Everything You Need to Know About B2B Deliveries
June 03, 2021
Any business that offers delivery services needs to ensure that they keep their clients happy and meet their expectations. This is true not only for regular eCommerce stores but companies that offer B2B deliveries too. An efficient delivery process will go a long way in building a strong B2B reputation.
While taking care of your clients can cover many different areas, focusing on meeting their expectations during the delivery process is essential. This may be easier said than done because B2B deliveries pose many challenges that logistics managers are trying to solve.
Let’s take a deep dive into these deliveries to learn how businesses can improve their operations with last mile delivery software.
Understanding B2B deliveries
Delivery is a major challenge for any business. B2C businesses put a huge amount of effort into meeting the customer’s expectations and going the extra mile. Great deliveries are something that could cost a business its sale. With things like same-day deliveries becoming the norm in today’s retail space, B2C delivery businesses heavily focus on refining their operations.
When it comes to B2B deliveries, this is not always the same. Delivery is often an afterthought for B2B companies. Delivery processes have stayed the same for a long time.
When understanding B2B deliveries, the entire supply chain needs to be considered. For example, if a business orders mechanical parts from another business, there are multiple stages involved in ordering, manufacturing, and eventually delivering. These businesses generally focus mainly on increasing their output. The client’s experience and journey throughout this supply chain are often overlooked.
But with B2Bs investing so much into their different supply chain processes, it would seem silly not to focus more heavily on their customer’s needs. The B2B space is becoming increasingly competitive, and having more distributors available gives businesses more delivery options. Focusing on improving the client journey and becoming customer-centric offers B2B companies a serious competitive advantage.
B2B delivery challenges
In order to optimize B2B deliveries, companies need to have a clear understanding of the different challenges that they face, and how to tackle them. Here are some of the main challenges that we see in B2B delivery systems.
Any B2B company should be making sure that clients are receiving their orders on time. While on-time deliveries are more of a focal point for B2C companies, B2B deliveries should offer a similar level of client satisfaction when it comes to delivery times.
If an order is delivered behind schedule, the client has a bad experience. A bad experience could likely lead to them choosing a different company for their next order.
Once a customer has placed their order, they want to know where it is and when to expect it. A problem with many B2B deliveries is that they don’t provide enough clarity for the customer. Instead, businesses will place their order and just wait for the expected delivery time, without clear updates along the way.
B2B deliveries should provide a strong level of communication between the business and the client. Clear, instant communication enhances the client experience in a massive way.
Communication should also be clear between all parties involved in the delivery process, such as the driver and logistics manager. This will result in more efficient, and more profitable, deliveries.
Unlike with B2C deliveries, B2B deliveries often only include a single option for delivery. Businesses can enhance their operations by offering different delivery solutions, such as urgent or contactless deliveries.
A wider range of delivery options means the receiving business will get the delivery they want. This results in greater satisfaction. It also gives the receiver more control over their delivery, with a clearer window of when to expect their order.
Maintaining a high level of customer service
When you’re supplying to a small business, you shouldn’t slack on customer service. A challenge that many B2B deliveries encounter is a lack of customer service throughout the process. Great customer service will result in more repeat business and a better reputation.
The main goal is to keep the client well informed, meet their expectations, and provide an extra level of service to keep them happy.
Keeping delivery costs low
B2C delivery schedules are generally more demanding, with multiple stops in each delivery route. However, B2B deliveries are often only based on a single delivery. This means the cost of delivery is higher, as the cost cannot be divided among multiple other orders.
Delivery expenses are always a challenge for any company, but this is particularly true for B2B. With rising fuel costs and fleet expenses, running cost-effective deliveries is something businesses place a lot of focus on. The delivery process can take out a significant chunk of a business’s profits.
How can businesses improve their B2B delivery services?
B2B companies need to be able to respond to these challenges in order to optimize their business. Here are some solutions to enhancing B2B deliveries.
Level up delivery route management
No matter who you’re delivering to, route planning is always a challenge. One of the easiest and most effective solutions for better B2B deliveries is to optimize the way routes are planned and managed.
The only truly effective solution to this is a GPS tracking system designed for deliveries. This allows businesses to plan and optimize each route at the highest level of efficiency. As such, your organization should consider using a delivery software solution that makes sure all routes are planned in a way that saves time and gets the delivery out faster.
This means more on-time deliveries that are more profitable.
Better delivery tracking
Using a GPS delivery management system allows businesses to track and trace their orders. This is done clearly and completely accurately, offering a range of benefits towards the B2B company and the business receiving the order.
Accurate delivery tracking brings a far greater level of visibility into the delivery process. Customers can easily track their delivery, keeping them fully updated. At the same time, delivery managers get a far greater level of control over their operations. They can watch the status of the delivery route, update their clients, and gain better control over truck driver management.
Clear delivery tracking is essential for any B2B deliveries. It results in smoother operations and happier customers.
Manage customer expectations
The best way to keep your clients happy is to deliver on their expectations. Your business should offer timely deliveries, but it should also deliver on any promises made. Make it clear how your delivery process works, how long deliveries take, and what the steps are for placing and receiving an order.
While deliveries should be optimized to get faster and more efficient for customers, they also need to be fully transparent. B2B businesses should communicate clearly with their clients and provide realistic delivery dates. This allows them to set clear client expectations, and then meet them with confidence.
Managing delivery costs
Managing delivery costs is one of the primary challenges that B2B deliveries face. In order to get a better grasp of delivery costs and how to optimize them, logistics managers need to access accurate analytics. They need to be able to see how each delivery is performing, where the delivery budget is going, and which areas of the delivery process can be improved to cut costs.
The only way to really improve B2B deliveries is by looking at clear sets of data from past deliveries and finding areas that need attention. This is important for understanding what works and what doesn’t. Delivery management software is available to provide accurate analytics and reporting of each delivery route.
More flexibility in deliveries
Because of order volumes, B2B delivery cancellations offer a much higher cost when compared to B2C delivery cancellations. Last-minute order cancellations or changes can have a major impact on the profitability of your B2B deliveries. This is why businesses need to make use of the right delivery management software to enhance their flexibility.
By using great last-mile delivery software, dealing with last-minute changes is much easier. This is because the software allows for a faster response to changes, where delivery schedules and workflows can be instantly updated and optimized to deal with the change.
Using software like this also allows B2B companies to offer more flexibility to their client’s orders. Things like changing the time or date of the delivery are easier to arrange. This creates a better customer service experience.
Real-time alerts and updates
Businesses can keep their clients informed about the last-mile delivery stage through instant shipping notifications and updates. Using the right delivery management software allows businesses to send out updates on each order as they happen. This keeps the client up to date, resulting in a better experience for them.
Instant updates also mean better organization from a logistics point of view. Delivery managers can keep better track of the delivery status, allowing them to offer more efficient and streamlined service.
Why is efficiency extra important for B2B deliveries?
B2B buyers have important agendas in place when they place an order. They require that order to fulfill certain tasks for their business. This means that efficiency is an extra important factor for B2B buyers.
Unlike B2C eCommerce, B2B buyers need excellent order fulfillment for their business to continue operating. If the order is late, it can result in them slowing down their own business operations.
B2B buyers generally maintain close working relationships with their suppliers. In order to maintain loyalty for a long-standing relationship, B2B deliveries need to be efficient and up to the client’s expectations. If deliveries mess with the buyer’s schedule, then they will likely source another supplier.
When it comes to these deliveries, the manufacturing process often limits or affects the delivery schedule. While B2C deliveries generally operate off stock on hand, B2B orders are often more specialized. This means the entire supply chain related to the order needs to be optimized. Once the order is ready to be shipped, efficient delivery is essential for fulfilling the customer’s demands.
Trends in B2B deliveries
B2B deliveries are seeing a shift towards more streamlined and innovative operations. This sector is continually moving forward in order to innovate and improve operations. Here are some important trends within the B2B delivery sector.
Faster order fulfillment: Much like with B2C orders, B2B buyers are expecting faster orders and more efficient service. There is more pressure on B2B suppliers to execute faster orders for their clients.
The use of advanced technology: Delivery technology is always developing, and B2B delivery companies are relying more and more on smart technology to optimize their processes. If businesses want to stay ahead of the competition, they need to be utilizing the right software to improve deliveries.
Greater customer flexibility: B2B buyers are also starting to expect more flexibility in how they order and what their order options are. This includes the free delivery option.
Sharing delivery resources: Many B2B companies don’t have the resources themselves to fulfill an increasing delivery demand. Outsourcing and sharing delivery resources are becoming a more widely recognized practice.
You should ensure that your organization is always following the trends, to grow customer satisfaction.
Using software for B2B deliveries
Smart delivery software is a must for any B2B company that wants to optimize its delivery process and keep up with the competition. Delivery demands are constantly increasing, and the only way to accurately respond to this is with the right software.
Delivery management software allows businesses to streamline their operations, save time, and develop a more profitable delivery service. This can add a great competitive advantage to both the client and the supplier.
B2B deliveries require plenty of attention if businesses want to keep their clients happy. The delivery landscape is developing at a rapid rate, with demands consistently rising. B2B companies need to respond to this and enhance their delivery schedules if they want to keep up with the fast-paced sector.
Better deliveries result in happier clients and improved profitability. By maximizing the delivery process, businesses will be able to see a major difference in their growth and revenue.