Archives for August 2018

A Commercial is Worth a 1,000 Logistics Words

By Chris Jones | 08/23/2018 | 12:34 AM

When logistics technology is used to transform the customer experience, it has the ability drive revenue and competitive advantage. Even though there are numerous examples of the power of logistics technology, most logistics organizations have a tough time selling the value of logistics to the sales and marketing organizations. So how do leading companies actually use their logistics technological prowess to promote its service value in its market? Let’s take a look at a great commercial from down under. Nothing like Aussie humor to drive home the customer value of logistics technology.

The commercial is from Origin Energy, Australia’s leading provider of propane to residential and commercial customers. Seeing that their customers do not run out of propane is the top priority for the company. Origin has taken this delivery challenge and turned it into a strength, promoting their delivery notification solution as a value-added service in this commercial:

In the commercial you can see how they are increasing customer engagement and satisfaction by letting the customer track their delivery in real-time. Logistics technology is the heart of the solution. Through a combination of intelligent route planning and real-time GPS enabled mobile solution, Origin has the information they need to run their operation more efficiently and provide the customer with valuable information during the delivery process. The challenge for many logistics organizations is to go beyond the former and educate sales and marketing on the value of the latter.

There is another benefit to Origin Energy to engage the customer during the delivery process. One of its biggest challenges to successful delivery is ensuring safe access to the customer propane tank or cylinder location. In many cases these are in restricted access locations that need to be opened by the customer prior to the delivery time. In addition, there is the pet dog problem. While your pooch may be as friendly as mine, many must be restrained so the driver can conduct his or her work safely.

In the animation below, Origin Energy does a phenomenal job explaining to customers the engagement process and its value to the customer and company. For anyone considering using a notifications process, this is a fantastic example of an end-to-end process. Notice the number of touches. Many companies are reticent to have this level of contact, but in Origin Energy’s case, they do a great job guiding the customer through the process and help to ensure that the customer does their part in making the delivery successful.

The propane market is tough, because the only two ways distribution companies can compete is through price and service. Even price is a tough place to sustainably compete as there is little barrier for competitors do the same. That’s why service — which is mostly logistics-based service —  is so important. The lesson for everyone is that companies that perform the best know how to take logistics technology beyond operations and make it a sales and marketing asset. How is your company employing logistics technology to make a sales difference to your customers? Let me know.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Chris Jones

Chris Jones

Chris Jones is Executive Vice President of Marketing and Services at Descartes Systems. Jones has spent more than 30 years working with manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and logistics providers to improve their supply chain operations. One of his primary missions is to identify and leverage new and counter intuitive activities that make a difference in the business. Jones has held senior positions at Kraft Foods, Descartes, and Gartner. He has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University.


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