In this post, you’ll see what it takes to create a strong B2B delivery through automation.
The strategies outlined in this guide will help you to:
Provide on-demand B2B delivery services to your partners.
Make it easier to manage and handle large order volumes.
Optimize your operations for efficiency, time, and cost.
So if you’re looking to take a HUGE step forward in the digital transformation of your business, then you’ll enjoy this post.
Let’s dive right in!
Business-to-business (B2B) delivery refers to the delivery of products from one company to another. When it comes to the order size, B2B orders are usually large, bulk orders.
B2B fulfillment helps manufacturers to distribute their products or wholesalers to stock up on goods, resell them, and then deliver them to other companies (usually retailers). But this is just one segment of B2B operations.
While B2B orders are delivered from one company to another, B2C businesses ship goods directly to end-consumers. That’s why it’s referred to as business-to-consumer, or business-to-customer.
The average order value of B2C operations is normally lower than that of B2B. Also, B2B online orders are usually more complex than the average online orders in B2C operations.
B2B orders often come with a higher customer acquisition cost and a longer buying cycle that requires more effort and investment.
At the same time, B2C is a simpler order fulfillment process than B2B fulfillment services since the whole process involves fewer activities and regulations.
As for B2B delivery logistics, it often comes with specific requirements such as tax rules, special invoicing, product restrictions, shipping regulations, and more.
By 2027, the B2B e-commerce market is set to reach $20.9 trillion, which means that the B2B delivery demand will outgrow the demand for B2C e-commerce sales.
In the times when almost everything is available within one click, it is only natural for B2B businesses to turn to on-demand deliveries as well.
The most straightforward example of a B2B on-demand delivery is the restocking of goods.
In this scenario, the business receiving goods doesn’t use scheduled delivery to order items after it runs out of stock.
Instead, it anticipates demand and manufacturers or orders them from suppliers ahead of time. So that it can offer goods to customers exactly when they need them - on demand.
But demand forecasting isn’t the only thing B2B deliveries have to worry about.
Here’s what else B2B on-demand delivery involves:
The store owner places an order with the provider.
Ideally, the provider will create a simple delivery app that the merchant can use to select the products that currently need restocking and place the order in seconds.
The sender receives the order information and it is forwarded to the right staff members for processing.
The staff members pick the products from the inventory and prepare them for shipment.
B2B sales often require additional preparation or paperwork such as special invoicing, tax information, etc.
The shipper will plan a schedule with time windows when the delivery can be made, and who could potentially finalize it. Without proper scheduling, there are no efficient deliveries.
The staff will also plan a route with multiple stops that drivers can take to deliver products in a timely manner.
Typically, automated B2B deliveries will use software to manage both vehicle routing and scheduling.
Doing it manually can never be as efficient as it can take a lot of time and effort to plan and optimize deliveries.
Automation is especially useful in B2B processes since they involve larger orders with more technical and operational requirements.
The shipper then uses a dispatching system to assign orders, routes, and schedules to drivers in the fleet.
Fleet dispatching should also be automated since doing it manually leaves too much room for errors and inefficiencies.
Once the order data is prepared, the system notifies the closest B2B couriers, distributor, or in-house drivers that they can start fulfilling orders.
Every business expects to see their orders as they move across the supply chain network.
Visibility over the supply chain ensures the company has enough inventory to meet their own consumer demand (even if it’s en route). And that the goods will reach the warehouse before it runs out of supplies.
For this to happen, B2B deliveries have to use software and its driver tracking capabilities.
This feature enables them to know the location of each order and when exactly drivers will drop-off products to each business partner.
But it also enables shippers to send tracking links and information to them.
So that the business that requested the order can track its supplies and use the estimated time of arrival to predict the amount of inventory it has and can offer to its customers.
Once the order arrives, the receiving party can rate their delivery experience based on multiple criteria.
Ideally, the option of rating should be provided to both the recipient and the driver. That way the sender can collect detailed information about the entire delivery process.
The rating information is forwarded to the dispatching system as a form of feedback.
The B2B delivery company can then analyze the data to identify problems and opportunities to improve the delivery process.
There are many benefits to offering on-demand B2B delivery.
From large order volumes to higher yields, supplying other business with goods can ensure consistent growth despite the risks.
So in this part of the article, let’s take a look at the advantages of providing on-demand B2B delivery services:
Customized delivery logistics helps create a strong relationship with existing clients which drives loyalty and results in repeat business for B2B delivery companies.
Offering faster and more flexible delivery options boosts satisfaction significantly.
In fact, 85% of shoppers would prefer to have the ability to choose their preferred delivery option when ordering online.
However, only 47% of consumers actually find their preferred option available.
B2B sellers often rely on recurring orders from customers that expect regular deliveries at their preferred times.
That’s why meeting customer expectations is key to maintaining and expanding the order volume over time.
On-demand delivery also offers a broader reach.
It enables companies to tap into additional markets, some even across international borders.
This is much harder to accomplish with typical retail fulfillment.
On-demand delivery involves advanced technologies to uncover business intelligence that provide companies with their clients’ ordering patterns and trends.
This information increases the chance of preserving customer brand preference, and on top of that, maybe even up-selling.
Protecting the brand-customer relationship is a critical point in today’s virtual shopping environment.
On-demand delivery increases customer satisfaction by providing personalized and highly attractive delivery conditions.
Messages and experiences can be personalized through on-demand delivery platforms that keep track of every client’s behavior.
In fact, 58% of businesses use personalization as a customer retention strategy.
As more and more B2B companies enter the fast-paced digital world, the more it’s expected from them to provide faster delivery speed.
Due to larger order volumes and specific regulations, it can be challenging to achieve the expected delivery speed in B2B shipping operations.
In fact, 95% of online shoppers state that they would love to get free one-day delivery all the time, with no regard to the method of delivery used by the sender.
The main benefit of automating operations is the fact that it increases the speed of the overall delivery process. Sometimes even reaching the incredible one-hour delivery time.
Businesses sometimes require urgent delivery of goods. Having a supplier that can provide fast options such as same-day delivery (by using delivery software) is invaluable.
Meeting and, whenever possible, exceeding customer expectations when it comes to fast delivery times helps retain the clients’ trust.
Having complete transparency over the delivery process means that you know exactly how many orders you fulfill vs. how many supplies you have and will receive.
This provides a greater level of accuracy when managing the supply chain.
For manufacturers, it means they’ll never have to stop production because of a lack of raw materials.
For B2B sellers, it means they’ll never run out of stock to sell to other businesses.
This is useful when you want to meet demand with limited capacity. But you don’t want to risk ordering too much supplies in case of unexpected order cancelations.
Full delivery transparency is also useful for businesses that order goods from you.
According to research done by UPS, 95% of shoppers consider order tracking information either essential or at least nice to have.
The increased visibility makes it easy to spot mistakes and issues and find quick solutions for them on the go.
Tracked and partially tracked deliveries can be applied even to large parcel deliveries, which is essential for B2B operations.
Delivery management software is a modern logistics tool.
It uses advanced planning and execution to optimize both B2C and B2B delivery operations.
It also serves as a single centralized point of management and communication that keeps all relevant elements connected and engaged.
So how exactly can this type of technology help B2B processes?
Let’s go over five essential benefits right now:
When day-to-day operations are faster and more efficient, it is easier for businesses to scale.
Delivery management software will reduce the number of steps in the B2B order fulfillment workflow.
It achieves this by automating most operations including order preparation, pick-up and drop-off planning, routing, dispatching, scheduling, and more.
Software automation removes the need for error-prone spreadsheets, time-consuming manual activities, and endless phone conversations.
Automation streamlines delivery planning and management, leaving managers with more time and clarity for critical logistics planning and decision-making.
A good delivery management tool provides simple access to crucial data for supply chain management.
Using modern software eliminates the need to keep calling up the staff or working on messy spreadsheets whenever you’re in need of information.
Instead, it gives you visibility over every step of the supply chain. And it stores all of this data at one central point.
In fact, 21.1% of supply chain professionals list visibility as one of the largest challenges they face in supply chain management.
Delivery management software makes it simple to see the data because it’s split into different aspects of the delivery service.
For example, you can track order volumes to maintain inventory at the warehouse. But you can also track supply orders to know the frequency of when and how much supplies to order.
Greater transparency leads to other benefits such as reduced turnaround time and increased customer satisfaction.
The right delivery management tool doesn’t require you to reorganize your entire tech stack.
Instead, it lets you integrate all the other apps that you use like inventory management systems, order management systems, or your B2B 3PL provider’s software under one system.
Delivery software achieves this through advanced integrations using APIs. (Instead of making you switch to another platform)
Ideally, the right solution will have flexible development kits for iOS and Android, as its key delivery software components.
This means your developers won’t have any trouble connecting it to existing customer-facing and driver apps.
The goal of using delivery management software is to simplify your operations.
Full integration with other tools is essential for that to happen.
Using B2B delivery management software helps you to create an agile delivery operation.
Agile delivery operations make it easier to implement changes, make decisions, and improve efficiency at any stage of the delivery lifecycle.
This includes the times it takes to grow them. (Regardless of whether you fulfill the orders yourself or you outsource them B2B fulfillment center)
That’s because delivery software enables you to centralize how you manage fulfillment.
By connecting all of your apps to one system, you also integrate all processes, structures, people, and technology.
And that’s what makes it easier to make faster and more accurate decisions based on data.
In turn, you can act and react faster to changes as they occur. While your agile B2B service helps you to:
Regularly collecting and analyzing historical data provides insights essential for continuous growth and optimization at scale.
Delivery management software automates this, as well.
It collects and stores historical data on the cloud. Which you can access and evaluate over time using the onboard analytics feature.
This can help you to calculate key performance indicators in delivery logistics to make better decisions.
But also uncover waste in the delivery process and opportunities to optimize for higher output.
Doing this routinely promotes continuous improving and helps you to stay ahead of the curb.
But you can go beyond those expectations. And we can help you do just that:
Here are the nine free guides that will show you exactly what we do to optimize the last mile and dominate delivery logistics.
1. SaaS Delivery Management Software: DEFINITIVE GUIDE
2. All you wanted to know about winning over customers with Delivery Software
3. Delivery Management Software for Construction: HOW DOES IT WORK?
4. Save Time with Delivery Management Software: How much time do you ACTUALLY save?
5. How to measure Delivery Performance and continuously optimize performance?
6. Optimize Delivery Operations for Your Business [with THIS GUIDE]
7. Biggest challenges of last-mile delivery you can solve with software
8. How Much Does Delivery Management Software REALLY Cost?
eLogii is an end-to-end cloud-based delivery management platform. Our powerful solution solves the biggest challenges of modern distribution and field service businesses, including: route optimization, planning and execution.
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