Slow delivery is a deal-breaker for consumers when purchasing technology and electronics products. Nearly two-thirds of UK shoppers won’t order from a marketplace if they don’t offer a convenient delivery option, reports Internet Retailing.

When you buy a new smartphone, laptop or washing machine, are you happy to wait a week for it, or do you want it as soon as possible? Data from e-commerce marketing automation platform, Drip, shows that, for most consumers, it’s the second option. In fact, according to their survey of 4,329 responses from across the globe, slow delivery (19%), was the third biggest reason for online shopping cart abandonment.

All across Europe today, demand for instant gratification is high, and slow delivery won’t be tolerated. Technology manufacturers need to provide faster delivery just to compete. In this article, we explore how digitisation makes that possible.

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Seeing the big picture

The best place to start is with holistic supply chain visibility. Digitisation is essential for fast delivery as, in essence, it breaks down silos in the supply chain and creates a fully connected and transparent ecosystem. No more gaps in knowledge. No more products lost in transit. 

With end-to-end supply chain visibility, technology manufacturers can use data to build agility into their logistics operations. For instance, they can use the data to gain visibility of a container’s location, providing optimum control and cost optimisation.  

By proactively monitoring the flow of goods from Vietnam to The Netherlands, for instance, technology manufacturers can react faster to disruptions, and even anticipate them.

Through enhanced responsiveness and predictability, technology manufacturers gain the efficiency to speed up delivery.

Take our new feeder service from Port Said, Egypt, to Vado Gateway, Italy, as an example. By combining our digital solutions with various integrated logistics assets, such as our extended inland transport network, we provide solutions to adjust your supply chain on the spot when disruption strikes. That flexibility means faster time to market. 

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Putting inventory in the right places

Inventory management is all about having the right levels of stock in the right place at the right time. By optimising this part of operations, technology products have less distance to cover in the last mile, which accelerates delivery times. But that’s no small undertaking.

Digitisation, however, makes things a whole lot easier because, with a modern inventory management system, you can track inventory across all your assets and facilities, and plan ahead accordingly. 

For example, digitisation can help show in real time that a distribution centre in Poland is overstocked but a distribution centre in Germany is understocked.

Then you can act on this insight by moving the excess inventory to the German market ahead of time rather than when it’s too late, which would have given German customers extended delivery times. 

To find out how Maersk can help put your stock in the right places, visit our warehousing and distribution page

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Accelerating through borders

Customs is another area where digitisation delivers efficiency. Moving technology products across borders using a traditional, manual approach makes the customs handling workflow quite time-intensive, slowing down delivery. Whereas, through digitisation, customs declarations are automated and populated in minutes.

Put into context, digitisation can shave days off the declarations and approval process, helping get goods to market faster.

During a big sale or promotional event like Black Friday, for example, when the sales window is relatively short, efficient customs processes are what determine success, and not failure. As such, it’s unsurprising that 33% of companies worldwide view customs digitisation as a high priority. 

At Maersk, we’ve invested in building deep customs knowledge and digital capabilities. The recent acquisition of KGH Customs, for instance, has enabled us to seamlessly navigate local requirements and enhance our centralised customs solution. Having acquired KGH in 2020, the business is now fully integrated into Maersk Customs Services

Woman working on her laptop

It all starts with data

With today’s consumers prioritising speed and convenience, slow delivery represents a sizeable barrier to growth. All that separates one company from its competitors is a couple of clicks.

And, at time when inflation is putting brand loyalty to the test, the quality of the product probably isn’t enough to keep customers from looking elsewhere.

That means technology manufacturers need to make speed of delivery a source of competitive advantage. 

And, to borrow a racing analogy, data integrations, inventory management and customs handling are just a few of the ways that digitisation can put you in pole position.

To discuss your logistics requirements, as well as for more information on the importance of visibility in technology supply chains, download our eBook.

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