Working at a startup, you’ll always be aware of the reputation that you’re building, and the trust that you want your customers to invest in your brand. One key component of that is delivery: being able to get products to the doors of your customers within a short time frame, and without delays. This piece is all about facilitating those deliveries, by planning in advance how you’re going to transport goods across borders and into homes without necessitating delays that damage your brand’s reputation.
First, you need to look to your supplier to determine how long it will usually take for them to get you the products that you’re selling on to your customers. This is the beginning of your logistics journey – and perhaps the most important stage in figuring out how long it’ll take you to deliver goods to the homes of your customers.
In order to keep track of orders and deliveries from your supplier, whether they’re based abroad or in the US, you need to use a Logistics Portal. These portals are your centralized system to determine where your orders are located, when they will arrive in your depot, and thus the lead times that you attach to deliveries ordered from your website. To compete with the likes of Amazon and other large eCommerce firms, you need to be on top of this logistical planning with your supplier.
Next up is your order processing system, which you need to make sure is getting every single order processed and noted on your digital system. When you fail to recognize an order that’s been placed on your website, you leave a customer high and dry without their order – frustrated and upset with your new brand.
As such, it’s important that you hire logistical planners, data specialists, and customer service professionals in order to facilitate the timely delivery of all of your orders. Make sure you keep in touch with customers if there is to be a delay on their order’s delivery – it means a lot to consumers to be told when they can expert their order.
Now that you’ve properly processed your order, and you’re using a portal to track its progress to your depot or warehouse, it’s time to hand over the delivery to local delivery contractors, or your own delivery team, to take your products on the final leg of their journeys into your customer’s home.
Here, you need to work out a reliable way to facilitate these deliveries – either by setting up your own delivery fleet or, as most startups choose to do, by partnering with a local delivery firm that’ll take care of the logistics for you on this final leg. Remember, when you’re making these partnerships, to work on a contract that punishes your delivery partner for late or missed deliveries. This will incentivize them to work hard to get your orders to your customers on time to a high degree of accuracy.
Use these three key tips to improve your delivery system – from the moment you have a product ordered, to the moment it reaches the door of your customer.