4 Keys to Running a Local Delivery Business
Running a delivery business is a fulfilling job. You are often doing vital work to help keep businesses running or families safe and comfortable. The work also comes with exciting logistics challenges and some great customer stories.
If you are in the delivery business, chances are you have seen more than a few hectic days. Those are the days when it becomes difficult to juggle drivers, guide dispatchers on necessary delivery details, and answer client calls, often all at the same time. This chaotic day-to-day firefight can be exciting, but it also keeps you away from thinking strategically about your business.
By following the next 4 fundamental guidelines, you will run a better organized and more profitable business.
1. Ensure you’re Equipped with a Robust System to Streamline Delivery Operations
Your work can be extremely overwhelming, and your business could suffer if the right systems aren’t in place. Lines of communication can get crossed, and if you are spending too much time working on the wrong things, you could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a delivery business, you can flourish by applying the right operational strategies.
|Coordinating customer requests simultaneously as overseeing driver dispatching is where many delivery company managers hit a roadblock in business growth. It would be best to implement delivery automation software that lets you track deliveries, view driver schedules, and dispatch new jobs to drivers all in one place.|
By doing so, you will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software can automate your accounting chores and facilitate customer payments, you can avoid hours of chasing down past-due invoices and create better cash flow.
Picking the Right Software
We encourage you to select software with web and mobile apps where customers can enter orders themselves. You will reduce or eliminate call center errors, reduce staffing, and accelerate the entire delivery management process.
|Having a central software hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility you need to take on new work. You ensure nobody has to turn down new jobs because of delayed responses or scheduling issues. Call center personnel, dispatchers, and drivers are more efficient and have more time to take on new tasks.|
To do this right, you need to think about the impacts of your delivery issues such as penalties or write-offs for missed or late deliveries and choose software that optimizes delivery schedules. Using optimized auto-dispatch software does not hurt your exiting delivery routes. Better, it frees up time for your team to take on more emergency deliveries. The right software enables you to provide accurate information and a full view of your driver workloads.
2. Getting your Pricing Right
As a delivery business owner, you need to ensure your pricing reflects the service level for which you are committing and the going market rate against which you are competing. Knowing the competition’s pricing and service levels is essential as is your cost base so that you can accurately set and maintain profitability goals.
|Setting prices higher can be advantageous if you can show your unique benefits and advantages to customers. Most people want attentive drivers and on-time deliveries. The goal is to be able to charge a premium based on differentiating factors that justify the higher rates without turning them away.|
Additionally, you must make sure all expenses are covered. When pricing services, you need to build a file of overhead costs and determine the percentage of profit you want to keep.
Varied Pricing Per Customer
Different delivery jobs require unique features, so your prices should reflect that. For instance, you might charge less for eCommerce B2C clients than B2B customers based on the ability to collect a tip through the driver mobile application. These minor adjustments will ensure that you and your drivers make the profit that the work deserves, and customers are satisfied by the pricing arrangement.
|Feedback is also critical for repeat business. The ability to survey your customers regularly, and knowing what is making you lose customers, be it because of pricing or quality of service, is essential. Pricing shouldn’t be static, and the software you use should make it easy to fine-tune. It would help if you made regular adjustments where it makes sense.|
3. Ensuring Exceptional Customer Service
It’s essential to set up systems and expectations for drivers to follow right out of the gate.
With business growth also comes customer growth, and when drivers physically enter into homes or offices, services must be of the highest quality. It’s essential to set up systems and expectations for your drivers to follow right out of the gate.
|Helping drivers do their best work from an operational and customer service perspective by establishing easy to deploy step-by-step guidelines for customer and company expectations is the key. Your software should make it easy for you to enforce these workflow steps.|
Open Lines of Communication
|Besides ensuring that your drivers keep a clean vehicle and respect their dress code, maintaining open communication lines with customers should be a top priority for your business. This can be as simple as answering the phone quickly and dispatching a driver as soon as possible.|
Customers often come from positions of stress due to the urgency of the required delivery, so having a quick response time is a crucial differentiator between good and bad service. The right solution for this is to evolve into automating vital communications that provide event-triggered tracking messages. How you interact with your customers is a crucial indicator of how your company operates, so you need to ensure that you have the best customer service practices.
4. Never Take Valuable Employees for Granted
While it sounds simple, your delivery business needs reliable employees to operate and scale so that your competition does not swoop in and scoop up drivers or dispatchers who don’t feel valued. As your business ramps up, it’s easy to forget that repeatedly dispatching drivers to deliveries that are only marginally profitable to them, or letting those who complain the loudest get the best runs, is counter-productive in the longer term.
|If drivers are doing their job but don’t feel like they are being treated fairly, they are not going to be happy. Your drivers will appreciate knowing that their assignments are a function of your system’s use of math, logic, and time sensitivity to execute accurate performance-based delivery stop sequences rather than human bias.|
Employee Retention and Loyalty
|An essential element in building a top-performing team is employee retention and loyalty. It would help if you focused on creating a great work atmosphere and keeping a pulse on what’s happening with the team. Reporting and analytics can give you the business data, but don’t forget to spend time with your people and ask them how they are doing once in a while. Appreciation goes a long way.|
Incorporating Software Solutions and Automating Tasks
Developing a highly-successful delivery company is easier if you know what systems and processes to implement to manage operations better.
It’s easier to grow your business when you adopt strategies that incorporate software solutions like Dispatch Science to streamline operations, automate dispatching and accounting tasks, enable drivers, and improve customer communications.
You should set-up up a robust delivery management system, know your market, keep customer service a top priority, and not let great team members slip away. Together, these strategies will work to help maximize the growth of your delivery business.