We’ve all been there. The package you’ve been patiently waiting for (probably no more than two days with how we’ve become accustomed to fast, free shipping) finally arrives, and the contents are damaged. Luckily for you, today’s companies are all about top-notch customer service. Within a few minutes, they’ve processed a refund for your item, and a new one is on its way. In some cases, you might not even have to return the damaged product, saving you that trip to the post office.
In a way, the company is doing exactly what it’s hoping to do: turning you into a loyal and returning customer. And although late delivery is not ideal, you’re typically left feeling pretty positive about the company and the overall experience.
But the question remains– who is eating the cost of that damaged product? Because let’s face it, this isn’t a once in a blue moon event. As per The State of Online Shopper Expectations and Actions study published by PARCEL, 64% of online shoppers have reported receiving a damaged product. And what happens when we’re no longer talking about a one-off shipment, and instead pivot to something valuable? According to Retail Dive, 21% of oversized online purchases arrive damaged each year, with 15% never arriving at all.
So who eats the cost- whether it be a one-off damaged product or an entire pallet worth millions? More often than not, the owner of the supply chain.
And this is just a small percentage of the sunk costs supply chain managers have to deal with each year: from fraud and theft to lost packages, damages, chargebacks, and so on. Each year, companies have billions of dollars worth of goods that go unaccounted for. This, in turn, raises global prices for all.
To add insult to injury, because there’s no way to prove at what point the damage occurred, or who is accountable, the owner has no choice but to absorb those losses.
But it doesn’t have to be this way, thanks to blockchain.
Blockchain technology can show where, when, and how a damaged product came to be. It adds back that crucial visibility necessary to accurately place accountability and allows supply chain managers to analyze data to figure out how to prevent similar instances in the future. Additionally, it provides an immutable record of events, so no one can retroactively make changes. Whatever is on the blockchain is a verified and accurate account of how everything played out.
In actuality, there are so many hands that touch a delivery before it gets to its final destination. Several things could go wrong at any given point, and without visibility, it is nearly impossible to take proactive steps in preventing future occurrences. So get ahead of the curve and look into blockchain for your supply chain.