By Danny Efendi
I wake up every day and know that something is going to go wrong. That’s the nature of logistics, so there’s a lot of decision making in my role. I need to make decisions fast and often under pressure, always considering how they will impact our own operation and the operations of the people we work with. Here’s how I do it.
Identify all possible solutions
When I need to make a decision I first spend two to five minutes thinking about the problem. Then I’ll lay out all the possible solutions, usually around five, and consider what the impact of each would be on all the stakeholders. Based on that, I’ll make the decision that gives the best resolution for all parties.
Do your due diligence
Let’s look at an example. Recently we had the floods and a lot of our customers were affected, so we had to decide how to tackle that. There were three things we could do. The first was nothing, and continue with business as usual. The second was to send a general message to customers acknowledging the floods would mean delays and assuring them we would continue to do our best. The third option was to take deeper dive and find out what lanes were affected (lanes are major transport arteries, such as between Sydney and Melbourne), what suburbs were affected and to reach out to all the carriers to find out where they were struggling and how we could best help them. Based on that research we could then contact customers with what the new delivery times would likely be considering all the factors. Option three was the right decision to make. I then worked collectively with other departments. I wrote a short summary of our statement about the situation for marketing to review, then I went to our account managers informing them of what lanes were affected. I requested they compile data on the customers affected and a list of their contact details, and then forwarded that to marketing to send messages to all of them with as much useful detail about the situation as possible.
Communication is key
When people think of logistics they think of a truck driver or a forklift operator in a warehouse, but communications skills are actually vital in my role.
We’ll always have issues pop up so I need to be able to communicate effectively about those issues. We are a logistics software company and a lot of people who use Shippit don’t have any background in logistics so that makes it even more important I can convey information with clarity and ease. We are the middleman – the link between the couriers and the customer – so as a solution provider it’s imperative we establish clear communications for everyone.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
I come from a retail background where I was the logistics manager for two successful retail companies, so I bring that retail experience to my current role. I’ve been in the shoes of the customer so I have expectations of what the carriers should do to meet their requirements. Now I’m part of a service provider I use that knowledge to help fulfil the needs of our clients for an experience that is as simple, seamless and efficient as possible.
Learn how COVID-19 impacted customer loyalty, why it matters and how you can solidify loyalty going forward here.
Learn from your mistakes
During Covid eCommerce experienced an unprecedented growth rate of 400 per cent on the previous year.
Most of the carriers struggled because they didn’t have enough capacity to meet that demand. They didn’t have enough drivers or space in their warehouses, or enough manpower in general because they weren’t expecting that massive increase in orders. Our own forecasting at Shippit couldn’t have predicted it either, because we’ve not experienced something like a pandemic in 100 years. We all learned from this experience. The carriers and merchants got smarter about how they make and manage their deliveries and moving forward we are now providing better forecasts so the carriers have enough drivers and space to meet demand. At Shippit that will enable us to make delivery for our merchants a lot smoother by giving them more customisation and flexibility in terms of how they ship their orders. You can’t control something like a pandemic, but you can certainly learn from it and make better decisions for better outcomes.
Start getting prepared today and check out the 5 shipping mistakes you need to avoid.