The power of automation: Before and after
We hear a lot about the benefits that automation can...
Fast, efficient and cost-effective fulfilment of customer orders is crucial for businesses, with a range of factors impacting on the decision as to which routing is used to deliver to customers and ensure both satisfaction and loyalty. For many companies with a large distribution operation, the best option is often to use their own fleet of delivery vehicles as it will often provide more control over order despatch scheduling, as well as the flexibility to be more responsive to customer requirements. Additionally, these delivery vehicles can serve as mobile adverts for the business whilst travelling around delivering goods, meaning enhanced visibility and general brand awareness.
However any business managing fulfilment through their own fleet of delivery vehicles will tell you, careful logistical management is required to ensure orders arrive to customers promptly. When businesses rely on manual processes based around paper, Excel spreadsheet or outdated bespoke systems, there can be a lack of structure and visibility when handling scheduling and routing requirements.
Despatch operators can struggle to easily locate what orders are on what van, longer routes can be taken by drivers for their deliveries and vehicles can often be double booked. This disorganisation together with poor vehicle/schedule tracking can lead to despatch delays, orders going missing and ultimately, poor customer service. Therefore, where a business does use its own delivery vehicles for fulfilment, there needs to be a robust system in place to accurately and effectively manage all vehicle allocations and routing.
OrderWise already boasts extensive functionality for despatch and warehouse management, ensuring fast, accurate order fulfilment. Now the latest release of OrderWise sees further exciting new functionality introduced to help businesses manage their transport, routing and delivery processes where they are operating despatch through their own fleet of vehicles.
At the core of this new module are a number of new grids. The first is a vehicle grid that allows vehicle properties to be stored and edited, displaying the planned usage for each vehicle, be it a planned delivery run or maintenance. Delivery route details can also be set up and stored within OrderWise and these will be selectable when creating a new sales order. These routes will aim to to group similar customer delivery addresses together (e.g. customers in the London area could be on a ‘London’ or ‘South east’ route) to ensure maximum efficiency. Further grids then facilitate the planning, scheduling and editing of these delivery runs, showing the orders that have been allocated to each run so that despatch managers are provided with full visibility.
To save time when creating runs, weekly templates can also be created in the System module. These templates can be applied to weekly run schedules generated in the “weekly run planning” section of the Despatch module, providing further structured and time-saving operational management.
However such is the intuitive nature of this new module, if a delivery route is selected but there is no available run or already scheduled runs are full, a report can be quickly generated to inform the transport manager which routes need extra capacity. Additional vehicles can then be added to these runs that are short on capacity, ensuring the flexibility to cater for all requirements and changing circumstances. For example, where a full order doesn’t fit into a vehicle, it can be split onto a different run in the “split deliveries” section of the Despatch module. Documentation can then be generated informing the customer that it has been split and that the remaining stock will be delivered on a separate run.
What’s more, the planned route, run and marshalling area for a delivery can be pulled through to the “orders requiring picking” grid, allowing a warehouse manager to understand commitments that have been made for the company’s transport department with efficiency and ease.
Finally once all orders for a run are fully shipped, the routing can then be worked out. To do this, OrderWise will automatically pass the geotags for all delivery addresses associated with the run to the Google Routing API and then display the suggested route. This can then be printed out for the driver together with copies of the delivery notes to ensure both a speedy and accurate delivery.
In addition, customer returns can also be dealt with, as returns can be assigned to scheduled runs in the same way as sales orders are. This gives businesses complete control over both delivery and returns processes, with drivers able to collect items, which helps to enhance the customer experience.
This impressive new OrderWise module will allow businesses operating with their own fleet of delivery vehicles to benefit from structured management of their transport and routing requirements.
By being provided with the clear visibility and flexibility to ensure speedy fulfilment of customer orders, users of this new OrderWise module can ensure their deliveries are always handled effectively and efficiently.
Existing customers can contact our Client Services Team to find out more about this new feature. To discuss your requirements in more detail contact us today on 01522 704083.
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