The underestimation of the influence of the supply chain on customer experience

In my last post, I wrote about the advantages of outsourcing logistic services to Third Party Logistics Service providers (3PLs) and the extra value that is created for customers.As my professor said, outsourcing logistics services is a very intelligent decision in many cases. 
But companies need to do this carefully andnot underestimate the influence of the supply chain on the customer experience.

For example, especially online shops often outsource logistics to 3PLs. The influence of the logistics chain in the customer experience is often underestimated. It is no that much about the client getting his goods fast, complete and undamaged. This is obligatory nowadays!

The big challenges for both company and 3PL are for example that the status-mails of the shipping company appears in the corporate design of the retailer, when the packaging has the same design frames as the shop and also the invoice. The client should be sure at every point of time that he is in direct contact with the retailer.

Of course, the details of the interaction depend on the business model of the retailer: For example, clients who order perfumes online attach more importance to an elegant packaging than those who buy washing machines. For these clients, it is more important that the machine is delivered in time, without any damage and that the shipping company takes the packaging and the old machine with them.

Another aspect that is underestimated about outsourcing is the danger of losing the contact with the clients. Only the companies that are doing the picking and consignment by themselves, can always be sure how the package is going to the clients. If such processes are outsourced to 3PLs, exact agreements with the 3PLs about packaging, filling, documents and attachments have to be done and the compliance with them has to be tracked in order to avoid failures as in the picture.

The same is important for communication that accompanies the shipping. If the shipping is outsourced, a good reporting is essential. If not, criticism about too long lead times, unclear invoices or bad support never gets to the retailer itself.

In order to make sure that a good customer experience is maintained, even if logistics services are outsourced to 3PLs, a company can undertake certain measures like agreeing on exact contract with 3PLs and conducting blind test orders.

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