Handling a wide variety of product's logistic needs, along with the unique requirements associated with installation for the consumer is our specialty. We can take your product from your dock, warehouse, or entry port to the end-user, with professionalism and consumer oriented service.

The final mile installer may be the only face and direct contact that your customer has with "you". Don't take a chance on sub-standard service.

Enjoy the below, white paper, defining the focus of our efforts for your products.

The need for a single-source-logistics solution and why it is,

as yet, not successfully provided.

Ask the logistics customer what they want and the answer will eventually result in their need for a single source to provide all of their product’s services. The specifics of the conversation may deal with particular areas of a logistics, supply-chain such as ocean movement, warehousing/fulfillment, and installation. However, nothing can be more frustrating than multiple vendors being required.

A supply chain needs to be structured for the small percentage of the jobs that may have issues and escalations. This can include product issues, customer issues, or other service related failures. Using a successful completion rate is wonderful for the sales presentation. But resolution protocols, for the “problem” jobs, are equally as important. Many a carrier has lost a client for the 1-2% of the jobs that had problems without resolution. Anticipating and including resolution protocols should be part of a comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The demands of the ever-evolving “e-commerce” sales have forever changed some of traditional supply channels, particularly for residential services. The traditional stages of logistics, namely the dock-dock movements, are still an industry strength. With years of integration, TMS, WMS and EDI reliance, the routing, tracking, and visibility at these stages have become an expected service level that most providers can meet. Where is the product, when is it moving, and when will it arrive at the final destination are now considered standard expectations.

But what about the growing demand for final mile and white glove? This is arguably the most important stage of the supply chain. A qualified, professional agent can salvage a horrible sales experience for the customer. Conversely a poor, final mile experience for the customer can torpedo an otherwise successful sale. With the growing demand for immediate feed-back and customer surveys, customer satisfaction is becoming a very measurable metric.

Trying to develop this complete, end-to-end, supply chain has numerous challenges. It can be argued that no one provider can successfully execute this model. Servicing the product demands and offering complete coverage would be an enormous, financial outlay. The model will most certainly involve a dynamic management process to qualify, pro-actively monitor compliance, provide exemplary product support throughout the entire chain, and have real-time quality control and improvement mechanisms. Whatever the product, recreation, fitness, furniture, appliance, or medical, the system needs to adapt for the particular requirements.

Qualifying the service providers, particularly for installations, is beginning to dominate the supply chain. What skills, tools, and equipment are required for a movement and install? Damage should be recognized, reported, inspected, and any corrective action taken at first available opportunity. How many supply chains are designed to fix a problem at the local freight dock before a product goes to the consumer? The need for product support, at all stages of the supply chain, is one of the unforeseen services that must be considered. Although going back to a store, for a replacement item was the standard procedure (albeit not desirable) it is not an option for today’s supply chain.

Products that require assembly are moving from the back-of-store to DC fulfillment. There are tremendous advantages for the retailer to minimize the handling of these products, including reduced damage, not relying on un-trained personnel and related injuries, and the high cost of retail storage versus DC. Both brick & mortar as well as on-line retailers, are building Omni-channel distribution systems. The service provider needs to handle all product and service needs, regardless of the particular delivery channel.

Compliance monitoring, and product support is as critical to the final mile and installation steps as any. This stage directly affects a consumer. When they take time from their schedule, to accommodate an appointment, on-time and success is critical. Pro-active monitoring is a challenge when the agents at this stage may be the most diverse. From companies serving a metro or region, who have employees and asset based fulfillment, to independent contractors, flexibility in compliance reporting is a must. Flat based pricing is very common for final mile and assembly. Agent reporting needs to be easy and efficient with a variety of device input options. It needs to be real-time updating to a shared IT platform that is visible to all shareholders. BYOD anyone?

So what does the solution look like? It can be said that all of the necessary components exist. The dock-dock is well defined. Final mile/install agents, with specific product related skills, do exist. Product and client needs, as defined in the SLA, will determine how a supply chain is designed and managed. Not all agents, final-mile or otherwise, will be able to service all products and all service needs. Optimization certainly becomes part of the solution.

Is there any positive resulting from the increased burden on the logistics provider? Absolutely! The provider needs to look at the additional services two ways. First, the increased revenue opportunities are enormous. A Service Level Agreement should incorporate the problems that may arise and have resolution methods pre-determined. This may involve fees for troubleshooting and return visits for maintenance/service. These qualified agents can offer other services, needed by the client, that were never part of a traditional supply chain. Product support will require interaction with the manufacturer and providers of technical support. Integrating the various players to support a product’s needs, will certainly offer new clients and opportunities.

Second, successfully building and executing a single-source-logistics solution means raising the bar for any competition. The option of losing business for modest margin savings is diminished. A competitor will need to compete at all stages of the supply chain including the product services. The barriers to entry have multiplied exponentially when the end-to-end service, and product needs are provided.

So don’t be intimidated. Those who see and embrace the opportunity will become a crucial partner in delivering customer/client satisfaction. If there was ever an example of the importance and benefits in relationship building this may be it.

Written by Bill O’Connor, Specialized Logistics, www.specializedlogistics.biz

Contact Us Today!

T&B Enterprises Inc.

41 po box

Gardner, KS 66030


Phone: +1 0913 3028549 +1 0913 3028549

E-mail: office@specializedlogistics.biz

Print | Sitemap
Created with IONOS WebsiteBuilder