Smart notification: find the perfect time slot thanks to forecasts

Stefan Seufert, CTO/Vorstand EIKONA AG
Ein Lagerarbeiter schlägt Waren zum perfekten Zeitpunkt um.

To prevent chaos breaking out in the warehouse and storage space being used for an unnecessarily long time, consignments must be scheduled and handled as quickly as possible. Efficient notification is absolutely essential for this. However, this is often not easy: sometimes there are no up-to-date contact details, sometimes a call goes straight to voicemail so that the recipient is unaware of the notification. Intelligent notification solutions can help here by not only determining and offering reliable time slots, but also by working with cascaded, i.e. repeated notification attempts. Read here to find out exactly how this works.

EIKONA Logistics Cloud

Software for recipient notification

With EIKONA Notification you announce the delivery or collection of a consignment - as if by itself via e-mail, SMS or automatic voice call.

Repeat notifications: cascaded notification increases delivery success

With classic notification, one attempt is made to reach the recipient and inform them of the imminent arrival of the consignment. If the recipient cannot be reached, some lorry drivers set off on their journey “on the off-chance” – and in the worst-case scenario have to take the consignment back with them.

However, “keep at it” is the motto that leads to success with notifications. The cascaded notification therefore sends repeat notifications. If the recipient does not respond after the first notification, the system automatically sends two more notifications by SMS or email, depending on which option is requested. The order of cascading is individual; each company can define the events separately. For example, another notification attempt can be made after 24 or 48 hours. A negative status is only generated if there is no response after the third notification. This significantly increases the chance of reaching the recipient and ultimately has a positive effect on the delivery success rate.

IT-supported forecasts: how the notification software learns

The customer cannot be reached by e-mail, but communication via SMS works perfectly? No problem! This information is important so that notifications are more successful and fulfil their purpose. A smart notification solution saves this information and in future only sends notifications via channels that work.

However, it is not only in terms of communication channels that you can learn a lot as a notification tool: In the B2B sector, there are often conditions that make delivery difficult. If, for example, goods can only be delivered to the pedestrian zone in which the shop is located on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8.00 am and 11.00 am, this information should definitely be taken into account when it comes to notifications. Such information can be inserted directly in the system. On the other hand, the software is constantly learning by reporting on the sequence of deliveries and deriving rules for notification. Thanks to IT-supported forecasts, you no longer have to invest money in notifications that don’t work or – even worse or more expensive – send the driver somewhere where he can’t deliver the consignment.

Reliable notifications: Arrange time slots that work

With a smart notification solution, you can ensure that only those time slots are offered that actually work. As described above, this is made possible by software that learns. If several time slots are theoretically possible, the scheduling software categorises them with coloured flags. This makes it clear at a single glance which time slot works best and which would be the second choice, thus improving the success rate of deliveries enormously. This not only saves time and costs, but also increases customer satisfaction.

Maximum flexibility: make the notification tool your system

A good notification tool can be configured flexibly in every respect. If a company serves customers from both the B2B and B2C sectors, the requirements in terms of notifications are often different. It is therefore important that different rules can be configured for B2B and B2C shipping notifications. For example, depending on the customer, a distinction can be made between fixed date booking options or predefined dates – depending on requirements.

Additional options can also be offered directly via the notification tool. For example, if the recipient should have the option of booking a driver notification or a delivery authorisation when booking an appointment, this can be saved in the system. This means that all parties benefit from a single system that covers all notification options.

Speak the right language: Freely configure notification texts

To ensure that the notification is successful, all hurdles should be overcome in advance. Even if the time window has been perfectly predicted by the software, a language problem can still arise. A smart notification solution can therefore send and display multilingual messages and booking dialogues. The language is configured at postcode or country level. The texts that are sent by email or SMS or spoken during a call can also be freely configured using templates. This means that exactly the information required for a successful notification is always passed on – in the appropriate language. The voice computer can alert mobile or landline numbers, depending on which method is needed in each case. To relieve the burden on your own employees, there is also the option of having the calls handled via a call centre. The notification software can be easily connected to it. This creates a fourth notification option in addition to email, SMS or voice calls (mobile or via landline numbers).

Checklist: You should definitely pay attention to this when selecting notification software.

  • If delivery sequences are reported, rules for notification can be derived. This means that only time slots that work reliably are offered for delivery.
  • If different target languages are possible for the dialogues, language barriers are cleverly circumvented.
  • If the voice computer can contact both a mobile number and a landline number for notification, this increases the probability of reaching the recipient.
  • Individualised statuses should be possible so that settings can be made not only at company level, but also within a contact.
  • In order to be able to fulfil different customer requirements, the system should be configurable for B2B and B2C according to separate rules.
  • It should also be possible to offer additional options via the notification tool. For example, if the recipient requires a driver notification or would like to issue a delivery authorisation, this can also be arranged via the notification tool.

From “good” to “optimal”: smart notification systems make the difference

It’s no secret in logistics that notifications are important so that consignments can be handled and transported to the recipient quickly. However, a smart notification tool can go a long way towards upgrading the service from “good” to “optimal”. To ensure that the notification fulfils its purpose, it is not only important to formulate it in the right language, but also to choose the preferred communication channel. If the message still doesn’t get through on the first attempt, the software will send the notification two more times thanks to the repeat function – completely automatically.

As is widely known, “timing is everything”. This also applies to the delivery of goods: The notification software therefore reports the delivery sequence in order to derive rules for suitable time slots. These are marked in the system with coloured flags. This means that only those time slots are offered from the outset in which delivery is likely to be successful. A system that can be flexibly configured for B2B and B2C offers maximum flexibility and ensures that all points relating to notifications can be covered with one tool. This saves time and costs and increases the delivery rate. A win-win for everyone involved!

Stefan Seufert
Stefan Seufert

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.

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