve on-time delivery to customers
Wondering how you can reduce lead shipping time? There are a few possible solutions that you can look into. Some of these include the following:
- Enter into lead time contracts with your suppliers: this is a great way to ensure that there are clear expectations from both parties and that there are steps involved in the event of delays to ensure that there is a proper resolution of the situation.
- Keep your supply chain as simple as possible: the simpler your supply chain, the fewer actors involved and the shorter the chain from order to delivery, the better your chances of getting that package shipped as quickly as possible.
- Consolidate your suppliers: if you work with multiple suppliers, consider streamlining this process and work with a handful or one or two only. Pick the best and most reliable suppliers for the job and let them handle the work. This can help prevent a lot of errors as miscommunication is a challenge the more actors are involved in the process.
- Set professional delivery business workflows: to reduce the ETAs of your products, ensure your team is on board with you. Prioritise priority or urgent shipments and deal with those first. If your team knows about your processes and follows them, then your chances of a delayed delivery will be minimised.
- Automate as many of your processes as possible: whether you use a dedicated driver app to monitor road or vehicle conditions or you use other software to streamline your order fulfilment process, automating is a great way to minimise errors.
- Use time and space wisely: try to implement greater levels of flexibility in your order processing. If your driver can deliver two packages in one go instead of one, that’s introducing greater efficiency in your process. Try the same with spacing, especially if you are using warehouses for the purpose.
Of course, these are just a few of the tips you can follow for more streamlined and efficient processes. Others include:
- Planning ahead of time
- Increasing your resources during peak periods
- Considering all your shipping options instead of using only one
- Manage your customers’ expectations through clear communication, and
- It’s imperative that you get freight insurance in the event that something goes wrong.
Shipping on time every time will give you a reputation for a high quality customer service and experience. This is invaluable in today’s competitive business environment where every minute costs money and every customer can be lost at the drop of a hat. To ensure that you satisfy all your customers’ expectations, you need to deliver as scheduled. And if you are working with or sending international shipments from Spain, then you need to choose a highly reliable international courier service in Barcelona. Luckily, at DRG Solutions, we can help you with any international courier services from Barcelona. All that you have to do is get in touch with us!