There was a lesson to be learned at the 1999 Open at Carnoustie. For those whose golf knowledge precedes them, Jean Vande Velde, a French golfer, had played a nearly perfect 71 holes of golf at this event. Jean approached the final tee with a 3-stroke lead, which he thought was unreachable by his opponents. However, to Jean’s dismay, he would record a triple-bogey on his last hole, which would go on to result in a three-way playoff in which he would lose to Scotland’s very own Paul Lawrie.
The lesson to be learned here is that winning a 72-hole golf tournament requires finishing strong. The same can be said for order fulfillment, believe it or not. If companies manage to check every box but fail within the last mile of the product reaching its final destination, they’re ultimately failing their customers.
Last Mile Delivery is a principle that refers to the last phase of the order fulfillment process. This stage is when the product leaves its fulfillment center or the company’s shipping hubs and travels to the customer. Unfortunately for businesses around the world, this stage has become quite the challenge for retail and commercial fulfillment.
It wasn’t until a hand full of years ago that last mile delivery began having such importance in the retail and commercial space. Prior to it, customers would order something from their preferred retail companies and would know nothing of the travel process of their product. Their product would be loaded on a truck, and in a few days it would arrive at the nearest factory and then be delivered to the customer.
This would be impossible to accomplish today. Not only do customers expect an insight into the shipment of their product, seen through product tracking pages, a majority of customers also expect much quicker shipping times as a result of promotions like Amazon Prime. Even worse, with shipping capabilities today, some online shoppers may expect their product within the hour depending on their location.
Keeping up with these expectations surrounding speed as been quite the challenge for companies. This, coupled with the fact that there seems to be more online orders than ever, has truly overwhelmed a number of online retailers. COVID-19 has certainly not helped these retailers’ cases.
Nowadays, the most polished Last Mile Delivery strategies include inventory management systems meant to reduce the number of backorders that companies experience. In order to do this, companies invest into warehouse space in locations meant to reduce the distance between their products and their customers. This requires offering multiple different delivery options in order to accommodate to every customer. This strategy also requires high quality delivery standards, meaning offering customers order tracking and ensuring their product’s integrity throughout the delivery process.
For organizations lacking the in Last Mile Delivery department, it may feel as though they’re approaching their 72nd hole as Jean Van de Velde. Without a proper last mile delivery strategy, customers are more likely to abandon a particular business and shop elsewhere that can ensure their products arrive much quickly. This can lead to an enormous competitive disadvantage in your industry. For more information on how to avoid failing within the last mile, be sure to review the infographic coupled with this post. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ.