As consumers continue to turn to online as their preferred method shopping, couriers and delivery drivers have never been in more demand. As such, 21st Century courier jargon has grown in complexity over the past few years. New terms have entered the consumer lexicon that is often confusing at first glance. What is the delivery window meaning? Will my package be delivered through the window? What’s a delivery time window?
Locate2u is here to clarify all these queries and explain the benefits that come with courier companies offering recipients a delivery time frame. And just to get it out of the way: it does not mean the delivery will be made through the window.
What is the Delivery Window Meaning?
The delivery time window is the period that the delivery executive will make a delivery. The accuracy of this metric has been consistently improving as courier companies become more efficient. Today, the more precise this delivery time frame is for the customer, the better their experience.
Originally, larger logistics companies would offer absurd delivery windows of up to twelve hours! Such a large window is unacceptable with the abilities of the technology we have today; thus, understanding the concept of a delivery time frame is also about giving accurate and reasonable advice to customers.
How is the Delivery Time Frame Worked Out?
The logistics companies develop the delivery time frame presented to customers after factoring in several variables that dictate when a courier will arrive. Delivery time windows are the slots chosen by the consumer at the time of order.
Businesses need to ensure the windows offered are manageable and within operational capabilities. Effective route optimisation and prompt delivery practices enable companies to accurately predict delivery executives’ arrival times.
The delivery time frame is established by integrating customer address information with route optimisation software. Whether you are a last-mile delivery courier or a local business with in-house drivers, route optimisation will combine customer information to plan out the delivery executive’s daily delivery schedules down to the accuracy of 20 minutes.
Offering such accuracy is incredibly beneficial to your businesses relations. Further, the delivery time window will update automatically within the software if the ETA is impacted by traffic or a delayed schedule. This information can be relayed to the customer, keeping them updated. It is rarely an issue of being made to wait an extra amount of time that causes disgruntled customers, but it is more that they are not communicated with about changes.
Delivery Time Frame: Service Level vs Efficiency
Efficiency dictates the deliverance of goods following a determined optimised route plan. Deliveries nearby to one other will be scheduled one after the other to maximise the driver’s efficiency and complete a higher number of deliveries in the day. Giving a 15-minute window to customers represents the highest level of service. But what if four deliveries on the one street each select times an hour and a half after each other? That means a substantial operational cost for the driver to return to the same street four times a day.
On the other side, the courier could offer a broad delivery window meaning the customer would have a less accurate idea of when the driver was coming. Companies can specify windows that range from hours to days. The benefit to the business is that it has the flexibility to plan the routes most efficiently but at the cost of customer satisfaction.
As a business, you will not be able to please everyone all the time. Finding more consumer-centric ways to deal with these issues will increase your business’s reputation. As a business, each time you offer a more premium level of service, it comes at the expense of your operational efficiency. Giving customers increased choice, as little as a preferred delivery date, can go a long way. Another more specific timeframe, such as ‘morning’ or ‘afternoon’ for the delivery time frame, will be taken with enthusiasm.
What Will Impact Your Delivery Time Windows?
Maintaining a smooth supply chain relies on the proper function of several parties. Carriers, manufacturers, and distributors all ensure reliable delivery to the customer. Other factors that will disrupt shipping:
- External Factors: Weather, weekends, public holidays
- Internal Factors: faulty tracking, communication breakdowns, staff error, or processing issues.
What is an Accurate Delivery Window Meaning for Your Business?
Offering an accurate and reliable delivery window for goods has numerous benefits for business owners:
Increased customer satisfaction
Customers feel more valued by a business if they can select times of their choosing to receive their deliveries.
Secure handling of goods
More precise delivery times increase the level of security your goods have in transit. By adding options for a delivery time frame, the recipient can select precisely when they will be at the destination to receive the goods directly. Leaving items unattended remains a risk even today.
Better handling of perishable goods
Most applicable to the food delivery industry, where hot food needs to be delivered promptly. Customers enjoy visualising their food coming to their homes as quickly as possible after leaving the kitchen.
Logical planning for managers
After receiving the optimised delivery schedule with updated time frames, logistics managers can plan other operational tasks around it. Proactive task management is essential to improving all areas of a business.
Setting and meeting delivery time frames are part of precise and dependable communication between customers and businesses. By providing a time frame using specialised software, you are opening the avenue for communication between the recipient and company and improving interaction methods.
Lowered rate of failed or missed deliveries
Recipients that are aware of when the delivery is coming, even to a gap as large as a morning or afternoon window, can balance other commitments with being at the right location to receive the goods. Communicating this information reduces the chance the delivery will be missed or require rescheduling.
How to Get More Accurate Delivery Time Windows
Developing consistently accurate delivery windows requires advanced software to plan and optimise routes that give precise ETAs to destinations. Loacte2u’s delivery software combines the essential services of route optimisation and real-time tracking that allow couriers to plan their daily schedules.
Having the latest route management software on your side is imperative to declaring and upholding a delivery time frame for recipients. Route optimisation at the beginning of any delivery itinerary will give accurate ETAs to all recipients. The real-time tracking allows the recipients to monitor the driver’s progress too.
Accurate mapping and route guidance are all built into the Locate2u app, so you can avoid delays with the last-mile delivery process and focus on other aspects of shipping accuracy. Locate2u will plan the most efficient route, considering recipient time windows, your vehicle capacity, any driver breaks, and other factors.
The New Delivery Window Meaning with Locate2u
Locate2u’s state of the art software allows you to develop delivery routes that best suit your business requirements. If you need certain deliveries completed at certain times to meet predetermined windows, that is entirely possible. With the easy-to-use app, your business takes a vital step in building customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. The Locate2u app uses real-time tracking, and route optimisation to enable dependable delivery times throughout the day. Request a demo online or contact our team today to see the benefits that Locate2u can provide for your business.