Almost every company will use a third-party service provider for their logistical delivery requirements. From renting a bike courier for small products in cities, to vans for multi-drop deliveries to HGV’s to transport large volumes of goods, businesses are more and more frequently choosing an outsource delivery supplier as a more effective and cost efficient solution to running their own fleet.
This rise in the need for logistical services has increased significantly in recent years as our buying habits have changed and more small/medium businesses are established.
More often, startups and small businesses require delivery services as they do not have a consistent need to have a permanent vehicle. More established and larger companies however, also require delivery services – they have to juggle bulk orders, individual orders, UK wide deliveries, people management, vehicle costs and operational efficiencies.
Indeed, delivery services have become a huge hit, but you should make sure that you are careful in making a decision as to which service provider you choose. Remember, from a customer perspective who you choose, represents you – so it isn’t just about delivery, it’s your company image and reputation at stake too. Choose a partner that prioritises your commitment to customer service, reliability and timeliness. After all, their performance reflects back to you.
In helping you decide which service provider suits you better, below are some of the tips to consider and industry best practises you should look for when choosing a service provider.
A thorough search of their website; checking out policy statements; looking for reviews on Google, Pilot and Clutch; or via industry forums and contacts; will give you lots of understanding about any supplier you have added to your short list.
Safety of the goods is primarily ensured through excellent packaging practice. If the goods are fragile, bubble wraps, Styrofoam and papers are placed around the product to cushion any types of impact. With these as support, the integrity of your goods is ensured thereby maintaining excellent customer service.
Aside from the safety of your goods, attention to the aesthetics and company branding should also be considered. Whilst many delivery services have their own labels affixed to these packaging, you can consider putting your own on the goods. This shows that you pay attention to your branding, customer service and the safety of the product.
Fleet tracking and monitoring
Most delivery service providers have their own fleet tracking and monitoring application usually in Google Store, APK pure or whichever application downloader they use.
This allows the customers to keep track of the status of their parcel and at the same time for the sender to ensure that the goods are delivered. From expected delivery date and time; location; and status, all of these are put in detail in the application.
In many instances, you are even able to view the contact details for the courier driver enabling you to maintain better communication between you and the delivery service provider.
Commitment to the safety of drivers and couriers is important. The majority of delivery service road-related accidents are due to lack of sleep, usually as a result of overtime. With the national shortage of drivers, it is easy to ask existing drivers to work more and more overtime to handle the volume of work delivery businesses have.
Ensuring the health of drivers is tantamount to the company’s commitment to delivering the goods safely and efficiently. Reducing the work hours of drivers to ensure they are active, fresh and can drive safely is a huge consideration. Support companies effectively manage this tend to have better employee relationships, more committed/loyal staff and better customer service records.
Customers are always anxious about their deliveries – think about how many times you have taken the day of work for a delivery that never showed up. Expected arrival times, the quality of the handover and the condition of the package when delivered has an instant correlation to how they view you, your products and your service. Everyone knows you can’t control all eventualities – broken down vehicles, poor weather, staff sickness is a fact of life most people are willing to accomodate. As long as you communicate with them.
As is often the case, if they feel the service is below their expectations, they will let their colleagues know, they may leave a negative feedback review of your product and even post messages on various social media pages. The best way to avoid costly reputational damages is to select the right delivery partner and communicate consistently with the end customer.
If you find yourself in the position of a negative social media review, make sure you answer factually, politely and with a genuine desire to fix the problem the customer faced
Managing Order & Volumes
Part of the overall package of using a delivery service provider is their systems in managing orders. Their systems are reliable and processes established so that iterative tasks are executed even if there is a change of volume of work, change in personnel or process owners. The quality of servic, attention to detail and willingness to share the processes they follow are good tell-tales of the kind of service they can provide.
Tagging and classification
Delivery requests come in every day. From multiple purchases through online stores or a parcel from one company to another, there is just a deluge of items waiting to be delivered. Correctly tagging them through a first-in, first-out basis helps start the management process and ensures that deliveries are made on time. To add to this, properly documenting whether an item is fragile, over sized, contains food/delicate materials and so on is essential in making sure delivery occurs without a hitch. Make sure you are taking the right steps to work with your supplier in sorting this!
Excellent delivery schedule and allocation
Having an excellent schedule allows for the timely distribution of goods. More often than not, the first-in, first-out scheme is applied. While this is the norm and standard, it is equally important to create a schedule that fits with your ability to get the products ready for delivery, your delivery service ability to collect and their ability to deliver customer location in a timely manner.
Proper inventory and warehousing
This is one of the most crucial aspects. Even with capable manpower and an excellent delivery schedule, if your inventory and storage of stock are not working, everything else is useless. Automation is an integral part of ensuring that items are properly stored in warehouses and distribution centres are also an excellent option too.
Why Choose KTALB
With a proven track record of efficiency and reliability when it comes to storing and delivering goods, we have mastered the balance between consistency and reliability providing unparalleled service – anywhere and anytime.
Book a 20-minute consultation with our experts to find out more.