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What to Look for in Omnichannel Fulfillment Systems

When selecting an omnichannel fulfilment system, several functional aspects must be considered a high priority.

Booking time slots

Expectations have changed. Customers want the certainty of being able to choose narrow time slots for delivery. Alternatively, they may choose to collect their delivery from a convenient pre-determined location, such as a store or secure drop box. Using an omnichannel fulfilment system that allows you to offer time slots for deliveries means that shoppers can be confident about when their goods are going to arrive. Offering narrow time slots is best for customer satisfaction. Having orders delivered exactly when and where the consumers choose in a cost-efficient way is the ideal.

Continuous optimisation of orders

Customers place orders throughout an entire day, so you need an omnichannel fulfilment system that continually reoptimises the transport schedules as new orders are added. Systems must take into account delivery areas, available resources and existing deliveries already confirmed, then analyse and evaluate possible delivery times for new orders within the customer’s requested time frame. By planning customer collection and home delivery service in the same system, users can maximise the efficiency of their operation and offer a consistent, reliable service to their customers.

Advanced algorithms

Omnichannel fulfilment systems must use highly developed algorithms designed specifically for optimising last-mile, road-based transport operations. Your system should use digital mapping to calculate the most effective delivery and collection sequences with accurate journey times, allocating loads to appropriate vehicles and drivers accordingly. This ensures that the schedules are geographically feasible to meet promised arrival time windows, while improving fleet utilisation and productivity through efficient routes with minimal total mileage incurred and empty running reduced.

Links to order processing

For improved customer satisfaction, look for a system that links seamlessly with omnichannel order management systems. This allows you to offer customers the ability to choose cost-effective home delivery or customer collection time slots when placing their order whether in store, via mobile, through customer services or online.

Order tracking, communication and confirmation

It is important to be able to track the order from placement to delivery, ensuring all required components are progressing in a timely manner to meet the customer promise. Proactive messaging enables automated communication to keep the customer informed throughout this process.

On the day of delivery, keeping real-time tabs on drivers to know their exact location allows automated updates to be provided to the customer. Alternatively, the customer can track their order status via an online portal.

Electronic proof of delivery (EPOD) is a key requirement in completing the entire end-to-end order fulfilment process. This ensures confirmation of successful deliveries and the required information, such as photographs, notes and signatures, to manage delivery issues in a timely manner.

Any system needs to be able to support the end-to-end order fulfilment process, as well as offer a modular approach. This enables businesses to select a system to either complement their current technology investments or introduce a solution to manage the entire last-mile fulfilment process.

In our experience, businesses want to offer their customers what we refer to as the Paragon Seven Cs:

  • Choice – enabling customers to choose how, where and when they receive their delivery.
  • Certainty – making sure that the customer’s choice and your promise to the customer is achievable.
  • Communication – keeping the customer informed of progress throughout the order lifecycle and managing the customer’s expectation (from order to delivery).
  • Control – putting the customer in control and enabling the customer to make changes to delivery requirements throughout the order lifecycle.
  • Convenience – the ability to provide choice, communication, control and certainty that delivers convenience to the customer throughout the lifecycle of an order.
  • Confidence – confidence that the whole process delivers the customer offer.
  • Cost – achieving all previous six Cs in a cost-efficient manner.

Focusing on the Paragon Seven Cs enables you to:

  • Offer the highest standards of customer service.
  • Maximise the utilisation of your resources.
  • Reduce the amount of failed deliveries.
  • Reduce the cost of customer contact.

In short, the right omnichannel fulfilment system should help you improve service and the choice you offer your customers while reducing costs and increasing margins.

Paragon’s omnichannel fulfilment solution is a modular system that allows you to scale up as your requirements grow. Why not talk to us to find out whether Paragon can help you balance customer service and delivery costs. We can talk through your requirements over the phone, or you can visit us at the Paragon Technology Centre to see Paragon HDX in action.

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