It’s not often that many parallels can be drawn between the game of golf and the delivery process of most businesses. However, there is one instance that sticks out amongst the rest and offers a clear guiding message for both golfers and business owners alike. At the 1999 Open at Carnoustie, Jean Vande Velde, a French golfer, had played a nearly perfect 71 holes of golf at this 72 hole event. When approaching the final tee, Jean had a 3-stroke lead over his other competitors, a lead he thought was unsurmountable. Only after shooting a triple-bogey on his last hole did he realize his opponents could tie his score, which they would. This three-way playoff tie would end with Scotland’s very own Paul Lawrie taking the crown over Jean.
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 last leg of the delivery process, known as the last mile, is a principle that refers to the stage of delivery of the product. It finally leaves its fulfillment center or the company’s shipping hubs and travels to the customer. It wasn’t until a hand full of years ago that last mile delivery began having such importance in the retail and commercial space. Prior to it, customers would order something from their preferred retail companies and would know nothing of the travel process of their product. Their product would be loaded on a truck, and in a few days it would arrive at the nearest factory and then be delivered to the customer.
As customers have become more involved than ever in the post-purchase stage of their orders, it’s impossible to ever expect these previous standards to be respected. Now, customers expect deeper insights into the where’s and when’s of the stages of their order, typically seen through product tracking pages. This isn’t the only standard to impact these businesses either, with Amazon playing a huge role in the speed in which customers expect their orders, more and more businesses are struggling to keep up.
What many businesses have turned to as a result of these expectations are known as inventory management systems. These systems are meant to reduce the number of backorders that companies experience as a result of their customers’ demands. These systems require warehouse space in locations spread throughout the country to reduce the distance between a company’s products and their customers. This requires offering multiple different delivery options in order to accommodate to every customer. This strategy also requires high quality delivery standards, meaning offering customers order tracking and ensuring their product’s integrity throughout the delivery process.
These systems, in connection with a number of other strategies, are what keep organizations from failing their customers on a regular basis. To learn more about these inventory management systems and how they can aid your business, be sure to read on to the infographic paired alongside this post. Courtesy of WAREHOWZ.