Learn how to achieve faster delivery speed of your last mile operations so you can start offering fast fulfillment options to your customers.
How to Fast Track Your Delivery [New Step-by-Step Guide]
Learn how to fast track your delivery with this step-by-step guide. And see how you can make it much faster, while providing the best delivery experience.
In this blog post, we will look at how you can fast-track deliveries.
In doing so, you will make your supply chain more efficient.
But that’s not all.
As fast-tracking deliveries doesn’t just refer to faster deliveries.
It also means you’ll improve the speed of the processes that support it.
Specifically, we’ll cover:
So if you’re looking to make your delivery much, much faster, then you’ll find this article very useful.
Breakdown of the Order Fulfillment Process
To fast-track shipping delivery businesses need to take a good look at each step of their order fulfillment process.
That involves everything from receiving and storing inventory to handling returns and reorders.
Here’s exactly what we mean:
The supplies you get may come from a third party, or from another department, or warehouse.
Whatever the case, the supplies you receive need to be added to inventory. And that involves checking if the amount and quality are up to the predetermined standards.
Once you receive the supplies at the fulfillment center (or depot), you need to properly store them for the short or long-term.
The perfect time frame for storing goods is just long enough to arrange them for future orderly distribution, shipping, or further processing.
Speaking of, the next stage involves the order processing management system. That involves picking the goods to be shipped and packing them for each order received. To speed up, management software for eCommerce is often used by businesses.
Picking items for delivery involves finding them, selecting the right items for the order, and picking them up for packing. (That’s why storing them properly is so important.)
Typically, this is done manually by pick and pack teams. But it isn’t uncommon to see automated warehouses where robots complete these manual tasks.
Both human and mechanical workforces rely on packing slips. These include information about each order and/or items within it: size, no. of items, color, and their location in the storage facility.
This last piece of information is what makes it easier to pick-up items and take them to packing stations. (The next stop.)
Like picking, packing can involve both human labor or automation. So either you have a packing staff or robots that pack items for shipping.
One thing that speeds up deliveries is precisely optimizing dimensional weight (DIM weight).
The staff taking part in this step often takes part in the return and reorder in the fulfillment process. Along with the shipped goods, they pack materials and labels for easier returns management and reverse logistics.
You can deliver orders with an in-house fleet, last-mile carriers, or a mix of the two.
With an in-house delivery, you control the fleet. But you also have to manage it. Which involves vehicle routing and scheduling, driver dispatch, and order tracking.
On the other hand, you can rely on one or more carriers. But it’s much more typical that you’ll see more carriers do the work for you.
For example, you may book the delivery with USPS, but a FedEx driver may be the one to show up at the customer’s door.
The hybrid approach is a smart move since not every third-party service provider covers the same area as others. Some operate in more remote areas than others.
The returns process of an order starts with the customer using the return packing materials and the label. The customer may ask for a refund, or they may ask for a reorder of the same product.
From a business perspective, you’ll have to achieve three things:
- To provide the customer with a refund or replacement item
- To properly handle the returned product and store it for resale
- To schedule a return to the supplier if the product malfunctioned
You need to ensure you have detailed quality control checks and proven experts working on the line to sort the returned orders as they should be.
Why Is Fast Tracking Your Delivery Important in 2023?
Fast-tracking service fulfillment is increasingly vital due to several factors.
These include the ever-growing competition and the need for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.
That is because the push for businesses to turn towards eCommerce has amped up the competition and the way customers choose the companies they give their money.
Here are the biggest reasons why establishing yourself as a fast-track delivery company is more important than ever in 2023.
While the explosion of eCommerce led to more profit opportunities for companies, it also put pressure on fulfilling more orders.
With more orders, you usually get a more spacious warehouse, expanded staff, and more effort to deal with the fulfillment process.
In fact, the average fulfillment cost of an online order is 70% of the average order value.
So intelligent inventory management, storing, order fulfillment, sustainable packaging, and effective deliveries all help lower unnecessary expenses.
Not to mention, careful order fulfillment means fewer returns and mistakes. Which cuts costs even more.
The popularity of eCommerce isn’t enough to keep your sales growing. You also need to meet your clients’ needs to expand the customer base.
By providing satisfactory online shopping experiences, you can directly affect the number of sales you are making.
As eCommerce is now the norm, PwC has analyzed customer experience only to realize that the shopping experience is one of the driving forces that make customers repeat their shopping at a particular brand or retailer.
Add to that the fact that the same report states that 88% of people are ready to pay more for a quicker order, and you should be working on fast-tracking your services.
The faster and better you meet the consumer expectations the more likely they are to pick your company instead of a competitor’s.
To ensure this, keep your fulfillment procedure running smoothly and reliably.
As customers have high expectations these days, delivering an order fast without damage is becoming imperative.
That means that you need to build a steady reputation for order accuracy.
Consumers can turn to competitors if their criteria aren’t met. That can, in turn, affect your standing in the business.
By investing in fast tracking delivery solutions, such as automated delivery management platforms, you can maintain your authority in the industry and retain customer loyalty.
6 Strategies for Fast Track Order Fulfillment
Fast-tracking deliveries require a well-thought-out strategy to ensure success. Here are some of the best methods to consider:
#1 Compile Data to Perform Analysis and Implement the Reports
A key to a successful business is listening to what the data is telling you. In the fast-track delivery operation, there are a lot of steps to perform. And all of these steps have a lot of data tagging along.
Even with an automated platform, you will have lots of data to analyze:
Though the prospect of going through it seems dour, this information is vital. Your staff should gather it and thoroughly analyze it to spot patterns in demand.
Some seasons are more lively than others, and by analyzing the data at hand, you can plan accordingly.
The reports your staff compiles can give you a window into consumer preferences, buying trends, order profiles, and other intelligent insights.
Using automated delivery management service providers such as eLogii helps fast-track this process.
#2 Level Up Your Fulfillment Centers with Technology
Optimizing operations in fulfillment centers means using the newest technology to achieve the following:
- Inventory management
- Inventory storage
- Item tracking
- Package handling
- Carrier selection
- Payment processing
- Dealing with returns
The properly built software can assist you in making the best of your resources as your existing staff and location.
That way, you can perform steps of the fast-tracking process at the highest level possible. From packing orders to allocating shipping and in-store deliveries, good software helps level up the whole process. That is since optimizing fulfillment first means digitizing the operation, moving it partly to the cloud, and employing experienced CRM teams.
Such a move is another way of building customer loyalty, as you are working on more precise and faster deliveries and pickups.
As we have mentioned, moving to a cloud is a smart move as a unified platform for fulfillment operations can make the job easier for everyone involved., and help you make more cost-effective decisions.
#3 Invest in Hyperlocal eCommerce Fulfillment
It is only logical that a more localized service requires fewer expenses and takes less to fulfill.
By focusing on hyperlocal eCommerce fulfillment, you are giving yourself more space and a chance to work on a near-perfect inventory management and delivery process.
To achieve this, your team and yourself need to get into the detail of things, such as:
- The location of the stock
- When can it be picked up
- The number of units available for pickup
- The estimated time it will take to reach the customer
- The method of delivery
Speaking of the delivery method, hyperlocal fulfillment enables you to offer same-day or even two-hour deliveries to consumers. Still, top-notch technology is vital if this is your goal.
By offering fast deliveries and accurate delivery information, your consumers will soon become loyal to your business.
#4 Optimize Delivery Routes with Routing Software
To increase delivery speed that enables fast tracking, you need route optimization.
And it all starts with picking the best cost-effective route. Your drivers don’t have to do it manually, but let a well-built software pick it out for them based on your company’s fast-tracking delivery data.
No matter if you have a small fleet, a medium one, or a fleet with over 60 vehicles, you must provide your drivers with routing software. That way, they have a bigger chance of beating the competition when it comes to fast delivery times.
From drivers from your fleet to the packing team - everyone will benefit and perform faster with the introduction of routing software.
#5 Re-route and Adjust in Real-time
Planning is one of the most important moves in business, but you can’t prepare for everything.
Unexpected events occur - from weather conditions, traffic difficulties, and staff members falling sick - so you should be flexible when the occasion asks for it.
Effective flexibility is key in fast-tracking your delivery to make sure you can still offer consumers fast shipping. That is why routing software connected with your dispatchers can help your staff modify routes and notify drivers of the changed plans.
Real-time tracking of a route optimization solution can be a challenge, but it’s also a saver, as it streamlines the fast-track delivery process.
#6 Listen to the Feedback and Perform Proper Product Returns
Returns are inevitable, as no business has a pristine record. It’s up to you if you’ll let these events hinder your growth or expand through challenges.
Be mindful that you need to be extra careful here regarding the bonus costs this can bring upon your shipping, inventory, stock, packing, and just general additional labor.
You can prepare in advance by establishing a proper return policy and include them partly in the product pricing strategy.
Also, you can prepare by employing a quality tester and inspector who will look into the product package process before the shipping itself.
As we’ve mentioned above, you have a couple of things to focus on here.
For one, you need to ensure that your customers don’t stay dissatisfied.
Second, you need to calculate if it’s a smarter decision to include the returned goods back into stock or discard them completely.
Final Word: Fast Tracking Shipping in 2023
Fast-tracking with automated delivery management solutions is an essential technique in 2023. It allows businesses to stay ahead of their competition, keep up with ever-evolving tech, and deliver orders efficiently.
That way, companies can ensure that their projects are delivered faster, giving them a competitive edge, staying relevant, and meeting the demands of their consumers.
As such, fast-tracking deliveries with eLogii is an essential tool for businesses looking to succeed in today's world.
Start Your Road to Faster Fulfillment Today
Now you know how to start your path toward fast fulfillment.
We laid out many strategies, some of them advanced, that can help you towards your goal.
To start taking precise steps towards faster fulfillment, take notes from our playbook.