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How end-to-end logistics delivers a connected customer journey

November 2021

Most businesses will reach a point when meeting the demands of their customers alongside managing all operational processes can hinder their ability to achieve complete supply chain visibility.

Without transparency of the various logistics processes, it is difficult if not impossible for businesses to predict, identify and pull the necessary levers to fix supply chain events before they impact customer experience, profitability and lifetime customer value.

What is end-to-end logistics?

End-to-end (E2E) logistics is the management of the entire e-commerce customer journey by a third party, on behalf of a retailer, brand or wholesaler. At every touchpoint in the operational and customer journeys, an E2E logistics provider will dedicate a resource to your business, such as warehousing and storage, customer support agents, proactive delivery tracking and inventory control.

What is the difference between supply chain management and logistics management?

While logistics management concerns the flow and storage of finished goods from a supplier through to the organisation and finally its customers, supply chain management is a broader term which is associated with other business processes such as procurement, finance, the sourcing of raw material, manufacturing and logistics processes as part of this.

The supply chain involves the following end-to-end processes:

  • Quality
  • Returns and reverse logistics

How Whistl handles E2E logistics management

  • Logistics (delivery management) - Integrating a range of business carrier services into your business can be time-consuming and often expensive. If your business is sending medium to high parcel volumes, Whistl offers a single collection (regardless of services selected) and single integration with your sales channels.
  • Middle mile and final mile parcel tracking and returns - At Whistl we collect parcels from the retailer, distribute to our network of local hubs and then prepare these parcels for injection into our carrier partners’ networks. This stage of parcel delivery is called the middle mile. 

Throughout the entire parcel journey our team of proactive tracking support specialists monitors each shipment, all the way to the final mile (the end consumer). Throughout these stages customers can (with some carrier partners), be offered a range of in-flight delivery options. Our technology is able to identify potential delivery failures at which point our team steps in to fix them before they impact the consumer. Furthermore, this proactive and predictive approach gives customers and you, the retailer, better visibility of the parcel journey and overall delivery performance.

  • E-commerce fulfilment operations - the process of storing, reworking, managing inventory, picking, packing and distributing fast-moving consumer goods, printed matter, promotional or business to business (B2B) items for sale and resale.
  • Inventory management - the end-to-end warehouse operations process of everything from the importing of finished goods from suppliers, to the storage of your products and optimisation of stock levels, through to the fulfilment and delivery of your products to your customers.
  • Sales and customer service - the process of deploying a third-party organisation to handle all or some of your contact centre and customer service operations.

As such, at Whistl we are uniquely placed to help businesses outsource their logistics and customer service operations while retaining the ability for all of these areas to ‘speak’ to each other. This in turn helps the retailers and brands we serve better focus on the remaining components of the supply chain; procurement, finance and quality assurance.

How end-to-end logistics can deliver a connected product journey:

When all of your logistics processes are working in harmony, this provides your business with greater E2E supply chain visibility, helping your departments better communicate and solve problems before they impact your bottom line.

For example, if an item is selling faster than anticipated and your inventory management software is not communicating this to your procurement function; then, re-ordering of stock is likely to be reactive rather than predictive and proactive, meaning you may risk understocking. 

Moreover, if this same information is not communicated with your sales and customer service departments, they may oversell the soon-to-be out of stock product, and undersell products that are overstocked.

When integrated effectively with your technology infrastructure, end-to-end supply chain operations gives your leadership, along with your operational departments a single source of truth. Orchestration of data allows each node within your operations to communicate quickly so that your business can adapt to often volatile trading environments.

How end-to-end logistics improves the customer experience

Working with a single provider of E2E logistics can improve the customer journey by streamlining all processes and ensuring efficient flow of information between each business function. Having a dedicated outsourced logistics specialist to hand means during peaks in demand you can respond to customer queries and capitalise on sales opportunities. E2E logistics by Whistl incorporates parcel carrier management as well, giving your customers maximum visibility of parcel tracking statuses.

Having a connected customer journey will help you build customer loyalty, retention and maximise lifetime value. Without this end-to-end approach, data silos can form and customer engagement can be missed. E2E gives retailers the ability to detect any issues across the supply chain, build better relationships with suppliers and customers, minimise labour and materials wastage, helping you improve your reputation with consumers and empowering you to meet your Corporate Social Responsibility targets.

How can Whistl help with end-to-end logistics

When looking to outsource your e-commerce logistics and customer service, it’s important to review every stage of the fulfilment journey so that you can make an educated decision. At Whistl, we uniquely provide a wide range of E2E logistics chain solutions to unify your operational business processes to help you deliver the omnichannel customer experience today’s consumers demand.

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