Improve delivery reliability: 5 tips for better performance

Just-in-time logistics, express shipping or overnight transports: Logistics often means meeting tight deadlines and delivering goods to the recipient within specified time windows. Delivery reliability is one of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) for functioning supply chains. Find out how you can calculate - and above all improve - delivery reliability.

Table of Contents:

  1. Definition: Delivery reliability as a key performance indicator
  1. How can delivery reliability be calculated?
  1. Improve delivery reliability: 5 tips for optimization
  1. Optimize delivery reliability with TradeLink
  1. Conclusion: Delivery reliability is a key logistics indicator

Definition: Delivery reliability as a key performance indicator

Logistics should run smoothly at all times - and customers usually only notice when processes do not run as expected and delays occur. Requirements due to megatrends such as e-commerce, Industry 4.0 and digitalization have increased massively. Accordingly, delivery reliability as a quality characteristic directly influences customer satisfaction.  

While express and overnight deliveries used to be the exception, today they have become the perceived standard. Frequently, the value of the delivery reliability achieved is also a fixed component of supplier evaluations.

How can delivery reliability be calculated?

Delivery reliability is one of the central KPIs for functioning and reliable logistics processes. For a calculation and ongoing controlling of delivery reliability, one thing is needed first and foremost: transparent data that is available at all times and prepared according to requirements. Smart tools for delivery reconciliation not only manage the entire transport process, but also make precisely this data available for analyses.  

Formula for delivery reliability

A common way to calculate delivery reliability is to determine the delivery reliability - calculated on a daily or monthly basis. The formula for this is:

Delivery reliability = number of deliveries completed on time / total number of deliveries in the same time period

Improve delivery reliability: 5 tips for optimization

To improve delivery reliability, you can start at various points in your company - from the delivery commitments made by the sales department, for example, to production planning and coordination with external carriers. Here is an overview of five important tips:

1. commit only feasible delivery dates

If you set deadlines that can hardly be met under normal circumstances, you literally score an own goal in terms of delivery reliability. To be able to guarantee exact delivery dates when your customers place their orders, you need maximum transparency across all process steps. To achieve this, you also need to involve sales, production, your own Sites and external transport companies. Always remember: Targets that you meet will increase your customers' satisfaction in the long term. Therefore, always set realistic delivery dates together with the customer.

2. set priorities

Whether personnel, raw materials or supplier products: Resources are in short supply in many areas and should therefore always be distributed intelligently. To make optimum use of capacities, always set consistent priorities. You will only achieve high delivery reliability if time-critical orders consistently enjoy priority in all process steps.

3. optimize your processes

Insufficient coordination internally between company departments or externally with transport service providers often means that processes do not run efficiently. How annoying is it, for example, when an urgent product is ready to be picked up - but the warehouse dispatch date was not precisely scheduled and the pallet is now left standing for two days? In most supply chains, there is still enormous potential for optimization. A dedicated process analysis creates the basis for identifying weak points and improving them in a targeted manner.  

4. better integrate external partners  

Collaborative logistics is the buzzword for clever networking - both internally and externally. Complex supply chains are only stable if all partners are closely integrated. Tip: Use powerful and intuitive tools like TradeLink to improve your inventory management and delivery coordination. Emails, telephone or Excel lists are old-fashioned: digital platforms create the prerequisite for all participants to work together with a high degree of transparency.

5. give realistic goals

A delivery reliability of 100% - every day of the year - is a desirable goal, but not achievable in everyday life. Even a full freeway closure can delay a delivery and thus reduce the value of the delivery reliability. Therefore, set realistic goals for yourself and your external partners. It is advisable to take a differentiated approach, for example by looking at the delivery reliability for express shipments separately from the other deliveries.  

What constitutes good delivery reliability can hardly be said in general terms. The target value to be aimed for depends too much on the respective product, the market segment and the target groups. In e-commerce, for example, 90% is already a very good delivery reliability; in just-in-time production, even 95% is hardly acceptable.

Optimize delivery reliability with TradeLink

Many internal and external partners are involved in functioning supply chains with high delivery reliability. Bring all the players together on one platform. With TradeLink, you have a permanent overview of all processes, can coordinate deliveries and track them in real time. In this way, you are optimally prepared for all challenges - and can continuously improve your delivery reliability. Our experts will be happy to tell you how this works in a personal conversation.

Conclusion: Delivery reliability is a key KPI

The demands on logistics processes are constantly increasing. E-commerce and Industry 4.0 mean that more and more orders are time-critical. The importance of delivery reliability as a KPI and logistics metric has thus increased significantly. Work continuously to achieve your delivery reliability targets - because this has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and future orders.  

TradeLink enables transparency and communication in real time. Thus, you can improve your delivery reliability and become more efficient at the same time. Truck waiting times can be reduced by over 95% - while at the same time achieving sustainable cost savings of up to 30% in incoming and outgoing goods processes and up to 20% higher warehouse capacity.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions about delivery reliability

What is the delivery reliability?

Delivery reliability indicates the percentage of correctly executed orders. Do the desired goods arrive at the right time, neither too early nor too late, in the correct quantity at the right place? Delivery reliability is therefore a key performance indicator for functioning supply chains.

What is good delivery reliability?

Good delivery reliability depends on many factors - such as the target group (B2B or B2C), the respective market segment and the shipping method. Express shipments and overnight shipments, for example, are subject to even higher expectations in terms of delivery reliability.

How can I improve delivery reliability?

Many players are involved in achieving good delivery reliability - both internally and externally. It is therefore crucial to ensure transparent data in real time in the sense of collaborative logistics and to integrate all partners via intuitive platforms such as TradeLink. It is also helpful to prioritize orders.

What is the difference between on-time delivery and on-time delivery?

While on-time delivery "only" measures the actual transport process and on-time delivery at the desired location, on-time delivery goes further. It also includes all internal processes from order processing to production planning and manufacturing to Sites .

Why is on-time delivery important?

Failure to meet delivery dates causes complaints and annoyance. Adherence to delivery dates is therefore an important value in ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. Keeping promises made creates the basis for future orders and thus for successful business development.

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