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Improving Last-Mile Delivery for Online Purchases

The emergence of the Internet and mobile technology is changing the way we live and shop. From Mexico to Malaysia, online shopping is gaining traction. The rise in millennial spending power is accelerating the pace.

A recent study conducted by Oracle Retail involving 13,250 consumers across 12 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan and the United States, reveals that 40.7 per cent of millennial (ages 18 to 34) shop online at least once a week.

This creates both opportunities as well as challenges for retailers. It is generally accepted that the last mile - the final leg of the e-commerce supply chain – is the most costly and most problematic part of the entire delivery process. Yet getting it right is critical as it will improve the online experience for the customer. The reverse is true when deliveries are delayed.

With increasingly higher expectations, same day or next day delivery for online purchases is now the expected norm in many parts of Asia.

TR 46:2016 – Ground-breaking Standard to Standardise Workflow Processes
The Technical Reference (TR 46:2016) for Last-Mile Delivery – eCommerce Data Interchange can help companies to alleviate some of these challenges. Jointly launched by SPRING Singapore, Singapore Manufacturing Federation Standards Development Organisation (SMF-SDO) and Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in April 2016, it is the world’s first standard for last-mile delivery. TR 46 provides guidelines for companies to adopt a common dataset to boost efficiency by reducing time, minimising errors in the process chain and providing a seamless transactional experience for customers.

“The development of TR 46 is timely, with the increasing need to improve last-mile deliveries. TR 46 will ultimately improve consumers’ online shopping experience through increased logistics efficiency. This will further spur the growth of e-commerce in Singapore,” said Tay Jih-Hsin, SMF-SDO Steering Committee chairman.

The standard was put to the test. Nine companies were involved in the implementation trial. Results were highly promising. By adopting the TR 46, companies were able to reduce their integration cost with new businesses and the integration time in the last- mile process by eliminating the need to invest in and use multiple platforms.

TR 46 also helped to reduce delivery time and delivery errors, providing a seamless exchange of data between e-commerce retailers, third-party logistics service providers and customers. In addition, order processing, inventory and deliveries can be managed using a single system, ensuring efficient tracking of orders and inventory flow transparency.

Gaining a Headstart
Through early adoption Takatack Technologies and Zyllem have gained a competitive edge in the e-commerce market.

E-commerce platform Takatack Technologies found that with the TR 46 it was able to halve the integration time and costs with its logistics providers. This has enabled the company to expand its pool of courier partners and third-party logistics service providers. Zyllem, a Singapore-based provider of same-day delivery service, concurred.

The two companies now provide a platform that offers courier service options to retailers of online store creator and sister site of Takatack, TackThis!.

“Zyllem strongly supports the launch of TR 46:2016 and we are very proud to have been involved from the initial planning stage through to the current trial period. We are delighted to be a part of the push to make Singapore technologically smarter by connecting e-commerce businesses such as TackThis! with the next generation of logistics networks. As we expand and grow, we aim to serve the rapidly growing businesses such as e-commerce and retail in Southeast Asia by applying the standards blueprint to our networks across the region,” said Noam Berda, CEO and co-founder of Zyllem.

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