In the Chinese language, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. [Source: Wikipedia]
While the world was crashing, many industries, especially, the delivery industry, stumbled on the side of caution. The logistics industry was quick to resume operations as the demand for online products and services skyrocketed. But the delivery operations today are not even close to what they used to be a few years back. The uncertainties wrought by the pandemic have created a radical shift in the industry.
When the pandemic struck, the logistics industry was quick to respond to the widespread chaos. The delivery industries made sure that the products were delivered to their consignees even during the toughest hours. Apart from the medical supplies, several other critical parcels were delivered by the dispatch agencies. They worked round the clock to deliver on time.
But the job of front liners or agents who risked their lives to deliver parcels wasn’t as easy as one might think.
In this post, we will unearth some of the problems faced by dispatch-related companies during the pandemic, and how they were subdued with some of the best Delivery technologies in place.
How Delivery Industry Impacted?
The government’s restrictions aiming to slow down the spread of the virus led to a complete shutdown of economic activities. When the lockdown was announced, the supply chains across the world were completely disrupted. Not only international logistics but even the inland logistics of several countries came to a halt.
The effect of the lockdown was observed within 2-3 days. As more than 90% of the logistics services were stopped, businesses had a tough time coping with fulfilling orders. The effect of the lockdown was sustained in the sector in the days and months that followed.
As time passed, many countries started lifting some restrictions on the movement of people and goods. It was then the logistics industry started on its path to recovery. Post the initial days of the lockdown; there was a spike in demand for goods. Groceries, food, medicines, etc. were the commodities that were in excess demand. Customers had restricted access to offline retail stores. A lot of people turned to online retailers to fulfill their requirements.
The delivery industry is definitely one industry that has proven to be a boon during these unprecedented times. It has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the global flow of goods and essentials is unhindered, despite a major dearth of transportation and massive disruptions in the supply chain. Although millions were unemployed due to the pandemic, the sector alone created thousands of job opportunities for the unemployed.
It is one industry that has worked relentlessly to ensure that the goods and supplies reach every nook and corner of the country. Today, our shopping preferences may have altered, but the frequency remains, thanks to the evolving dispatch network.
The Way Forward
Businesses have come up with a lot of innovative ideas to combat the ongoing situation. In the past few months, we have seen businesses take steps to cope with the situation. Some of which are:
- New safety standards and protocols: Safety and security of all the stakeholders are vital. There has been a complete overhaul of the safety standards. Concepts like “no-contact deliveries” have emerged in recent times. Not only this calls for new delivery methods, but also for new methods to collect payments as well as collecting cash is not the best option as it once was. Presence of hundreds of different online payment gateways makes it difficult for organisations to collect and keep track of the payments. This is exactly where dispatch software comes in.
- Embrace the next-gen technologies: Advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have led to massive reforms in almost every sector. Automation has always been seen as a devil destroying employment opportunities, but on the contrary, it has made workplaces a lot safer in the post-COVID times.
- Enhanced logistics capacity: There is a dire need to increase logistics capacity worldwide. There has been a steady increase in the number of online orders over the past couple of years. COVID 19 has only sped up the process. To cater to the requirements of the ever-growing industry, businesses need to make investments in logistics.
- Improved resiliency: In such unpredictable times, one should always be ready for surprises. Unpredictable events like shortage of inventory and workforce might happen anytime. The logistics system should be made more resilient to overcome hurdles.
- Collaboration with new partners: People have realised that the only way to move forward is to move together. New partnerships are the key to sustain the businesses in COVID times. Brands with a limited delivery capacity can outsource the work to logistics companies to make their job easier. These new collaborations will ensure that the end-user faces no inconvenience. Such partnerships will also create new opportunities for all stakeholders.
Using top-notch delivery software to manage your tasks is an inexpensive way of field service management. A feature-rich software like Tookan can contribute to boosting the overall productivity of any delivery industry. Now we will see how to dispatch software contributes to the functioning of a business related to dispatch.
Role of a Delivery Software
Well-designed Delivery software is the pillar of the supply chain. In the present times, it is impossible to keep track of all the consignments manually. It would take a team of hundreds to do what a delivery software can do all by itself. Here is how the software can change the industry:
- Simplify the process: Apart from being extremely simple to use, the software simplifies many steps involved in logistics. Features like Route Optimisation and Geofencing make it easy for the administrators to keep track of the activity of their agents and their activities. Once specific roles are assigned to each team member, they can issue instructions to their on-site employees.
- Integration of multiple payment gateways: While collecting cash is the least preferred option; online payment is all the rage these days. Every online retailer and business has shifted to digital payment modes. Collecting payments from customers is no longer a problem. Tookan can integrate with over 50 different digital payment gateways so that the businesses and customers can get various choices for making payments.
- Accessibility: Delivery software makes it possible for businesses and customers to know the exact status of their freight. All you need is a PC or a smartphone connected to the internet to know everything about your consignment. With good delivery software, it’s easier than ever to access the information about your shipment.
- Scalability: In times like these, businesses should always be prepared for a surge or dip in demand. With an efficient dispatch software, it becomes easy to adapt to the always-changing demand. The size of the business does not matter as long as the work is related to dispatch.
It is certain that the GDP growth will slow down for the next couple of quarters, but it’s just a matter of time before things fall back into place and the usual business resumes.
Several vaccines have been developed for the COVID-19. The next biggest challenge in the delivery industry will arise when these vaccines are shipped to people worldwide. In developing countries, things are bound to get even more challenging. The only way to deal with the obstacles is to accept the latest technologies and put them to work.
For now, online retailers are doing their best to deliver the products at the earliest, and being able to fulfill orders within a day or two sets an online store a class apart from others. With the right delivery software, this is possible.
No matter if the business is small or big, Tookan is a one-stop solution for all your dispatch-related issues. The software comes with a 14-day trial so that you can check out all its features before spending a single penny. Visit our homepage for more information.