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The Secret to Improving On-Time Delivery Rates

Constantly meeting customer expectations when it comes to delivery sets you apart from your competitors, and having a robust logistics solution is key to achieving this.

17th January 2024

Written by

Alistair Lindsay

Chief Operating Officer

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When customers get their deliveries on time they have a positive experience that fosters trust and loyalty. Late deliveries, on the other hand, can lead to a loss of trust, loss of business, a damaged reputation, or even penalties, all of which impact the bottom line.

It’s no surprise, then, that 67% of organizations say meeting customer expectations for speed will be critical to structuring the flow of their supply chains over the next year.

There can be any number of reasons for poor on-time delivery rates. However, companies that rely on a patchwork of transportation data silos, or have inadequate communication channels, are at far higher risk of delivering late.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can dramatically improve on-time delivery rates by unifying your logistics operations into one cohesive hub.

Is there a simple way to increase on-time delivery rates?

At Zeus Labs, we realised that working with disparate digital logistics capabilities intensifies supply chain issues. A lack of proper management and transparency over the logistics process results in unnecessary complexity, disconnection and fragmented communication, key factors that hinder on-time delivery rates.

So we developed a new Enterprise Software Solution, Freight Command, to act as a real-time digital “control tower” that sits over, and connects, core logistics systems together (including TMS, CRM and WMS and core accounting software.). This improves transparency and collaboration, leading to significantly improved on-time delivery rates.

Why do companies struggle to achieve on-time deliveries?

Potential delays can occur at any stage of the supply chain, from procurement and production, through to packaging, shipping, and last-mile delivery. Here are some more common reasons for delays in deliveries:

  • Route optimisation: Inefficient planning and coordination can result in delivery vehicles taking sub-optimal routes. This means longer delivery times, higher fuel costs, larger carbon footprint and a reduction in overall productivity.

  • Inventory management: Accurate inventory data is the backbone of successful delivery operations. Without accurate, shareable, information on stock availability, stockouts and fulfilment errors are more likely.

  • Lack of digitisation: Poor uptake of collaborative digital tools is often to blame for poor speed of service.

Fundamentally, the issue most organisations face is a lack of effective communication at one or multiple stages of the process. Transparent and effective communication is essential to enable seamless deliveries. Drivers, dispatchers, and customers need to be in sync throughout the entire delivery process. Otherwise, the result can be confusion, missed deliveries, and dissatisfied customers. Sadly the cycle mentioned in the first paragraph of this article starts all over again!

Implications of poor on-time delivery rates

The consequences of poor on-time delivery rates are far-reaching. They have a negative impact on every aspect of your operations, from customer satisfaction and revenue streams, to supply chain resilience.

Companies grappling with below-par on-time delivery rates face heightened operational costs, strained customer relationships, and an erosion of market credibility. A carrier’s ability to deliver shipments on time also carries weight when customers are evaluating potential partners. This makes loss of future business another significant negative implication of poor on-time delivery rates.

Late deliveries often lead to penalties too. Retailers are now making ever stricter demands on their suppliers’ OTIFs (on time and in full) requirements, with narrower delivery windows and hefty fines for those who don’t comply. If you are willing to accept customer conditions of this type then it's vital you give yourself the best chance of eliminating the chance of penalties being levied on your business.

How Freight Command helps to increase on-time delivery rates

At Zeus Labs, we manage to meet our customers’ expectations despite volatile global supply chain conditions. Freight Command can now help you improve your efficiency of delivery by providing you with:

  1. Real-time visibility: Visibility into clean, real-time data allows you to measure your on-time delivery rate metric and improve it. Freight Command offers you real-time insights into every stage of the supply chain allowing you to monitor the movement of goods at every stage. Armed with accurate up-to-date information, you can make informed decisions and proactively address potential delays.

  2. Dynamic inventory management: Freight Command automates the connections between inventory, customer orders, and transport providers. By fine-tuning order fulfilment processes you can reduce bottlenecks and improve efficiencies, identify areas for improvement, streamline operations, and accelerate delivery times.

  3. Collaborative communication: Freight Command facilitates communication among all stakeholders via interactive feeds, so any issues are flagged up immediately, and promptly dealt with. From order placing, to invoicing, operations can be streamlined, accelerating the order-to-delivery cycle, and minimising administrative delays.

  4. Automating processes: This reduces the risk of human error. Freight Command’s automated slot management streamlines the loading and unloading processes, reducing downtime at distribution centres. This contributes to fast turnaround times.

  5. Predictive analytics: With the ability to anticipate demand patterns and plan accordingly, you can adjust operations based on forecasted demand, and ensure the right resources are allocated to meet shipping requirements, whilst reducing incidences of delivery date misses.

  6. Efficient resource allocation: Dynamic resource allocation allows you to easily manage and allocate transport providers, and adjust your fleet and manpower based on real-time demand fluctuations. This avoids any overcapacity and underutilisation that could impede shipping times.

  7. Intuitive Simplicity: Freight Command has been designed to be incredibly intuitive. By maintaining the simplest execution workflow ensures complex networks are managed simply and effectively.

The role of automated slot management system

Freight Command’s coordination and automation features include an automated slot management system. This can help to significantly increase on-time delivery rates and boost overall supply chain efficiency. This delivers:

  • Efficient resource allocation: Uses system-suggested loading slots based on SKU volumes, transport, and availability.

  • Integrates with Warehouse Management Systems: No matter where they’re located, all users gain access to an intuitive interface to help everyone stay on track, in real-time.

  • Fully customisable: Algorithms can be tailored to preclude e.g. weekend deliveries etc.

  • Adaptive scheduling: Adjusts schedules automatically to accommodate changes, ensuring continuous flow in the supply chain.

Accelerating Order-to-Cash cycles for improved efficiency

Freight Command enables to you gain a holistic, intuitive view of everything related to managing transportation providers, enabling:

  • Faster invoicing and payments: Automate invoicing processes for quicker billing, leading to faster payment cycles and increased on-time delivery rates.

  • Reduced downtime: Minimise delays in the order-to-cash process by addressing issues promptly, through automation.

  • Financial visibility: Gain a comprehensive view of financial transactions, enabling better cash flow management and strategic decision-making.

To deliver on time you need a digital logistics operation

Constantly meeting customer expectations when it comes to delivery sets you apart from your competitors, and having a robust logistics solution is key to achieving this.

Freight Command provides you with a way to enhance supply chain coordination and visibility, and minimise manual errors. Best of all, it can help you significantly increase on-time delivery rates and offer customers an excellent experience. To find out how Zeus | Freight Command can speed things up for you, book a Demo Today.


You'll be impressed.

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Exclusive pre-launch invite:  Zeus works with the biggest shippers in the world. Based on their frustrations, Zeus Freight Command is a fresh, new solution to a common set of problems.

Automate your sales-to-operations fulfilment and get smart digital management of all transport providers in one place.

It’s easy to be in control with Zeus.

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