Ever since the days when the Wells Fargo wagon coming down the street promised something exciting was about to be delivered, banking and shipping have been closely intertwined. Even today, as banking customers are able to transact more business online, there’s still an important need within the banking and financial services industry to be able to deliver packages securely, safely and cost-effectively.
Delivery optimization allows banks and financial institutions to meet rising customer expectations, while simultaneously reducing costs associated with desktop shipping.
The Challenge of Rising Customer Expectations in Banking
There was a time when customers didn’t expect convenience from either the shipping industry or the banking industry. “Bankers’ hours,” for instance, have not historically been set up to make banking services available at the convenience of the customer. Rather, they were set up for the convenience of the banker. As for shipping, when the Wells Fargo wagon was pulled by horses, customers did not have high expectations around speed or reliability.
Technology has changed all this. Banking can now be conducted online, 24 hours a day. Shipments can be delivered almost anywhere in the world in 24 hours or less. Software can estimate down to the hour what time a shipment will arrive, tracking that shipment from the moment it leaves its point of origin all the way to its destination.
These advances have all impacted customer expectations. Today’s customers have grown used to doing business online, conveniently and reliably. Thanks to companies like Amazon, customers expect to get what they want, when they want it, at the lowest possible cost to them.
At the same time, banks are operating in an increasingly cost-conscious environment. Deloitte recently reported that banks have largely exhausted local markets, placing increased emphasis on cost cutting as a method to boost profitability and productivity.
Convenience for the customer—making services available to them on their schedule—is becoming nearly as important in the finance world as it has been in the world of retail. Yet, with pressure from shareholders to reduce costs, how can banks meet these competing expectations?
Enter desktop shipping and delivery optimization.
Controlling Shipping Spend and Performance with Desktop Shipping
Desktop shipping helps banking and financial services firms gain control over their parcel and “non-production” shipping expenses. Desktop or non-production shipments refer to those that are not associated with a warehouse management or order management system. In other words, they refer to shipments that tend to be one-offs and not associated with eCommerce or other production oriented businesses.
It might seem unnecessary to accurately manage the costs associated with these types of shipments; the problem is that for large banking and financial services firms, the aggregate cost of these shipments is extremely high. And without a system that tracks and analyzes them, it can be a struggle to know when, where and how these costs can be reduced.
In banking, these are often document shipments. They might take the form of a parcel shipment of sensitive documents to a customer—such as loan documents or credit agreements. There’s cost and risk associated with the loss of these shipments, which means that reliability is critical. There’s also a need to safeguard sensitive information and prevent package theft during transit or after delivery. For this reason, the ability to accurately estimate delivery times to ensure customer receipt is critical.
Desktop shipping responds to all these needs through “delivery optimization.”
What is Delivery Optimization?
Delivery optimization refers to the systems that allow companies to analyze cost and performance around shipping and delivery. These systems typically optimize for:
Cost: Delivery optimization helps lower cost of shipping, by comparing cost for different modes or carriers, consolidating shipments and routing to reduce cost and establishing company-wide rates and shipping policies.
Performance and Reliability: Delivery optimization helps to increase shipping accuracy, by enabling business processes like address verification to ensure packages arrive in the correct location. It provides the tools to compare reliability and performance across different modes of transport, routing and carriers. It also provides the ability to track more packages on the way to the customer.
Security: For the banking industry in particular, it’s crucial to ensure that shipments reach the right person. Delivery optimization includes denied parties screening to ensure that shipments aren’t delivered to unauthorized people.
Delivery optimization applications like Precision allow banks and financial institutions to lower their shipping spend, while improving their ability to deliver packages to the right person, at the right time.
Even as technology has decreased the time it takes to move shipments, banks and other shippers have continued to struggle to find the right balance between security, reliability and cost. Delivery optimization helps banks and financial services firms find this balance by reducing the costs associated with desktop or “non-production” shipping, while improving the performance and reliability that can enhance customer satisfaction.