The Importance of Improving Your Business’ Systems for Delivery and Distribution
Delivery and distribution play a critical role in your business’ success and increasing revenue, and as consumer expectations rise with the growth of digital businesses, ensuring you have the right systems in place is more important than ever. Add to this a global pandemic and it’s absolutely vital that your supply chain, quality of delivery, ease of purchase, and customer service are first-rate.
Your business coaches at ActionCOACH RGV are eager to provide you with a few strategies you can implement to improve your delivery and distribution processes, ultimately making your business work more effective, efficient, and successful.
Brief Overview of Delivery and Distribution Management
Delivery and distribution management relate to the processes of transporting goods and products from one location to another. With eCommerce now such a prominent means of shopping, optimizing these systems is an essential part of running a successful business.
Not sold on the importance of delivery and distribution? Well consider the following:
41% of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery.
43% of online shoppers view fast and quality delivery as the most important factor when making a purchase.
70% of US consumers will choose a competitor if they provide more delivery options.
To build a loyal customer base and to stand out from your competitors, your business will need to deliver a great delivery and distribution experience.
It’s important to note that there are two other components that play into delivery and distribution include order fulfillment and inventory management.
What to Consider About Supply Mastery
Supply chain mastery and management are the means by which you handle the production flow of a good or service to maximize quality, delivery, customer experience, and your business’ profitability.
In order to achieve supply mastery, your company will need to be able to positively answer the following questions:
Can clients get what they need and pay for?
Will they get their purchase on time?
Can you consistently make, buy, and deliver the service or product?
Are there supply chain issues?
Can your company handle an increase in sales?
Have you planned for an increase in demand?
Have you set a system in place to ensure quality delivery and distribution?
Are you monitoring and measuring the metrics of your systems?
If you can confidently answer these questions, then the next phase is to move into quality mastery.
What to Consider About Quality Mastery
Quality control and mastery are about ensuring customers receive the products or services at the standard that they expect. In order to master quality, there are a number of steps you can take to enhance this aspect of your business, including:
Commit to the quality of your product or services, and reinforce that notion with your team over and over. Quality should be a non-negotiable goal and should be the same day in and day out.
Track mistakes and deviations in product creation. You should define what quality is and work closely with everyone in your supply chain to ensure that there is no deviation from quality and that everyone is aware of the standard expected. When issues do arise, track them and gauge customer satisfaction.
Invest in training your team and employees to aid you in your goals of quality control and mastery. By investing in training for your team at all levels, they’ll also work to improve quality and help you avoid problems.
Create teams of employees who identify and address quality problems. These groups of individuals should work to promote quality, efficiency, and productivity.
Attitude is key to quality mastery. Your team members should find their commitment to quality as a worthwhile goal and as participating in that process. Resist constantly dwelling on company flaws or mistakes but join as a team to root them out.
To determine quality mastery, answer these questions:
Are you delivering on quality every time, regardless of challenges or outside conditions?
Are you losing customers because of quality?
Are you identifying customer complaints and reacting to feedback?
Does your delivery process meet customer needs and expectations?
Once this component has been properly reviewed, you can move forward to ease of doing business.
What to Consider About the Ease of Doing Business
Ease of doing business refers to the process by which customers interact with your organization. Ideally, your organization should be accessible, inviting, and enticing, and the process to purchase from you should be straightforward and simple.
Remember that service and customer experience are generally much more important than policy and practices.
Not sure if your organizations’ “ease of doing business” is up to standard? Well consider the following questions to examine whether or not changes need to be made:
Are your company’s policies making it too difficult for customers to purchase your product or services?
What is your online presence like online? Can critical information be found easily on your website or via your social channels?
Is the information clear and upfront?
What is your transaction process like? Is it easy or are there multiple steps that can be trimmed down?
If your customers purchase goods via an eCommerce store, are you keeping up to date with safety and privacy protocols? (e.g. Making sure their information is safely transferred amongst computer systems.)
How easy is it for your customers to come back?
Do you actively seek out customer feedback?
Can you simplify any policies?
The last aspect to consider when trying to improve your distribution and delivery system is service mastery.
Enhancing Your Service Mastery
Service mastery is paradoxically one of the easiest and most challenging components of your business to improve. Customer satisfaction occurs only through quality customer service and is crucial to the success and survival of your organization.
When done correctly, service mastery leads to your customers selling for you. Loyal customers are the best form of marketing, spreading the word about your business and helping to draw in new clients.
But how do we reach service mastery? The truth is that it’s always going to be a continuous process that will need to be revamped as you grow. But there are a number of ways you can always improve your customer service, including:
Customer service and authenticity always start with the leaders of the company. They set the tone and can create a framework that is authentic and honest. Consider the cultural values you are instilling in your team and how you can empower them to make the right decisions. Develop the tools and protocols they need to deliver excellent service.
Be proactive and anticipate problems, needs, and potential customer wants. The more proactive you are in your attempt to address potential issues, the better a customer’s experience will be.
Going above and beyond is a cliche phrase that many companies claim but don’t actually live up to - but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be seriously considered. What are the small perks and benefits you can provide customers to build a reputation for outstanding service? How can these be implemented and who needs to help with training employees to ensure these consistently happen?
As previously mentioned, customer service must be constantly analyzed and practices updated to improve the likelihood that you deliver. See if you stack up by answering the following questions:
Is your team trained properly and empowered to care for your customers?
How is customer conflict handled? Are there procedures for this?
What is the standard of service? How is it different from competitors, and is it actually what customers are receiving?
What are the details and experiences that make you stand out and which your customers love?
What is the overall experience from start to finish? What lasting impression do you make?
Once you have reviewed these for areas of your business, you can begin to identify gaps and opportunities that will aid in enhancing your systems and distributions processes.
Benefits of an Exceptional Delivery and Distribution System
The quality and consistency of your delivery and distribution system highly impact your customer experience, and thus your bottom line. By taking the time and making the investment to improve delivery and distribution, you’ll reap the benefits of:
A higher customer retention rate.
With the right delivery management systems in place, you can access real-time data that can help you to make informed decisions and changes to your shipping strategies.
Enhanced order fulfillment and reduced operational costs greatly improve profit margins.
By knowing where issues are in your supply chain, you’ll be able to make corrections and provide faster delivery options for your customers.
By staying on top of your delivery and distribution, you’ll likely improve supply chain communication, which, in turn, improves the shipping and delivery process.
Grow Your Business, Improve Your Cash Flow, and Increase Revenue with ActionCOACH RGV
At ActionCOACH RGV, we are committed to helping entrepreneurs and business owners like you implement the right systems and processes in place to functionally grow your business. We know how to help you make a real change in your business and reach new heights of success.