During the Dog Days of Distribution, It’s Time to Prepare for the Holiday Season

by Tim Lindner

With the busy end-of-year shopping season ahead, now is the time for many retailers to review their distribution operations to make sure they’re ready for the coming season. Companies that deliver items directly to consumers face high stakes: according to recent Voxware research, 86% of survey respondents indicated that their expectations for correct and on-time delivery were higher during the holiday season, and 16% of respondents stated that they will abandon shopping with a retailer altogether if they receive an incorrect delivery just once.

What can distribution operations do to deliver the superior customer experience essential to achieving greater brand loyalty and higher customer lifetime value? In almost every distribution center, companies can improve efficiency and accuracy by upgrading outdated processes with technology solutions that deliver essential supply chain information exactly when and where it is needed.

To determine whether your distribution center could benefit from a technology upgrade, here are a few questions to consider:

Do your distribution operations processes improve efficiency while reducing errors?

Unlike legacy processes, voice automation solutions drive significant efficiency improvements without compromising on accuracy. After deploying Voxware VMS, Hi-Spec Lenses was able to drive a 20% improvement in productivity while also improving accuracy so significantly that they no longer needed auditors to perform a final check at the end of the pick cycle.

Can your distribution operations scale to meet seasonal surges in demand?

Not only can Voxware help companies operate more efficiently during especially busy times, but Voxware’s easy-to-train solution can also make it easier to bring new team members up to speed quickly. Voxware customer Smiffy’s, a UK-based retailer of costumes and fancy dress, easily trains new hires to meet demand during their annual autumn peak.

Can you anticipate and address changing circumstances throughout the supply chain?

As shoppers become accustomed to expecting items ordered on December 23 to arrive on Christmas Eve, distribution operations that fail to plan for inevitable hiccups such as inclement weather or traffic delays risk disappointing customers when their expectations are at their highest. Intellestra, Voxware’s predictive analytics platform, can pull data on traffic, weather, and item selection into the same portal to enable distribution operations leaders and managers at every organizational level to make fast decisions that make on-time deliveries possible.

In short, companies that want to perfect distribution operations and meet constantly increasing customer expectations should consider deploying voice automation and predictive analytics to maintain a competitive advantage.