As a design guru, the software developer delves into logistics service providers' requirements like no other. He is passionate about exchanging information securely and efficiently and thus speeding up the physical logistics process.
Notification: cut costs with software solutions
"Finally I have someone on the line." This is an expensive sentence if it is uttered while notifying a consumer of a shipment by phone. It represents a lot of invested time, unplanned storage and thus exceptionally high costs. And it reveals why many freight forwarders dread B2C business, i.e. delivering to consumers: it disrupts (bad) processes. After all, neither the freight forwarding employee nor the recipient want the delivery to be delayed. This scenario was common in the pre-digital days of logistics. Today, automatic notification solutions handle the task of coordinating delivery dates and times. When configured correctly, they work so quickly that shipments can be delivered straight to the receiving facility on the day they arrive.
Modern cloud-based automatic notification software offers benefits that streamline many business processes at freight forwarding companies by providing fast customer service, reducing employees' workload, speeding up the organisational process and reducing costs by saving time and money. Their benefits include:
- Automatic advance shipping notice immediately after order receipt
- Fully automatic notification by telephone
- Uninterrupted transport
- Free schedule coordination
- Sale of additional services
- All-digital order management
Recipients benefit the most from automatic notifications in logistics. Instead of waiting for freight forwarders to call, they now enjoy fast and convenient service: they can choose a time slot for their delivery, track their shipment on a convenient online portal and no longer have to wait from six in the morning until closing time for delivery on the desired date. That makes it easier to organise things and allows everyone to save time and money.
How to make notifications quick and cost-effective
Freight forwarders lose money if they have to notify the consignee of every general cargo shipment by phone. Why? First, the packages have to arrive at the receiving facility and be temporarily stored for at least a day while the delivery is being scheduled. This interrupts the transport process, needlessly occupies space in the warehouse and uses up the office staff's time. Software and process automation can save a lot of time and money. The notification is sent by email, text message or IVR system right after the order is received, the receiving facility can deliver the shipment on the day it arrives. The advance notice gives the recipients enough time to select their desired date without needing to involve the service provider's employees.
Cutting costs: doing the math
How much more efficient is automatic notification than the conventional version? If we assume that a manual notification takes around two minutes of an office worker's time, a freight forwarder or a network with 10,000 shipments requiring notifications every month can achieve savings of around four full-time equivalents. In other words, it frees up four employees to do more critical work. IVR systems can also increase the rate of automatic notifications to almost 100 percent. They can autonomously schedule delivery dates, even on landline phone numbers. That eliminates interruptions in the process even if the customer has not given the freight forwarder an email address or mobile phone number to call. The software solution autonomously verifies that each recipient books a delivery time slot.
What else can automatic notification do?
Freight forwarders cut their costs with software, especially when delivering announced shipments to consumers. They can unleash even more potential by using the solutions for more than just scheduling deliveries. For example, they can also offer value-added services through their online portal: different scheduling services, connection and installation. A starting point for additional revenue. The IVR system also opens the door for process improvements. Based on the truck's position data, it can also automatically send a driver's notification to the receiver. That way, the truck driver does not have to do extra work that slows down the process during a delivery run. It also makes the driver's language skills less important.
Automatic notification enables better service at a lower cost
Automatic notifications are a win-win situation for freight forwarders and their customers: the process is faster, cheaper, more secure and more transparent for everyone, right up to the sender. Consignees receive their goods earlier and receive better updates on the transport's progress and current status. Time slots, when combined with position-based driver's notifications, put planning on an even more solid footing. Better customer service for less effort and expense – who wouldn't want that?