Successful B2C – it’s all in the last 10 metres
Since last year’s technology shares correction, Australia has seen some high profile dotcom falls, stressing the importance of effective supply chain and good old customer service.
The ‘tech wreck’ phenomenon has illustrated the need to not only market well, but to actually deliver what was originally promised.
According to management consultancy Logistics Bureau, the success or failure of a B2C venture is about getting the last 10 metres of the supply chain right.
“It’s what the customer sees that really counts,” said Rob O’Byrne, Logistics Bureau Director.
“The customer basically wants their product delivered on time and in one piece by a customer-focussed courier. Delivery and fulfilment have never played such a huge part in business.”
O’Byrne believes the key challenges of implementing effective e-fulfilment are understanding three key areas: the service expectations of your customer base; the range of delivery options available; and the true ‘cost to serve’ of a range of customer and product types.
He added that some etailers set themselves unrealistic deadlines:
“There is no point in an etailer promising the world and falling short. It doesn’t matter if it’s delivered two days or two hours after being ordered, it all comes down to what the etailer promises and the customers service expectation.”
Some of the other traps to look for in establishing B2C fulfilment include: being aware of the impact of product range change, to the delivery cost; and planning for a flexible delivery structure that can cope with large peaks and troughs in demand.
“The future of B2C fulfilment lies in creating the right service expectation and delivering on it, consistently,” O’Byrne said.
Rob O’Byrne will address the topic of effective e-fulfilment when he speaks at the supply chain conference Smart 2001 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre from 21st to 25th May 2001.
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