In the past, on-time deliveries for retailers meant a huge infrastructure investment in logistics and supply chain management. For Arhaus, a high-end furniture retailer, accurate predictions of delivery times rest in the palms of drivers' hands.
The company uses Web-based integrated field service and appointment management system from Toa Technologies to enable onsite customer service and on-time delivery. The technology analyzes every aspect of the service delivery to determine service times and real-time appointment tracking, as well as deliver customer updates through automated calls and text messages.
John Roddy, vice president of Logistics and Distribution for Arhaus, says the company used to employ five agents who made confirmation calls for every delivery, but a long lag time didn't fit with the customer-centric approach that Arhaus aims to deliver. "We had a four-hour window for delivery. That's not very customer friendly," Roddy says.
By tracking and analyzing geo-route codes, the system learns exactly how long it will take a driver to travel between various stops. The system, through the handheld devices, then sends automated calls to customers 48 hours prior to delivery, alerting them of the expected delivery time. If a driver is running behind or is early, the system dials a call to notify the customers of the change in time.
After deploying the technology seven years ago, Arhuas reduced its delivery window from four hours to two in one year. This year, the company's goal is to further lower that gap to one hour.
Now Roddy says the delivery and scheduling side of the operation are highly ranked among customers. Customer approval hovers at 98 percent, whereas in the past, the rating topped out at 85 percent. "We're white glove service," Roddy says. "We fluff pillows, remove trashand we're clean shaven. We do it all. We run a tight ship here."