Three lessons that we can apply to our supply chain strategy implementation (spoiler alert: shortcuts won’t work!)

The story of “The Three Little Pigs” is a childhood favorite for many. If you aren’t familiar, three pigs each build three houses of different materials. A Big bad wolf blows down the first two pigs’ houses, made of straw and sticks, but is unable to destroy the third pig’s house, made of bricks. The primary moral messages behind this fable are that taking the time to do things the right way is wise and that shortcuts are often a false economy.

Here are a few lessons we can apply to our supply chain strategy during the implementation process from this childhood tale:

Lesson #1: Supply Chain Implementations: Hard work pays off

The moral of this story is that hard work and dedication pay off. The first two pigs quickly built homes so that they could have more free time to play. Yet, the third pig labored in building his house of bricks. When compared to the other two pigs, the extra energy spent by the third pig paid off in the end.

A new logistics initiative (for example, a plan to include omnichannel fulfillment strategies) requires a large amount of effort, especially during the implementation process. Because it is an extensive and complex project, you can expect to see adjustments within nearly every level of your organization, from integration into every part of your Enterprise Software Stack (ESS) to the best carrier and service options for your geographical market. Putting in the effort early on to understand all facets of how this change will affect your business will facilitate a better overall Customer Experience (CX) that feels personalized and results in repeat purchases and increased customer loyalty. [Learn more about Ship-from-Store Implementation Best Practices]

Lesson #2: Shortcuts come with a lot of risk

The first two pigs constructed houses of straw and sticks. While they finished quickly and had more free time, their houses could not stand up to the huffs and puffs of the big bad wolf. They ended up forfeiting their homes and, in some gruesome versions, their very lives.

While it may be easy to say, “let’s just bypass this whole section and jump to the end,” it isn’t always the wisest choice. Taking a shortcut, whether this is a cheaper solution or a rushed approach through the process, can affect your company in a variety of ways. If your approach is too focused on just the short-term, it could include too much scope too fast – only to justify a faster ROI. This rapid method creates a disproportionate amount of business risk for the brand. In the end, the project is not set up for success and the ROI takes much longer to reach. A quick implementation must balance speed with careful risk mitigation and testing. All in all, make sure your parcel shipping strategy and the technologies you’ve chosen to support it, can withstand an epic peak season, aka, the Big Bad Wolf. [Discover the simplicity in the transition to ProShip Shipping Software]

Lesson #3: Plan Strategically – Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best

While all three pigs did create a plan, most of their plans clearly were not designed with the long-term in mind. The first two pigs did not anticipate the big bad wolf because they were too focused on the “now”.  The third little pig, on the other hand, considered building materials and was prepared for the unexpected. The third little pig did some planning and built a house that could withstand whatever the future brought, including a big bad wolf.

One of the keys for success when implementing a new supply chain initiative is to develop and maintain a schedule that is both realistic and meaningful. Preparation starts with having a plan in place and understanding the timeline of that plan. Peak season comes every year, whether you have planned for it or not and it is proven that those who are prepared, will see more supply chain success than those who have not. Brands who were prepared for the increased e-commerce that the pandemic brought didn’t struggle like those who wrestled with the gaps now visible in their supply chain. [Explore how ProShip delivered on flexibility for Ulta Beauty]

Many brands found full transparency into the whole supply chain a vital part of delivering on a positive CX. With visibility a priority to so many companies still today, including a transportation Business Intelligence (BI) solution into the early planning and implementation process will lead to a higher efficiency and cost savings in the long run. [Keep Reading Transportation Business Intelligence Optimization: A Welcome Sight]

The End? Not yet – how ProShip can help

These fictional characters can teach a lot about life and their choices reflect their outlook on the world. These lessons are practical and can be found throughout history. Curiously enough, all these lessons were probably taught to you at a young age, so you’ve had time to put them in practice throughout your life.

Supply chain implementations offer another opportunity to apply these lessons. Having an elite multi-carrier shipping solution in place (start planning now!) will offer a long-term value that is far more critical than cost, sharpening the focus on the most important supply chain solution values: flexibility, reliability, and quality. Cheaper solutions may not necessarily have the reputation and reliability of a more well-established and parcel-focused vendor, and the first ones to notice will be your customers. With advanced functionality options like simplified carrier diversification, advanced rate shopping, and innovative technology from on-premise carrier engines, your new supply chain logistics solution will offer tangible and trackable benefits including faster shipment processing times, enhanced documentation, and an expert services and support team.

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Thinking about adding the industry’s most powerful multi-carrier shipping software solution to your enterprise tech stack? Don’t wait! Schedule a discovery call with our shipping experts to learn how ProShip can save upwards of 30% on shipping costs for your business.