How often have you heard the statement or any of its derivatives? As overused as they’ve been, there’s a reason for that: oftentimes, they’re very true. Here’s the thing, times are changing fast, so what we do now has an undeniable impact on the future we’re building. So, it makes sense to say that the future is now because it mostly is.
The above applies to everything, including delivery teams, which are going through an exciting (albeit exhausting!) period. While 1. expectations of delivery teams have increased, so have their 2. comfort and daily ease.
Not sure what I’m going on about here? Read on to learn more about the future of delivery teams.
1. Goodbye offices, hello remote work
In the last decade, the prevailing idea of remote work came with the normalization of high-speed internet, Wi-Fi access, and other modern comforts.
However, 2020 did a great job of stirring into action what we had been contemplating as a society for some time — working from home.
And between 2020 and 2021, there was a 6% increase worldwide in companies that provided remote work as a full-time option.
This is happening.
For delivery teams, this means that there’s a good chance they’ll be operating on a hybrid format, if not completely remote. What’s more, according to Pew Research Centre, 61% of workers in the US have a job that can be completed remotely.
However, there’s still likely to be a lot of back and forth.
Critics of remote work cite the problems that research has shown us already, including:
- Difficulty forming connections
- Challenges separating work and home life
- Technical issues
- Distractions at home
However, despite these problems, the shift continues in this direction and, paired with my next point, the next few decades are certainly going to be interesting.
2. Watch out for automation
I understand that for some, automation (and how far it could go with AI) is a terrifying prospect. However, for a lot of us, our jobs aren’t at (immediate) risk, so automation will likely only prove beneficial and improve our delivery team’s efficiency.
All companies should already be looking at the automation of processes such as delivery scheduling and order processing.
Because, unlike 40 years ago, the customer has the power. There’s been a massive shift in the power dynamic as customers are no longer restricted to just a few businesses to choose from.
Depending on the product, they’ve got the entire global market to choose from. And, over 30% of businesses have already automated at least one function. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to look at implementing this into your organization. Automation will go a long way in improving your business’ competitiveness by improving the order-to-delivery rate.
3. Speedy deliveries
If you’ve read my second point, then you’ve already determined a clear cause-and-effect between delivery team trends and speedy deliveries.
Automation is undoubtedly going to help businesses respond to, and complete client projects a lot faster. However, it’s not the only variable, so look out for the following trends that are likely to skyrocket as time goes on:
- Same-day deliveries: I understand that depending on the project, this is likely not going to be possible. However, for many industries, “same-day” output is undoubtedly going to be expected. And for those who don’t adapt to the new reality, a lot of clientele will be lost.
- Flexible schedules but longer availability: How is this related to fast delivery times? Well, delivery teams are going to be expected to be “on call” for work that needs to be completed. And so, while they may have fewer actual working hours, their work will end up extremely variable.
- Outsourcing: If you’ve already got a lot of experience working for organizations, then you’ve likely already seen that this is huge (the global outsourcing market is valued at over 92 billion dollars). Outsourcing will make it possible to get work done quicker and will become a vital component of delivery teams.
While it’s likely that delivery teams, and workers generally, will work shorter hours, we can also anticipate that their productive hours will become more meaningful.
They’ll be expected to work efficiently, given the tools that they have ( (1) outsourced skills, (2) automation, and (2) possibly artificial intelligence).
4. More personalized service
Another result of the consumer-led economy is that businesses will be expected to offer up more personalized services to their clients.
And delivery teams aren’t spared this necessity. Customers will likely expect (1) regular feedback and updates, (2) a go-to person to refer to, and (3) custom-tailored options to match.
71% of customers expect personalized service.
But what does this mean for how you organize your delivery teams?
Well, you’ll need someone who can personally attend to client concerns, ideally someone who is involved in the project closely, and if not, well informed and who gets information from those who are.
That person must also be knowledgeable, and understand the industry. This is so that delays can be negated, and so that client requests can be attended to on the spot.
5. Sustainable practices
Another growing customer expectation is that your business be “green”. 75% of customers in a recent survey responded that they considered product sustainability more important than the brand they selected.
So if your business isn’t already implementing sustainable practices, it ought to. Failure to do so will cause a large portion of customers to select a company that does.
But, how does this affect delivery teams?
Well, product delivery is going to have to be done differently. From partnering with green companies to adopting green practices in the work itself, there’s plenty you can do to spice up the image of your delivery teams.
Staying ahead of the curve
A company that is placid and unchanging doesn’t succeed. It’s more important than ever to remain flexible and adaptable. So, considering how you can implement the above trends into your company will put you in good stead.
But make sure to keep up to date with changes, because there’s plenty more on the way (virtual reality stores, anyone?).