Running a profitable delivery service comes with its fair share of challenges, but most of these can be mitigated with hard work, some experience, and a bit of technology. One of the first things you need to establish is an optimal route through GPS tracking, which allows your drivers visibility and flexibility. Let’s look at a few other fixes you can make to improve efficiency.
Using software to manage deliveries can free up a lot of time spent calculating the best routes yourself. With high-quality delivery management software, you and your team will keep your customers happy through routine and on-time deliveries, plus you reduce fuel costs and wasted time. This type of delivery service software can be a life-saver during peak periods like Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day, where delivery times are already compromised from an increase in shopping.
At the beginning of each day, check what items need to be delivered by the time your business closes. Local delivery drivers need to plan out their route efficiently if they want to meet all of their stops, so take out a map and start charting your course. It’s best to start at your business and form a complete circle across town to hit more homes in a shorter amount of time.
Unless you’re taking all of your items to a post office (for example, a small used clothing company), you’ll need to create a maximum delivery amount each day. Customers prefer their packages be delivered at the designated time and aren’t as concerned with how long it takes. So, stick to your time windows and meet your daily commitments, or your delivery service reputation will suffer.
Smaller businesses typically have repeat customers. Each of them has their own lives and schedules that prevent them from being home 24/7, but you can still make deliveries if you speak to them ahead of time. You can either ask a customer directly if you’re able to leave a delivery at the door, saving you a second trip, or come by at a time they’re likely to be home.
If you’re not the one making the deliveries, then ask your drivers for input. They will know your customers and their schedule better than you and can recognize problems in their routes. For example, some customers may throw off their delivery times, or traffic congestion could prevent on-time deliveries. Create a delivery service plan around their schedule to complete more deliveries.
As a company owner, you’ll need to wear a lot of hats, but the best one you can wear is the organization cap. Mistakes are going to happen, but you can minimize these errors by prioritizing route optimization. Be sure you don’t overextend your staff, schedule workers that aren’t available or create delivery rules that don’t benefit the drivers or your bottom line.
Flexibility is a great trait to have when planning delivery routes because anything can change at a moment’s notice. For example, you may need to swap routes between vehicles, move deliveries around, or re-optimize route schedules quickly. An online app or software will allow you to make these changes immediately so that you can calculate new costs or times.
We already mentioned the value a delivery management software could bring to your company, but with the advent of computers, phones, and other technology, you hardly require paper. Even delivery notices can be sent to a customer email. If you must use paper for filing purposes, keep it in one location in the office (like a filing cabinet) so it doesn’t cause a lot of clutter.
Delivery service businesses can be great opportunities for the entrepreneur that can be flexible and utilize efficient logistical processes.