Make it easier

What can the supply chain learn from retailers’ focus on a great delivery experience?

The last mile of a customer’s experience is becoming ever-more important to retail. A recent consumer survey by Circuit showed that almost three quarters (72.5%) of poor deliveries will result in a customer likely to stop recommending the retailer.

This, coupled with growing expectations around the speed of delivery (in the Netherlands, interest in same-day delivery by consumers has grown by 69% in the last year alone), means that retailers are facing a growing pressure to make the delivery experience one of the best bits about their brand. According to Capgemini’s The Last Mile Delivery Challenge Report, “Organisations that provide a superior last-mile experience will gain a competitive edge over their peers.”

The consumer expectation of a great delivery experience is nothing new. It has been steadily growing in tandem with the explosion in online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. And while customers are now demanding it, the move to a great delivery experience has put a burden on retailers behind the scenes to ensure that the model works.

Ensuring that great delivery is sustainable, ethical and viable is a challenge for retailers, but those who are getting it right can teach the supply chain valuable lessons in how to expedite quickly and efficiently and keep customer satisfaction high.

Make it easier

The Capgemini reports also found that 46% of consumers say they choose to purchase from a brand because they can automate repeat purchases via product subscription. And 73% of consumers said that receiving the delivery in a convenient time slot was more important than receiving it quickly.

It’s not necessarily about speed. It’s about making life easier for customers to receive that delivery. How do you begin to embed the lessons from this approach within your own supply chain strategy?

It may take some effort, but widening your customers’ choices and focussing on convenience when it comes to delivery is important. Low carbon options, automating repeat orders, specified day, various pick up locations – bringing variety into your delivery experience makes life easier for your customers.

It also makes life easier for you, because you don’t have to squeeze your margins to make unrealistic delivery options work. You can choose what works for you and your customers.

Get smart with your systems

If we’ve learned one thing from the pandemic, it’s that supply chain disruption is going to be a common experience in the future. Christoph Hempsch, Deutsche Post DHL’s head of sustainability for German Post and Parcel, says: “With increasing volatility and volumes, it’s more important than ever to have a good idea of what volume will arrive, on what day, at what place, and at what time.”
This means that your behind-the-scenes processes need to become slick and sophisticated.
Here at Worldpack, we’ve been investing heavily in this approach – refining our internal processes to boost our efficiency.

And there are some key areas that will make a difference to your ability to refine the supply chain.

Organise your stock – knowing where things are may seem incredibly simple, but time is everything when it comes to fulfilment. Knowing where your stock is located will speed up your fulfilment. This is particularly important if you are growing your stock lines – spend some time to organise the expansion carefully.

Improve conditions for your staff – what do your staff need to speed up their jobs? Whatever part of the supply chain you sit in, valuable efficiency gains can be made this way. Do staff need better digital systems? Do they need larger containers for fulfilling more orders at once in the warehouse? Do they need air conditioning in their cars to enable them to drive for longer without needing to step out of the car to cool down? Some solutions can seem incredibly simple, but they can transform how you, and your employees, perform.

Communicate effectively – what are your relationships like up and down your supply chain? Better relationships during tumultuous times can help you to weather the storm better than your competitors. Ask your supply chain partners and suppliers for their advice. Depending on where they are in the supply chain, they will have seen this challenge coming and may well already have plan B and C in the pipeline. Forward thinking suppliers using data as a backup will be able to buffer even the most frightening scenarios. However, they cannot perform miracles overnight. The more time you can give them and the more information you can share about your requirements in advance, the better.

Invest in IT – unsurprisingly, integrated IT systems is one of the top areas for retailers to achieve success in great delivery. So why should it be any different within the supply chain? The gains from well integrated IT systems can help you to identify where your stock is and help you to spot and solve problems before they become urgent. Buyers will have access to reliable data that can help them to forecast demand more accurately and finance directors can spot unprofitable product and materials lines easily.

Excellent delivery champions do all of these things successfully in order to achieve the demands placed upon them by consumers.

If you’re curious about how you can apply these lessons to your supply chain and work alongside a partner that embodies the same approach, get in touch by email at or ring us on +31(0) 88 494 20 80.

David Mines
Business Development Director

Do you have an odd request? Call us to challenge us!

Contact us directly
+31(0) 88 494 20 80