Why Visual Design Matters In The Modern Supply Chain

We all know Domino’s pizza tracker. In the midst of the 2008 recession, Domino’s Pizza stock prices hit an all-time low of $2.83/share. Domino’s realized that the key to improving their brand was transparency. Not only did they improve the product with better quality ingredients, but used their pizza tracker as a visual representation of their brand: transparent, customer-friendly, and communicative. As a result, today, they are up to $293.54/share.

Domino's Tracker

“The idea of being honest and open is something all consumers want whether they use our pizza tracker or not.” – Russell Weiner, CMO, Domino’s Pizza

The retail industry is no different: As the last mile becomes more intertwined with retail success, the shipping experience is now an extension of the brand, and often is the first moment a customer interacts with the brand’s product. According to our annual survey, 98% of shoppers say that shipping has an impact on their brand loyalty. But even as eCommerce continues to grow, it’s still difficult for many retailers to get accurate last mile data to and from their shoppers in an efficient way. Retailers often use a variety of different systems to manage their last mile data, and these systems don’t talk to one another. 

Experience Design (UX/UI) is the pivotal piece that makes this easier: The Convey platform is designed to bring all of those systems together, inspiring internal retail efficiency and customer loyalty. A few design principles inspire our team to help retail supply chain, customer service, eCommerce, and customer care leaders use our product in a way that is efficient for them. 

Disparate Data Is Dead — Long Live Connected Last Mile Supply Chain Visibility

The shipping industry and enterprise design have been neglected for far too long — there is plenty of room for innovation in User Experience (UX) design in the last mile. Between Order Management Systems (OMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM), Supply Chain Management systems, spreadsheets, email, and phone calls, there are a lot of different pieces of the puzzle for retail teams to connect. It has become significantly difficult to get these systems to talk to each other. Even more frustrating is working within a team and dividing this work. Convey provides amazing potential in gathering data from across multiple sources and offers supply chain visibility — real-time updates on the health of your shipping network. 

Our goal is to help teams solve shipping related issues without having to swivel chair and open a million tabs to get the information they need. By normalizing data, grouping related information, and eliminating duplicates, it becomes much easier to diagnose the health of every shipment and take action.

Shipment details

Here is a sneak peek of the new Shipment Details page that consolidates all activity on a shipment in one easy-to-scan timeline. Retailers no longer have to look across multiple timelines, tabs, and pages to get an understanding of when delivery issues happened and how to resolve them.

Assess Health Across The Shipping Network Through Supply Chain AI

By providing relevant data, we want to make it clear what our retailers can do to get ahead of problems in their shipping networks. With the volume of shipments that our customers are dealing with, it’s impossible to know the pulse of every single package and also find trends across the full network. We help to show our users when things are out of the norm. 

Shipping network insights
Surfacing and using Insights should be intuitive from a design standpoint — as an example, here is our Predicted To Miss EDD Insight Page, an out-of-the-box report from our new product, Convey Discover. 

In addition to providing advanced reporting to show customers how carriers did in the past, our product leverages supply chain AI to predict how deliveries will perform in the future. Our new product, Discover, uses machine learning to alert customers to potential issues such as Predicted to Miss EDD — 33 hours before carriers report them. This allows retailers to get ahead of potential problems — such as weather delays from major storms or issues resulted from a missed pick-up at a warehouse facility — and reset expectations with the end consumer.

Increase Supply Chain and Customer Care Efficiency Through Design

The goal of design is not to make it look pretty, but rather better understand the needs of the user and how to make them more efficient. In addition to signaling what matters amongst all the noise, we also want to streamline workflows and increase supply chain productivity. 

Pictured: Brandon Clark, Convey’s Front-End Engineer, provides input on early design concepts.
Pictured: Brandon Clark, Convey’s Front-End Engineer, provides input on early design concepts.

There are patterns that we can follow that allow our power users to work smarter and faster. Our interface must be functional. This means eliminating unnecessary decoration, using a typeface that is easily scannable, and being smart about color. 

We can use saved views in workflows so that users can easily and quickly get to the data they need and take action. We can allow for bulk operations so that our users aren’t having to do repeat tasks over and over. And finally, we can provide automation once our users trust that the data is correct and eliminate some of the manual work for them.

Business Is Personal: Flex Brand Personality and Strategic Priorities

There is no one way to ship, but the basic goals are the same. Each brand needs the ability to differentiate and flex their personality. The shipping experience should be an extension of our retailer’s brand, and any messages that are sent on behalf of the retailer should be in the same voice, tone, and visual style of the brand. 

Through Case Management, brands can understand how issues impact their teams, and have the means to prioritize and work with third-parties to resolve them within our Delivery Experience Management Platform.

Likewise, we know how important it is for customer care and supply chain teams to be able to prioritize bottlenecks such as stalled shipment exceptions, WISMO calls, and other issues as they impact the business. This is why we show a high-level view into issues that matter, and we help our teams decide how to use the data to their competitive advantage. 

Smarter Recommendations To Make The Retail Workday Easier

Just like with the pizza tracker, Convey’s goal is to provide our users with the information they need to give transparent updates to the end-consumer, in a way that boosts trust. This means that we need to provide the right information when it matters. 

By understanding our users’ pain points and how to make them more efficient, there’s a potential to save them millions of dollars while also making their day more delightful. Rather than adding another piece of mundane software, or tab, to our users’ desktops, our team at Convey hopes our software can provide a breath of fresh air in our users’ days. We’re pulling in incredible amounts of data, but working to present it in a way that is understandable and allows retailers to make smart recommendations as fast as they can.