As Jon Ormond, operations director- hubs and depots at myHermes points out, the peak is changing with the pace of consumers expectations. As he says:
“The extended day delivery is something we’re focusing on. We have brought in 250 additional transit vehicles that operate between the hours of 1am until 6am to meet the next day delivery expectations customers have for their orders.”
Addressing delivery risks
So, while a key strategy for Hermes is to smooth the peak period for merchants, they’re also focusing on mitigating risks that come during the high demand for shopping. Parcel volume last year was 11m in the week following Black Friday and recently the supplier has opened their distribution depot in Hemel Hempstead -a further step to enhancing their network and infrastructure ahead of the peak season.
“There are risks in terms of fundamental breakdowns in the supply chain including the vehicles, the road networks, and times frames. In our main Ruby and Warrington hubs, we have 24/7 engineers and call line stationed within site to respond immediately to mechanical issues. We are also able to track our vehicles’ location, so if they should come into an issue on the road network we can offer alternative routes.”
Personalised approach to meet retailers’ peak season demands
The success of peak season has been driven by extensive analysis of merchants’ businesses. A well-planned pre-peak approach allows Hermes to understand all of the merchants’ nuances and respond appropriately to any variations in sellers’ operations either driven by unexpected delivery volume increases or lost deliveries.
“We spend a lot of time with our clients to study their customers, marketing plan and types of deliveries they plan to apply to design a collection plan that’s tailored for each individual merchant, so they have the right number of vehicles on site. We also ensure that we have daily communication with our fulfilment centres so that we’re in tune with the peak forecasts and if there are any variations we can make immediate changes.”
Enriching merchant performance through the use of data
While having a flexible logistics network has been a key part of Hermes’ strategy, they’re also now working on improving marketplace sellers offering with more customer data insight on hand.
“We’re currently doing the digital transformation of our website at the present moment so small retailers that use Amazon, and eBay marketplaces will be able to have an online account manager. We are helping merchants grow by providing them with customer care expertise, the performance and speed of a delivery service by region.”
The new service, which Hermes promises to launch in the coming months will see merchants taking advantage of more customer and delivery performance data to improve their own customer-centric strategies.