There will always be times where you’ll miss a lead time or two. We know it’s not ideal, but in the world of logistics, anything can happen. So how can you recover from a delayed shipment? We have a few tips for you.
Know your logistic capabilities
eCommerce merchants can often run into issues about processing or storing goods. Since logistics partners usually handle these aspects, eCommerce merchants don’t have much control. But typically, if there are peak seasons, such as Hari Raya, Lunar New Year or Christmas, there will be a surge of online demand and the number of parcels that can exceed the logistics partner’s usual capacity.
To help your logistics partner cope with the extra stress and prevent delays, plan ahead with them and see how they can handle peak periods and respond to delays. Also, it’s beneficial to set up regular communications and set expectations. As for the customers, you can spread out the peak order by offering early-order discounts, so you can give them extra customer perks while taking some stress off your system.
Manage your supplier’s lead time
If your goods involve suppliers, remember to manage their lead time as well. While you should always give yourself leeway by allocating a few extra days for suppliers’ deliveries, knowing their process will help significantly. If you can know and optimise your suppliers’ processes, you can prevent shipment delays and ensure reliable deliveries. For example, if you can identify steps that seem to be taking too long, like inspecting or delivery, you can reduce the time needed and cut down the overall supplier lead time.
Also, managing your customers’ expectations can help prevent delays. If your customer wants your goods within a certain amount of time, you need to manage their expectations, help them order in time and work with your suppliers to make that happen.
Be ready for surprises
No matter how you foresee peak seasons or manage your partners, there will always be accidents that you can’t predict. These include port congestions, pandemic, strikes, natural disasters and more.
If you’re operating in Southeast Asia predominantly, pay attention to weather patterns in the area, such as typhoon seasons. Any typhoons or adverse weather shouldn’t cause massive delays, though knowing their patterns will help you optimise your lead time. But for other disasters that are more unpredictable, such as earthquakes or COVID-19, the best way to address that is to communicate with your partners. They should notify you once they expect significant disruptions so that you can notify your customers accordingly. If you could find alternative routes for your deliveries, that would also be great. No matter what, you must invest enough time and effort on a robust communication system and work out a good communication strategy with your partners and customers.
Small details matter
It’s sad that many delays are avoidable. Have you been taking your documentation seriously? Do you have a habit of ensuring the details are accurate? Can your customer ensure they’ve given the correct details?
By minimising human errors, you can significantly reduce the chances of delays and ensure a smooth delivery.
There are enough hassles in the eCommerce world. Don’t let delays give you more troubles.