The ever-faster delivery to the customer poses problems for many companies. Customers often do not know what efforts lie behind same-day or next-day deliveries. Due to the rise in E-Commerce, these requirements are strongly present, and the service idea is very popular. Many companies are trying to adapt their supply chain accordingly to enable the shortest possible delivery times. With the appropriate networks and sometimes high costs, such a delivery promise can be kept. But is that always necessary? Are there industry-specific characteristics?

The evaluation whether next-day deliveries are necessary or even feasible is strongly influenced by the product and the customer, that much is obvious. By taking a close look at the customer’s expectations, it is possible to anticipate what demands will be made on transport logistics.

How do the requirements for customer service look like?

Is a 24h service necessary? Does the customer have a strong order day and then possibly one or more days where small items are still being ordered? How often does my customer order per month, quarter or year? How regular are these orders? Do seasonal fluctuations occur?

These questions can be answered by analyzing the orders and transports. An ABC/XYZ analysis of customer order quantities and frequencies is often already standard. The informative value can be decisively augmented with frequency analyses.

With the help of frequency analyses, patterns in the ordering behavior of customers can be easily identified. The evaluation of the data is rapidly completed with modern BI tools. The result is a fact-based basis for sales and logistics, which creates a common understanding of the initial situation for further optimization. The BI solution can also be sustainably established as a reporting and control instrument.

How to benefit from frequency analysis?

In a concrete example of the wood industry, it quickly became clear that the frequency of deliveries once a week is sufficient in most areas of Austria. Up until that point, all areas had been delivered to every day. In a joint project with sales and logistics, areas were defined for distinct weekday delivery planning. Top A customers were taken into account to the extent that an alternative/additional delivery per week is also possible. This solution makes it possible to make better use of the freight space and to save kilometres, thus significantly reducing transport costs.

At this point, it should be noted that the transport system can also be controlled and steered sensibly with minimum quantity surcharges, alternative transport routes and groupage freight forwarding.

Understanding the problem is only step one

Understanding based on a clear analysis of the actual situation is critical for the harmonious integration into the overall system – sales, production and warehousing. The transport system is an essential part of the supply chain, which must meet the carefully defined requirements. Therefore, the factors influencing the selection of the right transport system are the subject of our next article.