Golf enthusiasts and business owners alike had a lot to learn from the story of the 1999 Open at Carnoustie. The Frenchman, Jean Van de Velds, represented his country well throughout 71 holes of golf and approached the final tee with what was thought to be an insurmountable lead. What followed was nothing short of a disaster. A triple-bogey would result in a score that lead to a three-way playoff between Paul Lawrie, Justin Leonard and himself. Paul Lawrie would later go on to win his only major championship ever after overcoming Jean Van de Velds.
As mentioned previously, business owners and managers can learn something from Jean Van de Velds’ experience. Similarly to playing the best throughout most of the tournament, business owners and managers can’t fumble the customer’s experience at the end. Which is why order fulfillment is so important. Managing to exceed a customer’s expectation in every other regard but failing them within the last leg of the delivery process could result in losing countless numbers of customers.
The order fulfillment process has seen some changes over the course of the years. Last Mile Delivery is the final phase of an order’s fulfillment process. In this stage, products move from their fulfillment centers and hubs around the world to the final point of sale, otherwise known as the customer. While it may seem easy enough, last mile delivery has become a mission critical step for businesses within the retail industry.
This is largely in part due to the advancements made in the ways that customers can track their packages. Before the days of Amazon’s shipping tyranny, customers who purchased orders online would have very little detail regarding the shipping process or when their order would arrive. The times have certainly changed though. Now, through nearly every retail industry contributor, nearly every customer has come to possess unrealistic shipping and fulfillment expectations from the companies they order from. Believe it or not, there are some customers who have come to expect online orders from certain companies to arrive within the hour depending on their location.
Now more than ever, companies have begun trying to keep up with the ever-changing demands of their customers. For most companies, this requires sophisticated inventory management systems meant to reduce the number of backorders and delays. In order to get the most out of these systems, warehousing space scattered throughout the country is a necessity. This reduces the amount of distance between the product and the customer. These systems also allow companies to offer different tiers of shipping for any customers’ preference. They also provide customers the ability to track their orders, ensure quality care of their order and even schedule specific delivery times with local carriers when applicable.
For organizations struggling with order fulfillment, there’s no need to ever Jean Van de Velds themselves. In order to avoid having loyal customers fall out of their hands, organizations have to ensure they’re capable of delivering products at the fastest clip. For more information on how to do so, be sure to review the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ.