December 12, 2023
In a recent webinar organized by Track-POD, industry experts delved into the intricate world of distribution business challenges and the implementation of software solutions to address them. The first part of the webinar focused on the hurdles faced by distribution companies, featuring insights from three distinguished speakers — Steve del Fatti, Forest Russman, and Giedre Cesnuleviciene.
Click on the video below to watch the full webinar’s recording, or continue reading this article and find the video highlights below.
Steve del Fatti, the Senior Manager Supply Chain Solutions at Imperial Date Canada, with over 26 years of supply chain experience, emphasized the growing demands placed on distribution companies. He highlighted the challenges of meeting customer expectations for on-time deliveries within increasingly tighter time windows. Without an optimization solution, achieving these targets becomes a daunting task. Steve emphasized the pivotal role of planning ahead to ensure successful deliveries.
Key challenges when implementing software solutions for the distribution businesses as listed by Steve:
Forest Russman, the Chief Logistics Innovation Officer at Meals on Wheels Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, shared insights from the nonprofit sector, emphasizing the challenges of justifying the costs associated with implementing significant changes. He underscored the importance of showcasing efficiency gains and operational savings to funders and stakeholders. Forest also shed light on the competitive nature of the nonprofit sector and the need to set organizations apart through technological advancements.
Key challenges when implementing software solutions for nonprofits as listed by Forest:
Giedre Cesnuleviciene, the Customer Success Manager at Track-POD, offered valuable insights from a customer success perspective. She stressed the importance of clear communication when transitioning to a new last-mile delivery management or ePOD platform. Giedre outlined key considerations for businesses, including resource management, customization to suit workflow, and the broader capabilities of Track-POD beyond simple delivery management.
Giedre’s list of the key considerations for any business when evaluating a new ePOD solution:
The speakers collectively emphasized the need for transparency, real-time communication, and the value that innovative solutions like Track-POD bring to the table. As distribution companies navigate the challenges of the modern business landscape, implementing effective route optimization and ePOD software emerges as a crucial step toward enhancing operational efficiency and ensuring customer satisfaction.
In the second part of the insightful webinar organized by Track-POD, the focus shifted to the realm of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the distribution business and the transformative impact of implementing delivery confirmation software. Speakers Steve del Fatti and Forest Russman shared their experiences and highlighted the tangible benefits reaped by their respective organizations.
Steve illuminated the positive impact of implementing delivery confirmation software at Imperial Dade Canada, shedding light on key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect enhanced operational efficiency.
One crucial metric under scrutiny was the "Distance Traveled," where deviations in kilometers from the planned route were meticulously monitored to ensure optimal efficiency in delivery routes. This strategic oversight aimed to minimize unnecessary travel, contributing to overall cost-effectiveness.
Another pivotal aspect was "Time Efficiency," with a noteworthy reduction from 23 to 16 minutes per delivery. This reduction underscored the software's effectiveness in streamlining the delivery process, resulting in quicker and more efficient service.
"Order Completion" was also a key focus, ensuring that all orders were fulfilled as requested. The software provided valuable insights into instances of partial deliveries or damages, enabling prompt corrective action and enhancing overall order accuracy.
The implementation further addressed the need for real-time information with "Updated ETAs." By providing drivers with constant updates on estimated arrival times, the system ensured that delivery commitments were met, enhancing customer satisfaction and operational reliability.
"Delivery Accuracy" emerged as a critical KPI, tracking every item delivered to guarantee completeness and prevent damages. The software facilitated seamless driver interaction for reporting any issues, contributing to a more transparent and accountable delivery process.
Customer satisfaction was quantified through a "Customer Satisfaction Rating" system embedded in the driver's app. This feature allowed for real-time feedback, contributing to consistently high customer satisfaction ratings.
"Time at Each Stop" and "Root Efficiency" were also assessed, comparing planned versus actual times for each stop. This analysis aimed at optimizing route efficiency and ensuring adherence to schedules by providing drivers with the right tools for effective communication with stakeholders.
Steve highlighted the broader financial implications by discussing "Cost Savings." The software leveraged historical data to quantify savings in terms of time, distance, and fuel consumption, reinforcing the idea that data-driven decision-making directly contributes to tangible cost reductions.
In conclusion, Steve emphasized the transformative role of data-driven decision-making facilitated by software solutions. The insights derived from these KPIs underscored the software's ability to enhance visibility, streamline operations, and drive efficiency across various facets of distribution operations at Imperial Dade Canada.
Forest shared a specific example illustrating how the adoption of software enhanced overall logistics efficiency for his organization:
During a critical situation where Meals on Wheels needed to absorb a significant number of clients from another organization going out of business, the timing aligned with the implementation of Track-POD. This real-world scenario allowed Meals on Wheels to seamlessly incorporate many clients into their routing system, showcasing the scalability and efficiency of the software. The software played a crucial role in accommodating additional clients, ensuring uninterrupted meal deliveries, and ultimately contributing to operational success.
The experiences shared by Steve and Forest underscore the pivotal role that delivery confirmation software plays in optimizing distribution operations. From distance traveled to customer satisfaction ratings, adopting software solutions like Track-POD translates into measurable improvements, cost savings, and enhanced overall efficiency.
As the distribution landscape evolves, businesses increasingly recognize the value of data-driven insights and real-time visibility.
In Steve's view, change is the only constant in life. Success in any implementation lies in comprehending the impact of change on users. When implementing software solutions, the pivotal questions from stakeholders often revolve around how the change affects them—will it save time or make their work more challenging?
Steve emphasizes the importance of identifying pain points and addressing them. He provides a compelling example in the realm of customer service. By notifying customers about the status of their deliveries in real-time, the need for reaching out to customer service diminishes. The key here is to make changes that have a positive impact, ultimately improving efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Forest brings a unique perspective, drawing on experiences from both UPS and Meals on Wheels. He highlights the vast differences in implementing software-related changes between a corporate giant like UPS and a non-profit organization like Meals on Wheels. Unlike UPS, non-profits often lack extensive support systems and require a more hands-on approach to ensure success.
He emphasizes the crucial role of the relationship between the driver and the client. For non-profits, where every interaction is personal and vital, the use of technology to extend the connection through notifications becomes significant. Forest stresses that real-time data captured by drivers can revolutionize the learning model, creating a more personalized and efficient delivery experience.
Giedre, as a Customer Success Manager, shares a success story from the furniture warehousing and delivery sector. By onboarding Track-POD, the company achieved a remarkable increase in successfully completed orders—from 75% to 90%—resulting in substantial revenue growth. The implementation not only addressed order management but also streamlined customer notifications, reducing man-hours for customer support and the sales team.
Giedre's story underscores the significance of customization. Features such as customizable shipping labels contribute to increased brand awareness, demonstrating Track-POD's commitment to meeting customer demands and enhancing their overall experience.
The distribution landscape is continuously evolving, and our speakers foresee several trends that could significantly influence the industry in the years ahead.
One of these trends is the pursuit of enhanced data integration. The convergence of data from diverse sources, including telematics, holds the promise of providing a more comprehensive view of distribution processes. This integration could potentially pave the way for a unified solution, creating a one-stop shop for efficiently managing and utilizing data across the distribution network.
Another key trend is the exploration of real-time learning models. By capitalizing on the unique relationship between drivers and clients, there is a potential shift towards capturing real-time data to generate experiential feedback. This innovative approach has the power to revolutionize the learning model within the distribution industry, allowing businesses to tailor their services more effectively based on immediate and relevant insights.
Streamlined communication emerges as a pivotal game-changer. The ability to directly communicate with clients through notifications is poised to become a transformative force. In a competitive environment where businesses strive to stand out, maintaining a familiar and personal connection with clients through technology is a strategic advantage.
In conclusion, the effective management of change in distribution necessitates a strategic approach that takes into account user impact, addresses pain points, and embraces technological advancements. The insights shared by Steve, Forest, and Giedre serve as a valuable roadmap for businesses aiming to optimize route management and elevate customer satisfaction. As the distribution industry continues its evolution, stay tuned for more profound insights into the transformative trends shaping its future.
It is easy to evaluate the potential benefits that such route optimization and ePOD solutions as Track-POD can offer. Simply register for a free trial and try all its features out! With Track-POD, you will have up to a week to test the platform until deciding whether you want to subscribe to it!