5 Critical Automation Capabilities to Sail through Boxing Day’s Order Rush 

Arya Bharti

5 Critical Automation Capabilities to Sail through Boxing Day’s Order Rush 

Holiday cheer turns to shopping gear as families reunite! After feasts and laughter, Boxing Day beckons with irresistible deals and the thrill of the post-celebration splurge. With overflowing wish lists and shared gift-giving magic, the festive spirit spills over into a shopping spree, as suggested by the 50% rise in Boxing Day shoppers last year in the UK in 2022 as compared to 2021. 

However, inefficient order allocation, manual management, and disparate business components can easily create fulfillment lags, degrade customer experience with delayed deliveries, and ultimately shrink retailer revenues. Embracing automation can not only help them overcome these challenges but can also pave the way for effortless operations management during seasonal demand fluctuations. Let’s take a quick look at five such automation capabilities that retailers can incorporate into their logistics management.

#1 – Intelligent Data Analytics and Reporting

Data analytics is a cornerstone of operations planning as it provides the insights and intelligence needed to optimize operations and make informed decisions. Leveraging analytics for fulfillment monitoring, predicting potential exceptions, and automating mitigation or recommending the next best actions increases efficiency. 

According to a recent survey, as much as 88% of supply chain executives find sourcing analytics to be a fundamental transformation technology. Leveraging historical data and real-time insights to anticipate order spikes and optimize inventory allocation, minimizing stockouts and overstocking.

Retailers can Identify resource bottlenecks across fulfillment centers and adjust staffing, equipment allocation, and operational workflows in real-time to maximize efficiency.

#2 – AI-Powered Route Optimization

Intelligent route planning and optimization can lead to a significant 12% reduction in transportation costs and increase vehicle capacity utilization by 31%. The advanced capabilities of the routing engine such as dynamic route planning optimize delivery routes in real-time based on live traffic conditions, weather patterns, and driver availability, reducing delivery times and fuel costs.

Further, a single interface for managing routes for all shipments across all logistics providers helps in multi-modal management. Businesses can easily leverage a wider range of transportation options (e.g., scooters, bikes, on-foot deliveries, etc.) to cater to urgent and last-minute deliveries, enhancing customer satisfaction. They can also automate driver dispatch processes and leverage real-time communication to streamline operations and improve driver productivity.

#3 – Real-Time Visibility and Tracking

Studies reveal that 90% of customers actively track their orders and 70% of them prioritize self-tracking instead of raising queries with retailers in case of delays. Hence, having real-time visibility over shipment movements is beneficial for both retailers and customers. End-to-end order tracking helps gain full visibility into the entire fulfillment journey, from order placement to final delivery, enabling proactive customer communication and issue resolution.

Advanced last mile delivery management platforms come with in-built workflows for automated alerts/notifications that enable retailers to share the key milestones of order movement with the end customers effortlessly. The ability to track driver performance and vehicle location in real-time also helps prevent empty miles, idling, and fake delivery attempts, thereby boosting delivery experiences for customers. 

#4 – Unified Operations Management Dashboard

Integrating data from various logistics systems into a single dashboard provides a holistic view of operations and enables informed decision-making. Businesses can easily manage all the consignments across multiple service providers from a single interface to unlock seamless operations management. 

The standardization of data and information facilitates performance monitoring and metrics analysis via tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs) such as order fulfillment times, delivery success rates, and inventory levels in real-time to identify areas for improvement.

88% of supply chain professionals agree that increasing collaboration can improve planning & fulfillment, and 56% of them feel the need to improve the information flow to get rid of “information blindspots” and improve visibility.  Further, centralized communication allows them to set up automated alerts for critical events and potential disruptions, allowing prompt intervention and proactive problem-solving.

#5 – Predictive Incident Management

96% of supply chain leaders agree that the ability to predict, sense, and adjust in real-time is crucial to improve supply chain visibility and forecasting. Smart last mile delivery solutions come with built-in automation for predictive analytics, that utilize machine learning algorithms to identify unusual patterns and potential service disruptions before they materialize.

Businesses can receive proactive recommendations and actions for mitigating disruptions, optimizing resource allocation, and minimizing negative impacts. They can also gather data from resolved incidents to refine predictive models and enhance future automation capabilities. AI-powered logistics assistants empower them to tackle and contain incidents before they evolve into business risks, thereby helping them unlock greater resilience. 

By adopting smart automation capabilities, businesses can transform sales events like Boxing Day from a logistical nightmare into a strategic advantage. Intelligent automation empowers businesses to predict, optimize, and adapt, ensuring a seamless and efficient fulfillment experience during peak seasons. 


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