The Amazon effect is real and OEMs are scrambling to meet the newest expectation of suppliers and customers alike. To that end, this week GrandCanals announced version 4.0 of its Fulfillment Intelligence Cloud (FIC).
“E-commerce is driving the majority of growth in retail and opportunities for wholesalers and manufacturers to expand their direct sales to end customers. A great fulfillment experience (on time, damage-free, real-time visibility, status updates) has become an increasingly critical part of overall customer satisfaction and retention,” said Bill McBeath, chief research officer of ChainLink Research. “The ability to leverage delivery performance data to continually improve actual delivery performance and notify customers early when delays are predicted—these are becoming essential to succeed and grow in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.”
The newest iteration adds real time carrier delivery performance monitoring and alerts and tracking for customer deliveries to allow organizations to improve the customer experience and build loyalty through better visibility and proactive communication.
“Once considered a n afterthought, the consumers’ delivery experience has become a critical factor in converting e-commerce sales and building long-term positive relationships with consumers,” said Doug Jones, CEO of GrandCanals. “However, most companies lack the visibility and analysis of both carrier cost and real-time carrier performance. This powerful combination allows companies to balance tradeoffs between cost and performance with ease and thus profitably optimize their customers’ delivery experience.”
Significant updates include Delivery Performance, an application that provides real-time monitoring of carrier delivery performance, and Customer Delivery Alerts and Tracking, that adds the ability to share fully customizable shipment status updates with customers via the corporate website, text messages (SMS), or email messages.
“Our objective was to help organizations excel at the delivery side the same way Amazon does,” said Jones. “Amazon is ahead of the curve on cost, but also, on the performance side, allows customers to have visibility and control into their orders. They know where everything is.”
By understanding how their delivery network is performing through real-time tracking across carriers, companies can address potential delivery delays before they can occur. The system currently can normalize about 1,000 different exception scan codes, including weather delays, package delays, and transportation related alerts. “It allows organizations to take proactive actions like rerouting or Express Mail before a problem comes to the attention of the end customer,” said Jones. “. Our customers need to more profitably in delivering to consumers. Research shows that 87% of consumers will order again if they have a good experience. Their expectations are high and has led to deliveries that are three to five times more expensive than previously.”
This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application enables analytics-driven fulfillment without requiring a core competency in analytics. Further, the organization can maintain control of the customer experience rather than losing it to the carrier network. FIS provides a timely, accurate window into the shipping network for tracking of deliveries as well as a realistic view of the delivery experience of customers. Further, it supports proactive problem resolution. Further, it allows for e-commerce and retail organizations to interact with customers in ways that they have come to expect. In addition, FIC promises to reduce customer interaction costs by reducing the number of “where is my order” (WISMO) calls.
The application is available now. Pricing is based upon shipping volume, the company said.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN