Crucial Factors for Last Mile Delivery of the Corporate Gifts Sector

Written by Elson Wu Wei Bin, DLSM

by Elson Wu Wei Bin, DLSM

The corporate gift industry has a specific needs which are different from a lot of industries. It’s main practise is creating a touchpoint with client, employees or any target audiences through the use of a gift. In its order cycles there are many factors that contribute to the overall qualities that customer are expecting.

The Final Puzzle for Success in Logistics Delivery

From the very start of product enquiring, no doubt, gift company will be providing their best in product introduction, recommendation and to facilitate in product designing in order to suit the customer requirements. At the final stage, it will be delivering the product to the customer. This stage of the puzzle will be the most crucial to the gift company as it will complete the whole sales cycle. That is so it will be important for the company in managing its ‘last mile’ solution.Last mile delivery is the final puzzle of a complex supply chain in bringing values to customer service.

Current Trends for Last Mile Delivery

It is crucial to understand what is the expectation of the customer when we deliver the final product order to them. From the current market, we understand there are basically four key trends:

  • Cheap delivery rate or better free shipping which the company can provide.
  • Shorter delivery window
  • Scheduled deliveries and multiple drop points.
  • Timely update of delivery status

With better understanding of these expectations we will know what are the challenges the company will be facing when coming with their best ‘Last Mile’ Solution.

In-House Delivery vs Logistics Service Providers

Apart from understanding the key trends in the last mile delivery, companies need to understand their needs and capabilities, whether they are able to support the preferred method of the last mile solution. In-house delivery allows the business to use its own dedicated delivery staff and its own fleet of vehicles to deliver the goods to the customers. This option gives the most control over your delivery experience, as the delivery staff will be able to get train in their customer service standard which the customer will be benefitted from it. With in-house delivery, the company will be able to manage well in timelines and extra options for the customers.It also reduces in communication issue with the customer as there are only two parties involved in the delivery process(the delivery staff and the customer). This helps in reducing any potential misunderstanding or communication problem with regards to the order and deliveries. The major issue in having a dedicated in-house team is that the costs required can be quite high. But looking in the long run this will bring the company in greater heights as more customer will willing to stick to a reliable source for events gift.

Implications for Outsourcing Last Mile Delivery

When engaging a logistics service provider, the company is outsourcing the delivery logistics job to a third-party company. An example is when an online shop retailer-Lazada uses Ninja Van to deliver its products to customers. In the F&B industry, companies like Foodpanda, Grabfood, Deliveroo and Oddle all deliver food on behalf of restaurants to customers. Outsourcing logistics delivery is seen as the more convenient mode of delivery for company because it transfer its logistical concerns and costs to another company which has the expertise of fulfilment. The major drawback is the loss of control over one of the most significant influencing aspects on customer experience.

Delivery Tracking System

Tracking delivery is the modern trend among consumers in Singapore, Online shops and food industry has really change the way delivery the way it is as most of these major logistic company had. That is why it is imperative for gift company to incorporate these function in their delivery operation for efficiency. An efficient tracking system can help gift company to streamline its operations and enhance the consumer experience by giving the customer real time updates on the order current status. With that, customersdo not even need to call the sales or delivery staff to find out where is the item currently is. This help to enhance the overall quality of the last mile delivery. Making customer service more efficient, and another value added service.

Route Planning System

With the rise of online order and customer expectations of shorter delivery window, it’s in very crucial for the corporate gift industry to understand the importance of efficient route planning as will aid in the overall delivery performance. with less time spent on the road and less fuel costs, the delivery team will able to serve more stops in the same amount of time and money. The team  throughput is now higher, ensuring that each delivery location is fully utilised.

Adapting to Covid-19 Pandemic

The Effect of the Covid-19 is unprecedented. It has led to a global crisis which had indeed affect our daily life. Most importantly it had affect many industries, example are tourism, hospitality, Manufacturing and Event/Exhibition. Event/Exhibition has a very serious impact on the corporate gift industry as event are now mandatory cancel due to new legal requirement for safety and health issue. This inevitably causes challengers to the industry.This forces both the event/exhibition and corporate gift industry to make a new break through by bringing the event industry online. This provides a new approach for the Gift industry as well. One clear example of this is the current hype which is online run challenge, as mass event like marathon is suspended due to Covid-19. Organizer bring it through online and the traditional runner goody bag will also be sent it to each individual runners by the corporate gift company.

Customising Last-Mile Delivery Solution

The corporate gift company needs to adapt to changes by customising the delivery solution for their client. For this instance, instead of using the conventional delivery way, they will need to change it to postage-paid polymailers in order to deliver straight to the client requested recipient’s doorstep. It will be essential for the corporate gift industry to understand the demand and the opportunities in order to have the ability to resist shocks which Covid-19 bring.

Conclusion

In the corporate gift industry, the main objective was to provide the customer a full package of service. Not only on the product that the company are selling but also on the overall experiences. That is why it is crucial that efficient Last mile delivery service is included for the overall customer brand experience. The corporate gift industry should also  constantly adopt a mind-set of continuous innovation to better tackle on the challenges and the opportunities arises through the supply chain. As this will enhance the entire customer experience.


References

Adrian Gonzalez. (2018). “Important Factors in Last Mile Delivery”. Retrieved from https://talkinglogistics.com/2018/07/26/important-factors-last-mile-delivery, accessed 08/09/2020.

Curt Wagner. (2020). “Singapore and the Future of Events”. Retrieved from https://www.pcma.org/singapore-future-mice-events, accessed 08/09/2020.

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About the Author: Elson Wu Wei Bin has substantive years of experience in the manufacturing industry, performing managerial roles in sales, operations, leading, and supporting the project. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management(SIPMM). He completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on September 2020 at SIPMM Institute.

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