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The Journey of a Package and a Customer's Lament

What’s a package? Wikipedia describes it as an object or group of objects wrapped in paper or packed in a box. Yes, literally it translates into that definition. But metaphorically it means so much more. 

We have a definition of our own though. A package is much more than just a box. It’s hope for some, joy for others, and need for the rest. In other words, it’s a reflection of your customer’s self. 

A package, in today’s world, means different things to different people. For a mother waiting for a gift to give it to her daughter, a package symbolises the joy of motherhood. A high school student waiting for her prom dress to arrive in a package, symbolises the journey of growing up. An elderly person waiting for the arrival of her medicines safely packed in a box, signifies self-reliance. When your father couriers you your childhood photos in a colorful little box, that package translates into a bundle of happy-memories. A package is ambition when you order that 47 inch LCD television online. A package is ‘progress’ when your pizza is delivered to you by a drone.

Many enterprises today still struggle to recognize the myriads of emotions a simple package represents and hence, they frequently commit the mistake of not doing enough to ensure that a package is delivered properly with love, on time and in its full glory to the customer.

A Package’s Last Mile Ordeal

A package goes through a lot before it finally reaches the owner. It’s true that before graduating to a nicely bubble wrapped piece of paper-art, a package is nothing but an ugly looking box but with valuable items inside.To begin with, this box sits helplessly with hundreds of other boxes, in a large warehouse. It spends its days there hoping to be owned someday. It’s future is cloudy as it sits restlessly at a neglected corner. It has been in other warehouses before, and has seen boxes, much bigger than itself, giving up hope of ever being owned. Progress has a dark side. It drives rapid changes in what people need and makes things redundant even faster. Those big sedentary boxes are victims of progress. But this box finally gets summoned by its owner. The journey to its owner’s residence thus commence.

As this box waits in the corner, it watches a delivery executive swimming across shelves and racks, looking for it. Finally, those magical words are heard, “There you are.” It gets picked up from the warehouse, not in the kindest of manner though, and is placed inside a truck. The feeling of being wanted, helped the box brave through a scary, wobbly and needlessly speedy journey. “It’s hub-time,” the delivery executive casually said while tossing the box inside a delivery hub. With all the wobbling, speeding and tossing, the box’s edges look more like curves now. But a bubble wrap and packaging art did the trick of hiding the box’s strenuous journey to the hub. The package finally enters the last leg of the journey. But little does it know that its owner has no clue about its whereabouts. So, a welcome drink is out of the menu!

A Customer's Lament

Oblivious of the arrival time, the owner of the package leaves his apartment to visit a neighbour. The delivery executive reaches the destination of the package only to find the apartment locked. The owner instructs to deliver his package the next day, triggering a series of inefficiencies in the guise of lost delivery productivity and increasing delivery costs. The poor box goes back to the hub. It took two more days for it to finally get delivered. The owner was not happy with the experience, he also discovered a tiny crack on the product he ordered.

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This is not just an isolated incident. Millions of customers across the globe fall prey to inefficient delivery processes everyday. Result? Unhappy customers and two to three times increase in cost of a delivery. Retailers already operate at highly sensitive margins, they can not afford such inefficiencies. Their existing infrastructure is holding them back from providing an amazing delivery experience. Optimization of delivery processes, ensuring greater control over parcel movement, providing customers with end-to-end delivery visibility and making deliveries flexible are keys to thriving in the highly populated online selling space.

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