This is the fifth of a 5-part series in driving operational efficiencies in fuels, lubricants, and chemicals distribution. This is based on our 15 years of work in fuels, lubricants, and chemicals logistics.
WISMO? Where is my Order?
Customers expect notifications on their order status.
How many times have you heard “communication is key”? This expression holds true now more than ever in the competitive marketplaces of fuels, lubes, and chemicals distribution. The “Amazon effect” has significantly raised customer expectations for communication and interaction.
Streamlining Deliveries for Improved Customer Service
How often has your driver encountered situations where the customer was unaware or unprepared for a delivery? For example, imagine your driver arrives at a dealership and there are several vehicles blocking access to the tanks. With no space in the dealer’s lot, the driver must search for a parking spot and find someone else to move the vehicles to access the tanks. A 30-minute delivery quickly turns into a 60-minute delivery.
Best-in-class distributors understand the importance of automated and consistent customer notifications as a competitive advantage. By using a mobile solution with advanced shipping notification (ASN) functionality, these distributors can notify customers a day before the scheduled delivery time. Additionally, the mobile solution automatically sends a text and/or email when the driver is on the way (OTW). This multi-step electronic notification process streamlines the delivery workflow, leading to improved efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.
Electronic Proof of Delivery
Electronic proof of delivery (e-POD) with a mobile app significantly improves customer satisfaction, trust, and the distributor’s operational efficiency. ePODs provide the following benefits:
- Paperless workflow – No more lost paper PODs
- No illegible paper receipts and deciphering are required to confirm quantity delivered and who signed for the delivery (typed name, signature, and GPS)
- No more re-entering paper POD’s back into the distributor’s ERP for review and invoicing.
- No back-office staff scanning and emailing signed paper PODs back to the customer. All ePODs and delivery receipts are signed electronically, processed at the time of delivery in real-time, and emailed automatically to the customer as a PDF or unique URL link.
- No filing and storing signed customer paper PODs. All ePODs are stored electronically.
Customer Portals help with WISMO – Where is My Order. These portals grant customers access to past and future deliveries, as well as tank levels/monitors, without needing to call customer service or request copies via email. Best-in-class distributors provide electronic access to past and future deliveries and access to tank levels/monitors. A Customer Portal eliminates routine order inquiries to the distributor’s customer service team.
The Fifth Step: Customer Communication is Key
The fifth step in best-in-class bulk logistics is improving customer service by automating customer notifications and allowing easy access to current and past order information. Customer service automation enables the other components in our 5-part series to drive logistics efficiency and improved customer service:
- Part 1: Route optimization – better routes, centralized dispatch
- Part 2: Driver delivery app – paperless, route compliance, driver efficiency, consistent workflows
- Part 3: Tank forecasting – order generation for ALL tanks (monitored and non-monitored)
- Part 4: Inventory control and visibility – track truck inventory prevent cross fills
- Part 5: Customer service – email advanced ship notifications, proof of delivery, driver on the way, customer portals
To improve your delivery efficiency, you need tools to make data-driven logistics decisions.