As customers get ever-more demanding about their package-delivery times and available options, the delivery business has improved its services in leaps and bounds.
By using the correct strategy and technology and staying focused on the changing demands of their customers, the delivery companies have become great examples of how to successfully manage a business.
Managing the delivery business: key benefits and challenges
The business of package delivery is an operationally intensive and challenging one. It has also come under increased pressure in recent times because, in our age of “24-hour delivery” and “same-day delivery”, customers have become increasingly demanding.
However, if it were executed properly, it has also become a differentiating factor for a delivery business to attract more customers.
Package delays or failures occur due to various (real-world) reasons and they are often beyond the control of a delivery business.
However, by adopting suitable technologies, and strategies, and hiring the correct teams, you can ensure that you are creating a positive customer experience and generating brand value.
Given below are 10 ways to ensure your delivery business is successful.
1. Adopt the latest technology: Without the use of appropriate technology, you cannot hope to succeed in your delivery business. However, using the correct technology gives you the tools – like real-time tracking and route optimization – that enable you to elevate the efficiency of your delivery operations.
Systems like modern delivery management software, RFID, and barcode usage offer high-quality logistics tools and features.
2. Offer pricing options to clients: A healthy client mix for a delivery business would ensure a robust pipeline of customers and their business. However, this would also require delivery firms to offer different pricing packages on the basis of parcel dimensions, delivery speeds, (etc.). Letting customers choose their preferred option not only empowers them but also lets them choose packages that most help their business.
3. Provide customers with real-time parcel tracking: As we have mentioned several times in various blogs on this space, the modern-day consumer has evolved rapidly in today’s tech-driven world. This, perhaps, is most felt in the Logistics and Distribution industry.
Customers now demand that they be kept in the loop about the progress of their parcel through its entire process. Therefore, a delivery business must use the best last mile delivery software to provide customers with live updates via notifications, URL links, SMS, or emails. Live chat is another way to keep your customers informed.
A holistic benefit of this is that you keep your customers engaged at all points and thereby improve your brand image, which in turn, helps in customer retention.
4. Use packaging as a brand promoter: Don’t forget that, in addition to your delivery agent, the parcel packaging forms a critical “face of your company”. Therefore, you must use this opportunity to create an impact on your customers.
In addition to providing the requisite protection, excellent packaging could become a differentiating factor for your customers to choose you over your competitors.
5. Use packaging that is conducive to logistics: In addition to the appearance of the packaging, you must adopt package dimensions that don’t create logistical problems.
While boxes and packages are available in various shapes and sizes, by adopting a limited and standardized number of shapes/sizes will also simplify delivery operations. This will allow the maximum number of packages to be loaded onto fleet vehicles, thereby helping a delivery business to complete as many parcels as possible within the minimum amount of time.
6. Provide insurance: Parcel deliveries take place out there in the real world, by battling the inclement forces of nature and various other unpredictable ground-level realities. Quite naturally, unplanned outcomes or accidents are part of the reality, then. Therefore, providing insurance cover for parcels gives the customers a certain level of security for their packages – especially when they are high-value – against any such untoward outcomes.
7. Managing the cost-of-delivery: Needless to say, it ultimately boils down to this, very important, metric. Unless delivery businesses manage their delivery costs per order to allow the requisite amount of profit, while retaining a competitive final price point to the end customer, they are likely to fail.
In this business, all parcels are delivered to the client’s doorstep. Cost elements like transportation, fuel consumption, drivers, tolls (etc.) are incurred at every level, both, at the individual vehicle-driver level, as well as the rolled-up aggregated costs at the company level. Modern delivery management systems enable a delivery business to deliver the greatest number of packages at the lowest – but still efficient – cost of operation.
8. Plan for high-low demand: Just like all other industries, the delivery business also has its peaks and valleys. Holiday periods like New Year’s, festival periods (etc.), are some of the most hectic times of the year – everyone shops more, gifts more, and thereby increases the demand for deliveries.
If you don’t plan ahead you will leave your customers deeply disappointed – at a very important time of requirement – and they will unlikely ever return to you again. Similarly, for low-demand periods, you could offer discounted shipping, promotions (etc.)
9. ePOD (electronic-proof-of-delivery): Well, customers often blame the delivery business – unfairly, too – for inefficiencies in paperwork, bills, (etc.). Therefore, to keep matters transparent, a delivery business must use modern tools like ePOD to not only make things faster and more convenient but also to maintain a clear trail of documents. This also helps in audit and tax procedures.
10. Support your drivers: At the end of the day, delivery businesses must pay special attention to the set of workers upon which hinges their entire operation i.e. the ubiquitous vehicle driver!
A driver works long hours on the road in (often) inclement weather conditions, stays away from home for prolonged periods, and, is ultimately responsible for delivering the package. Remember also, that he forms the “face of your company” to the end customer, and thus, fulfills a very important role.
Adopting policies and programs to support them and enable them to put their best foot forward is a must-do for the management of a delivery business. Otherwise, you’ve set yourself up for failure.
Conclusion: As is evident, a delivery business must deploy modern technology like last mile delivery software that has features like advanced data analytics and route optimization, to ensure success.