Same-Day Delivery: From Competitive Advantage to Must-Offer Service
4. Re-evaluate staff utilization and adjust labor mix. Consider how your store associates will pick and pull product, pack it, and label it for delivery — all within a very tight time frame. Retail labor is typically more expensive than distribution labor, so you may need to adjust the balance and even change your standard training practices. Also, think about how you'll notify employees about new incoming orders. The tight turnaround required for same-day delivery doesn't work well if you only check for incoming orders periodically.
5. Create a network of local delivery companies. Maintaining a dedicated fleet of drivers is extremely expensive. Alternatively, the local delivery/courier industry has provided time-sensitive delivery services for nearly 100 years. Unfortunately, it's highly fragmented, with more than 7,000 local carriers in North America alone, meaning retailers are forced to work with myriad local carriers. Furthermore, couriers must be thoroughly vetted for reputation, driver hiring and training, technology, and long-term stability.
6. Offer multiple delivery service levels. Retailers should offer, and charge a premium for, options such as one-hour or two-hour delivery windows, or two-person delivery for larger items. A properly executed and priced multiservice offering may well offset the cost of same-day AM/PM service, allowing you to offer it for a fraction of the actual cost. All of these different delivery types require unique technology both on your website (e.g., selecting delivery time windows) and on the part of your carriers, who are your indispensable partners in confirming and scheduling the deliveries.
7. Leverage technology to ensure quality. Customers see the local carrier as an extension of your brand and will therefore blame your brand for a poor delivery experience. Transportation management systems (TMS) by themselves just don't cut it for same-day delivery. Ensuring quality requires your IT team to tightly integrate your TMS, customer relationship management and business intelligence applications, and fuel it all with real-time, package-level data to closely monitor and manage your carrier network down to the level of each individual delivery.