Is Drop-Shipping the Answer to Bootstrap Retailers’ Field Workforce Management?
The average customer now expects more from a product that just home delivery. Something that was a striking feature in the past decade, has now become little more than a given. Even retail without home delivery is hard to imagine. The customer has evolved beyond the reach of technology. Now they expect delivery within the hour with superior back-end support.
The game between customer perceptions and a company’s value proposition is an interesting one. At times, a company’s technology defines the customer’s perceptions, and at other times, the customer’s imagination drives company research. Now we are dealing with drones and automated deliveries. Online retail has the luxury of concentrating their resources on pushing the limits of customer experience. Major e-commerce players such as Amazon and Alibaba have raised their brand value by incorporating the ‘experience’ factor within their service plan. It’s not just about having the best products on the platform, it’s also about providing the customer with the ease of use and interactivity within the platform to ensure repeat purchase.
Drop-Shipping: The Un-Sung Hero for Bootstrap Retailers
Drop-shipping, in the market scenario right now, is an amazing business model. Alas! The scalability is not that easy. If you plan to expand your business, you would eventually have to move to a more streamlined approach. As far as your question is concerned, we can restrict ourselves to the bootstrap setup of an e-commerce company.
Is drop-shipping a good field workforce management solution for a bootstrap company?
You can up-sell your value proposition in terms of cost benefit to the end user. There would be considerable cost reduction in terms of warehousing, repackaging, and distributing manufactured goods, for a bootstrap e-commerce company. Based on your value offer, you may choose to perform some of the above-mentioned activities, but to a minimal level. Your business model, should maximize on the cost-benefit. That is how you would be able to create a mark on the consumer’s mind.
Another aspect of the bootstrap drop-shipping, is aggregation of business partners in an unorganized industry. You can post products on your website that other, smaller retailers offer, and earn a profit on volume sales.
Field Workforce Management: The Force Behind Drop-Shipping
Both the above scenarios, constitute a requirement of an efficient field workforce management solutions provider. Assuming that you would want to concentrate on vendor relations, website management, brand building, consumer relations, product quality assurance, etc., you would be better off if you outsource your workforce management to a professional company.
LogiNext Mile™ is a tracking and management product that your company can use to track and optimize delivery routes. There is another product that would be influential for you. That is, LogiNext Haul™ . Haul™ can track your delivery trucks, as they move through the city, state, or nation, while constantly giving live updates about the current status of any shipment. If your business model allows it, you can also have an On-Demand logistics system, that directly picks up from a source point, and drops at a destination point.
By outsourcing your field workforce management, you would be free to concentrate on providing a proper consumer-oriented value proposition. Remember, concentrate on consumer support, but always respect workforce management.
E-Commerce Integration of Field Workforce Management
The crux of the development of all things e-commerce is secure and optimal route planning. The service and experience within online retail stems from have an intricate supply chain management system right from the point the order is placed to the point where the customer signs the electronic proof of delivery. Every step of the process must be optimized to the point that everything falls in place every time a delivery is executed.
There are companies such as LogiNext that have become masters in SaaS based route planning and field workforce management. Online retail has different stage of workforce management, and they often partner with specific players that have expertise in planning and synchronization based on real-time analytics. This is the real secret behind the boom in online retail, the collaborative effort between many different entities each excelling in their own field. Myntra recently partnered with LogiNext for their supply chain needs. Paytm, in partnership with Alibaba, has invested in LogiNext as the future of e-commerce is in the hands of optimized route planning and field workforce management.
Is drop-shipping a best field workforce management solution for a bootstrap company?
At some point, as you grow your startup in a proper revenue earning company, you would want to streamline your sourcing. Depending on manufactures, or retail aggregators is a quality risk. You would eventually, build your brand, and your brand would suffer if the products are not of the best standards.
You may want, then, to integrate vertically to include direct business partners, that supply you with high-quality products. You can also manage your product and vendor management in a more stringent manner with high-level quality specifications.
To sum-up, drop-shipping is a brilliant model in an ideal world.35 3