The balance between brick and mortar stores and online retailers is very delicate. A new feature on the app might cause the customer to lean towards shopping online more frequently. The convenience of getting a product from the neighborhood
Recently, we talked to Shipra, who ordered from an online grocery. Let’s call it GoGrocery. GoGrocery provides hyperlocal solutions to grocery problems and requirements in Mumbai’s Andheri West area. Shipra placed her order just last week. It was the usual list of things she needed, wheat flour, olive oil, pulses, biscuits, sugar and tea leaves. The ordering process was simple. She logged on to the app, picked what she wanted and placed her order.
GoGorcery’s dispatch system was pretty fast. The order was delivered to her home within 4 hours, just as they had claimed on the first page of the mobile app. During delivery, she simply signed, paid and carried the bag inside. Since she could see the pulses and biscuits on top, she assumed the order was of her. But the next day when the maid was putting everything in place, she saw a few products missing and a few that she hadn’t ordered. Looked like they had delivered the wrong order.
She called the number and spoke to a representative. Turns out, the delivery management software had suffered a glitch, and since they were relatively small, they didn’t have the expertise on site to fix it. Because of that glitch, the workforce management software did not function as intended. In the ensuing confusion, the delivery staff confused the routes and the orders.
Shipra was left with two choices, either keep the entire order or ask for a return through the app and the delivery staff would pick it up. But the problem with the software remained. Fixing it would take a few days, and until then she couldn’t schedule a return. The entire return process began with the mobile workforce management software, which would take in the details, transfer it to the delivery management system, which in turn would send it to the dispatch system. It looked like Shipra was going to be stuck with the groceries.
What could GoGrocery have done differently? Their hyperlocal strategy was working out quite well since they were new in the market. But their use of
After a couple of phone calls, the representative decided to send someone with Shipra’s actual order and agreed to process the return on paper. One thing they did do quite well, was last mile delivery. Even with the second round of delivery, she got her order exactly in the number of days she was told she would get it in. The delivery person also arrived at the time she had chosen.
Logistics software is going through major changes in not just their capability or feature set, but a complete overhaul that pivots them in a different direction altogether. The scope of logistics as a function itself is changing so dynamically and rapidly that to keep track of the increasing changes becomes a daunting task.
Lack of visibility into real-time execution is a serious problem because that leads to a situation where key stakeholders are completely unaware of what the leaks in the system are which are causing significant drain on productivity and resources.
Timely completion of handshakes, deliveries, returns and payment cycles is paramount in the supply chain. Delay in one step would cause a domino effect that puts the entire systemic balance on toss. This is not just undesirable from an operational standpoint, but also makes businesses lose competitive edge.