Transportation & Logistics Industry Today

Adapting consumer delivery to customer demand

A new white paper has found that couriers and carriers need to embrace emerging technologies if they are to adapt to changes taking place in the parcel delivery marketplace.
Published 14 March 2013

The parcel delivery industry is entering a new age, so couriers and carriers need to embrace emerging technologies if they are to adapt to the changes taking place in the marketplace. This is the finding of a new white paper from mobile computing specialist Skillweb titled Next Generation Couriers & Carriers - Adapting delivery service to customer demand.

The continued rise of e.commerce is shaping customer demand and operation practices. Shopping has increasingly become a cross-platform activity and with the rollout of 4G online purchases will only increase moving forward. Meanwhile, the demand for fast and convenient has also intensified and the rise of instant shopping is going to create operational challenges moving forward.

Paul Ridden, Managing Director of Skillweb commented: "The delivery sector is going through a period of change as e.commerce continues to dominate the retail sector. To overcome these challenges couriers and carriers will need to look towards versatile, innovating mobile computing solutions to better manage ebbs and flows of demand and satisfy consumer needs."

Parcel tracking and Bring Your Own Device solutions are already proving to be vital tools for the delivery sector, enabling organisations to improve forecasting accuracy, resource management and the information flow between consumer and retailer. However, carriers and couriers need to take advantage of social media and latest developments in smartphone technology - such as NFC-enabled devices and QR codes - to address changes in customer demand and operational practices.

According to Ridden there is now an opportunity for couriers and carriers to offer innovative and cost effective services through clever utilisation of smartphone technologies. He goes on to say: "It is no longer acceptable to assume that collecting data will result in benefits. The challenge is to turn it into meaningful business intelligence to help make operations more effective and boost the consumer experience."

Elsewhere, the white paper highlights the changes in the delivery landscape with regards to peak periods. With demand occurring long before Christmas Day and continuing afterwards, couriers and carriers have been forced to change the way they operate during the season.

"When peak volumes hit, the need for a flexible workforce with the technology to be able to scan parcels and capture payment on delivery becomes a must to enable the new scale to be absorbed effectively," explains Ridden.

In fact, bringing in additional overflow courier resources with their own scanning solution would alleviate the need for expensive investments in peak. One option is to adopt a BYOD policy, which enables carriers to "take responsibility for a significant portion of the potential cost saving hardware budgets", therefore reducing management overheads and any expense associated with lost hardware.

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