New Season, New Demands on Distribution Operations

In any given season, most companies are doing one of two things: meeting seasonal peak demand or preparing to meet a future seasonal peak demand. Home improvement companies prepare all year to meet a springtime uptick in demand for construction materials and supplies. For many consumer goods companies, summertime is all about preparing for the shopping spike between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. With more companies shipping directly to consumers than ever before, distribution operations need to be prepared to meet seasonal and other atypical changes throughout the year.

Not only do surges in demand put more pressure on distribution teams, but increased order volume often comes at a time when consumer demands are even higher than during non-peak shopping periods. A recent Voxware survey found that 86% of respondents have higher expectations for correct and on-time delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone during the holiday shopping season. At the same time, 45% of consumers reported that they expected orders placed during the peak holiday season to arrive within 3-4 days—and the stakes for meeting these expectations are high. The research shows that 69% of shoppers are less or much less likely to shop with a retailer if an item arrives more than 2 days after the expected shipping date.

Now is the time for retailers preparing for the holiday rush (as well as other companies preparing for other peaks in demand) to implement technology that can help distribution operations deliver an exceptional customer experience. Voxware’s cloud-based voice automation technology (VMS) and supply chain analytics solution, VoxPilot, can help companies increase fulfillment speed to shorten the time between order and delivery and easily scale operations to meet seasonal peaks in demand. Here’s how:

Add New Users Easily: Seasonal and atypical demand fluctuations may require warehouses to hire additional staff, and Voxware’s user-based subscription pricing allows teams to hire as many new team members as necessary—and then readjust after demand has subsided.

Shorter Training and Rapid Time to Proficiency: While many dated processes require extensive training time for new associates, Voxware’s VMS helps new team members train quickly and efficiently. Many distribution teams report that their new item selectors can start working on the first day of training.

Anticipate and Address Changes in Demand: VoxPilot can help companies understand exactly how many team members to hire by combining sales projections with data on pick rates to see the likely impact on throughput before the hiring process even begins.

As consumer expectations continue to rise, distribution operations will play an even more significant role in achieving greater brand loyalty and a higher customer lifetime value. Voxware can help teams meet and exceed those expectations throughout the year.

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