Customers always have great expectations when it comes to delivery. Now of instant deliveries and faster responses, delays and uncertainties are a huge turnoff for customers and can lead to them opting for your competitor with just one bad experience. Besides, giants like Amazon offering the same-day delivery puts pressure on smaller players to up their game to stay in the game.
Statista says that 9-10% of customers want same-day delivery while 18-40% are comfortable with the next day delivery. This, of course, varies with the product and distance. However, the faster you can deliver, the more efficient you can be, the more orders you can take up, and your net revenue increases. There’s no better argument for this rather than simply saying ‘faster means better’ in this domain.
Then there is also the factor of quality. It denotes both the experience of the customer and the security and safety of the delivery. You should be able to keep the customer in the loop and assure them their delivery is on the way. ETAs should be kept, and concerns should be answered. You should also be able to ensure the safety of the delivery package to make the customer happy.
So, considering all these, how does a delivery business like your function? Does it hold up to the standards of expectation of the customer or does it struggle to keep up? Answering this question may help you understand the weak points and inefficiencies in your operations and improve upon them. Let’s look at some proven strategies and tips to make your delivery business more efficient and thus, profitable.
How to make the delivery business more efficient?
72.5% of customers blatantly state that a poor delivery experience will make them recommend another retailer or delivery partner. So, there’s no room for doubt when it comes to making a delivery business more efficient and profitable.
However, how you achieve that is the question. There are several KPIs, Key Performance Indicators, that you can rely on to ensure the efficiency moves upwards with each package delivered. You can use those to understand the shortfalls and optimise them to enhance the whole experience for both you and your customer.
1. Streamline processes and roles
While establishing procedures and managing processes, you should have a clear grasp of how things will play out in the everyday schedule. Assigns tasks and follows up on those for every person in the chain of delivery and ensures that line is never broken.
Instead of anyone available taking up the empty slot at any point in time, make sure you have a responsible individual or team to carry out a specific task. This doesn’t just apply to delivery but it’s relevant from the moment you take up the order.
It’s better if the planning and paperwork are done by someone who doesn’t have to walk around and do stuff on their feet. It reduces productivity and takes longer for each task to complete. Therefore, you need proper planning and established roles for each team member.
The same goes for the actions also. Define clear steps from the start to finish, from when the order comes in till the delivery is finished. Confusions in these areas lead to unnecessary detours and wastage of time and resources that can otherwise be utilised to be more productive.
2. Route planning and management
A major part of any delivery business is “delivery”. So, it all comes down to how efficient you can make that out to be. Use experience from delivery agents and planning tools like route optimization & scheduling software, delivery business software, etc. to ensure each package is assigned to the right vehicle and ensure there are no route crossovers or delays in dropping off the delivery at the destination.
Consider the number of stops, the time it takes to reach each stop, the shortest paths to each stop, etc. This will help you make the delivery more efficient and reduce wastages like delivery agents arriving at the same spot around the same time for different deliveries while it could’ve been done by just one of them.
It also helps to increase revenue by saving fuel and vehicle costs along with saving time, which itself is a highly valuable commodity, especially in this domain.
3. Delivery tracking and insights
You can’t expect to hand over the delivery package to your agents and give them the destination and expect it to be smooth sailing from there onwards. Like any business, the delivery business also thrives on data.
So, make use of technologies like GPS Trackers to learn where the bulk of your orders is coming from, which time of the day are you most busy, which routes are your drivers taking, how fast is each delivery being delivered, break times, etc.
You can make your business much more efficient and profitable using the data from such GPS Trackers that precisely pinpoint the location of each vehicle at any point in time along with providing route history for the past days.
Once you start using them, you’ll be surprised to learn how much you can learn about your operations from a single dashboard. It’s a goldmine of invaluable data that you can use to turn profits.
4. Fleet productivity
While planning and collecting data from tools like GPS Trackers, learn about the productivity of your delivery agents and drivers. You can also ask them directly or hand them questionnaires to understand their problems and suggestions.
Learn about their break timings, delays happening at drop-offs, lunch breaks, traffic bottlenecks, etc. These insights can help you plan more efficiently and assign deliveries more productively making your business profitable and employees happier.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making every delivery business in the world better. So, it all comes down to finding the inefficiencies in your business and addressing them. Your business strategies and operations are unique to you which is why you can use these tips to come up with your own solutions.
However, tools like fleet management software and GPS Trackers can help you in the long run. So, consider investing in them because efficiency is not just about immediate profits but also about ensuring that your business grows for the long term.