Never Give up on On-Time Delivery

  • Jul 22, 2019

Today a shout of joy or maybe it was closer to loud sighs of relief rang through the office when a notification of successful delivery came to our inboxes. One of our shipments was picked up by a customer with only a few hours to spare before their essential event. It was good news, but everyone in our organization realized we'd narrowly dodge a bullet.


Every business deals with holidays, employees vacations, delays in customs, and disruptions in production or shipping. In today's world, the customer expects quality, fair pricing, and on-time delivery. They're the minimum ante when entering the game, without expectation. We're a small business, and our team feels every customer is significant. (The customer who received our shipment is relatively new to us but has become especially important in a short time. The concept of losing the client stimulated serious and heartfelt discussions with findings worth sharing.)


Please consider the following when the heat is on:


1. Yogi Berra remains too right. "It ain't over till it's over." Don't rely on emails or the online tracking data you find on the courier's website. Call someone who can make something happen. Our package was destined for a customer in Okinawa and had cleared customs in Osaka by Friday afternoon. The event was scheduled for Sunday morning. I did not accept the service center representative's first statement negating the opportunity to deliver on the weekend, and I followed up with several more calls until momentum shifted in a positive direction.


2. Keep your customer informed.  Share the status of their shipment and your activities to push it through the delivery system. Ask permission to share their contact data with the courier service as pulling an order adds momentum and might create opportunities you've yet to consider.


3. Work both ends of the courier's system. I called offices in Osaka while my counterparts worked with our shipping POC in Seattle. (When I called the Tokyo Head Office this morning, the tracking POC was aware of the case.)


An ounce of prevention.


We're resolved to make changes necessary to ensure on-time deliveries. Improvement in communication with our client, the courier, and internally is essential to the process, and the exercise has a running start.