It goes without saying that, for many, Christmas is the most exciting time of the year. A time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and be merry. Oh, and order A LOT of presents. While it may spoil Christmas for some of us to know that the operations surrounding logistics at Christmas do not involve a man in a red suit flying across the globe, it does involve a large headache for some shippers and retailers.
The boom in e-commerce as well as a recent increase in pre-Christmas sales such as black Friday has lead to logistics companies working flat out to deliver gifts in time. Of course no one likes their order to be late or go missing at any time of year, but the added importance and emotional connection with items ordered at Christmas only adds to the pressure for companies to “deliver” on time.
But are goals and targets in line with the rest of the year being achieved over the Christmas period? You don’t have to search far to find a Christmas delivery horror story. If you haven’t played the lead role in the scenario yourself then the likelihood is that you may know at least one or two people who have. And no one is worse to deal with from a customer service point of view than the parent of a child for whom Santa did not show up. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Data compiled by LCP research and presented in The Mirror claims that during the Christmas period of 2015 seventeen million parcels in the UK alone were expected to miss their delivery time. That’s a lot of unhappy faces.
But there’s another story here. The blame does not lie solely at the door of logistics companies who, for just a few weeks a year, are expected to be able to run at many times normal capacity without any kind of interruption. This is much like the times it snows in a warmer climate and people cry “why can’t we deal with a little snow?!”. Well, because it doesn’t happen often and the cost of dealing with a rare occurrence far outweigh the benefits. Much is demanded of delivery companies while very few are prepared to pay it. Consumers want a quicker service, a cheaper service, and they want to order more online. This is an equation that does not balance and, inevitably, leads to some disappointment.
In a case of decreasing inputs with an increase in the expectation of the outputs companies must become efficient. Missed deliveries, broken and returned items, as well as items that are just lost altogether, are things that waste valuable time in logistics. It doesn’t take much to realise that these time delays can quickly snowball creating a huge backlog of deliveries.
The need for a system that maximises efficiency while minimising losses not just for one parcel or one driver but across an entire distribution channel is the driving force behind ParceLive’s ‘Truth At Scale’ movement. Just as missed and lost deliveries create a snowball of destruction the network optimisation created by ParceLive ensures the opposite effect. By having an eye on operations in real time across an entire network ParceLive ensures problems can be recognised before they even occur, a missed delivery can become a chance to learn, a broken item notifies where items may likely be broken in future and consumers can plan to be home to receive their parcel based upon real data from the parcel itself. The use and return model of ParceLive also ensures that the cost of such a service is kept to a minimum, allowing for a service that can be used across an entire supply chain for maximum benefit.
The possibilities of increased efficiency are endless. ParceLive is currently in advanced stages of Beta testing and inside real parcels across more than 30 countries and on four continents. To learn more about ParceLive and to register your future interest please CLICK HERE.
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