Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

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The Differences Between Routing and Scheduling and Why You Need to Excel at Both

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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?

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How to Optimize Your Small Business Delivery Services

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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? The Delivery Process You’re Overlooking

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.

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How Delivery Planning Can Grow Your Business in 2020

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 and Why Is It So Important to Modern Business?

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

Forward and Backward Scheduling: Definitions, and How You Can Use Them to Compete

Missed deadlines mean lost customers.

This is true whether you’re shipping products, performing installations, or delivering food. Imagine you run a cable company. You have a customer that rearranged their day and stayed home from work to let your installation specialist in during a 4 hour service window. If your worker shows up late, you’re probably going to lose that customer (and likely get a bad review). Fortunately, there are two proven strategies that can help you stay on top of deadlines, increase customer satisfaction, and earn repeat sales: backward scheduling and forward scheduling.

 

What Is Forward and Backward Scheduling?

Forward scheduling and backward scheduling are planning strategies. Both methods are useful for strategic planning at all levels of complexity. Whether you’re mapping delivery routes for multiple drivers or scheduling maintenance appointments for service teams, you can benefit from using one or both of these strategies. Read more of this post

5 Types of Corporate Culture: Which One Is Your Company?

This article was originally published at Enplug.com

Culture affects every aspect of your company, from the public’s perception of your brand to your employees’ job satisfaction to your bottom line. Because there’s so much at stake, it’s important that your corporate culture is adaptable and open to improvement – which starts with being able to articulate just what kind of culture your company has.

While no two cultures are exactly alike (the nuances are too great!), there are defining characteristics that tend to place organizational cultures into one of five categories, or types, which we’ve outlined below. Often, the industry of a company will dictate its culture to some degree, but that doesn’t mean your culture can’t be changed. Thankfully, culture is not static, but rather evolving.

So which of these five corporate culture types sums up your company best? Or do you have some elements of each? While no one culture is the best or worst of the bunch – each has its pros and cons – there’s something to learn from companies that fall under any of these categories. Read more of this post

Online Food Delivery on the Rise

Currently the traditional model of delivery, where a customer contacts a local restaurant directly, still accounts for nearly 90% of all delivery orders, with ⅔ of those being ordered by phone. However as technology has shown in many other commercial markets, the ability and desire to purchase or order anything online is growing quickly.

Recently the worldwide market for food delivery has been estimated to be worth over $87 billion, which is around only 1% of the total food market, and 4% of food sales by restaurants or fast-food chains. Americans themselves are expected to spend over $12.5 billion a year by 2019 on delivery food. With the estimated growth the by around 3.5% per year for the next 5 years, many companies and startups are trying to get their piece of the pie.

Companies like Deliveroo, UberEats, and Eat24 have slowly grown to become the middle-man between the customer and restaurants throughout many cities in North America and the UK. The concept is to basically offer as large a choice of restaurants as possible based on your address. Two models of this concept have been developed that both involve dealing with numerous restaurants but handle the delivery of food completely different. One model is operated by aggregators. These aggregators take orders online or via app, and pass the order along to each individual restaurant who then handles delivery themselves. The other model can be defined as “new delivery,” which is a concept that requires the company taking the orders to also control the logistics and delivery. Read more of this post

27 Digital Signage Content Creation Tools

This article was originally published at Enplug.com

Get noticed with the right digital signage content creation tools

Digital signage content can help you get your message out, but it only has an impact on your business and team if it’s relevant and compelling. Luckily, turning your content strategy into memorable visuals that get noticed doesn’t have to cost a lot or take hours of time.

Want to know the secret to creating great content, even if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff? Use the right tools. That’s why our list of 27 digital signage content creation tools is a must-have for anyone managing screen content.

Types of Signage Content

You probably already have some of these content tools, but have never thought of using them for screen content. Others are free and low-cost applications that take the headache out of creating original content like videos, graphics, web pages, analytics and social media. And others help you repurpose the content you use elsewhere to share it in a screen-friendly format. Read more of this post

Why Use Route Optimization Software?

With route optimization software you’ll spend much less time planning – and the routes produced will be far superior to manually created routes.

For a mobile workforce, route optimization is the process of determining the most efficient routes, in terms of cost, resources and time. All other relevant factors such as order and driver restrictions, as well as the various workflows of a particular business are also factored in.

The aim is to maximize efficiency and fulfil more orders: getting to more addresses with fewer resources. This allows businesses to save time, costs and ultimately increase their revenue.

With route optimization software, your business will:

  • increase earnings by 10-30% simply by allowing you to complete more orders,
  • improve employee productivity and customer satisfaction,
  • cut operating costs and overtime by 30%.

Using a map, or any other manual means, to create optimized routes is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. As the number of drivers and orders increases, the complexity of the task of dividing up the work accurately and efficiently grows exponentially. Read more of this post

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