On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
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If you manage delivery operations or oversee a mobile workforce of service or maintenance professionals, chances are you’re already using some sort of route planning and scheduling. But understanding the unique advantages of each of these tools could make you more effective, increase your business’s delivery or service capacity, and generate a lot more revenue.
Executing scheduling and route planning without first understanding their respective purposes is kind of like trying to eat a bowl of soup with chopsticks. In this article, we’ll show you precisely what each tool is designed for, the advantages they offer, and why you need to do both well.
How Is Route Planning Different From Scheduling?
Growing demand for delivery may have you thinking it’s time to outsource your last-mile delivery process. But what if your team could deliver faster and more efficiently and handle greater capacity without giving up control over your customers’ experience? A route-optimization software can help small businesses across the globe do all of these things and more.
The Delivery Challenges Small Businesses Face
When it comes to the local delivery challenges facing small businesses, we’ve learned a lot from working with more than 800 businesses all over the world. There is immense pressure on companies of all sizes to be able to compete with Amazon’s standard for two-day delivery and consumers’ rising expectations for convenience.
Shoppers expect retailers to offer delivery, and if those customers aren’t able to get their orders fast enough (or at a price that they find reasonable), many customers will go somewhere else.
According to a study conducted by the National Retail Foundation, 90% of consumers say convenience impacts their decision when selecting retailers, and 97% of consumers reported that they had abandoned a purchase because they felt it was inconvenient. Read more of this post
What is Reverse Logistics?
Reverse logistics is any part of the logistics process where goods or services move from what is typically their final destination (the customer) back to their origin (or in some cases, to a third location). Reverse logistics encompasses work that happens after a product is delivered to a customer.
Let’s say you run a craft brewery. Delivering kegs to restaurants would be part of your forward logistics process. Picking up empty kegs from restaurants and bringing them back to your brewery would be reverse logistics.
What Is Delivery Planning?
Delivery planning is the practice of planning out routes and logistics to deliver products. Companies that deliver products such as pizzas, flowers, and water all use delivery planning to get their products into the hands of customers.
The four factors of successful delivery planning
There are four factors you should consider when assessing your delivery operations. A well-executed delivery plan will excel in each of the following areas: Read more of this post
What is Outbound Logistics?
Outbound logistics is a term for the processes of storing, moving and distributing goods. It includes all systems that help prepare an order and get it to the end customer.
The different stages are warehousing and storage, distribution, transportation, and last-mile delivery.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the individual areas of outbound logistics:
1. Warehousing and storage
To meet demand as you make continued sales, you need to keep a surplus of products in storage. In January 2020, US companies had, on average, a ratio of 1.39 inventory to monthly sales.
The goal of warehousing is to keep products safe and readily available while awaiting purchase. You can store products in your own warehouse or one that is owned by a third-party logistics provider.
2. Inventory management
Inventory management involves picking, packing, and storing your goods in the right place. Many warehouses have inventory management systems to help with this. Read more of this post