When it comes to supply chain, the final process of actually delivering the goods can make or break a company. The impact associated with the delivery process affects margins, customer relationships, repeat business, and cash flow. The paper-laden delivery confirmation process often involves capturing key data and customer signatures, and then handing the paperwork to an admin for processing once the drivers are back at the office. This greatly impacts time to invoice, receiving of cash, revenue recognition compliance, and data quality.
The Linde Group, one of the world’s largest industrial gases company with over 65,000 employees in over 100 countries, sees the opportunity to digitize the process. “We have whole segments of our workforce – third party drivers – making deliveries of liquid product in tanks, and all that paperwork doesn’t make its way back to us for many days,” says David Johnston, SVP and CIO, Americas. “Those days are lost in our cash collection. This means real money to us.”
Honeywell reports that over 50% of the total delivery cost is consumed by what is known as the “last mile,” the stage of supply chain when goods are moved from factory or warehouse to final destination. For logistics teams who manage the delivering of goods to customers, having visibility into where the shipments are and the exact ETAs for their customers can be great competitive advantages. These teams are often “out of pocket” while on the road, with no clear visibility into arrival times. Greg Bellows, president of Trans-i, a leading logistics industry solution provider says, “Final delivery can be complicated or delayed by traffic, construction, inefficient dispatching, incorrect addresses, unattended delivery issues, signature capture problems, and other factors.”