The customer experience can make or break any business. While the occasional mistake or delay is inevitable, ongoing frustrations can cause customers to lose patience—severing relationships and damaging a company’s brand. Improving the customer experience is a business imperative, no matter what kind of freight a company deals in. And one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve the customer experience is to remove common frictions along the supply chain. Here are a few areas where companies can get started.
Improve visibility for more agile inventory managementTo reduce warehousing costs, many companies are decreasing inventory volume. But this leaves them vulnerable to running out of materials if procurement delays occur. If one material cannot be acquired, the entire supply chain can grind to a halt—leading to lengthy delays and unhappy customers. By increasing end-to-end visibility, companies can avoid running into this problem. Gaining a big picture view of the entire supply chain makes it easier for companies to track their inventory in real time. Developing a robust back-up plan also cannot hurt, enabling them to quickly identify alternative suppliers should the worst happen. Gathering all this data also allows companies to utilize predictive analytics and business intelligence solutions. This makes it simple to track trends, spot opportunities for improvement, and identify potential issues on the horizon—before they can impact customers.
Streamline the pick-up experience to boost on-time deliveryEvery minute a driver is left stranded waiting for their truck to be loaded decreases the likelihood that they’ll be able to make their delivery on time. For time-sensitive freight in particular, this can leave customers deeply unsatisfied and ready to take their business elsewhere. A fully integrated transportation management system (TMS) can alleviate this issue. By streamlining order management and shipment execution—from scheduling and confirmation to load tendering—shippers can prevent delays at the warehouse, thereby reducing the chances of a delay for the customer. Best-in-class shippes are ready to get moving the moment the truck pulls up at the loading dock, ensuring all the necessary equipment and bodies are on deck in advance. Streamlining the pick-up experience has the dual benefit of improving carrier relations. With only so many hours in the day and the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate restricting the amount of time they can spend on the road, drivers want to hit the road as soon as possible. A delayed pick-up at one location can throw their entire day off schedule, often causing them to have to cancel later shipments that can no longer be fulfilled within the window of driving time they have left. Keeping drivers happy can help companies strengthen their relationship with the carrier, which may lead to better rates and savings the company can pass on to its customers.
Find expert supportWith so many moving pieces to keep track of, supply chain managers may sometimes feel overwhelmed and unable to provide the exceptional experience their customers deserve. That’s where managed services can be especially valuable. By outsourcing some or all of their transportation and logistics needs to an expert provider, companies can dramatically reduce friction along their supply chain, leading to a better customer experience—and less stress for their staff. Partner with the best. Contact CTSI-Global today.
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