Five Delivery Management Tips to Boost Your Deliverables While Cutting Costs

delivery manager working with laptop in a warehouse surrounded by packages
Featured image credit: fatihhoca/iStockphoto.com

Running and managing a delivery business has become harder than ever. The profit margins are thinner, the competition is fiercer, fuel prices are at its peak, and customers are more demanding. The current Corona pandemic has only added to the pressures. You make one mistake or there’s one delay in delivery and a customer will be gone forever.

This is why delivery management is crucial to both survive and thrive in the business. Better delivery management means increased customer lifetime value (LTV), productivity, business reputation, and profits. All that lays the foundation for success for your business.

But, how can you manage your deliveries more efficiently? We share five tips below.

#1 Optimize Your Routes

Well-optimized routes will help your drivers show up on time. So, while planning your routes, you should also factor in traffic, weather, one-ways, sunrise and sunset times, and any other constraint that could affect your deliveries.

You could ask your experienced drivers for their input to find the data you need, such as which areas en route have the highest traffic and when is the peak traffic time.

Collecting the data, identifying and factoring in all the constraints, planning the routes, and then communicating the routes to your drivers: doing all this manually will be exhausting and time-consuming, especially for multi-stop routing. So, it’s better to use a delivery scheduling software to automate the vehicle routing and scheduling, plan accurate routes, and improve dispatch efficiency, without requiring any significant effort from you.

The best part is that such software also helps you allocate the workload to your drivers efficiently. In this way, you don’t lack resources during urgent jobs or have empty vehicles doing rounds, while others are overworked.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

#2 Keep Your Customers in the Loop

Be transparent with your customers. Try to notify them of their delivery statuses whenever the driver is near the customer’s location so that the customers can make themselves available to pick up the parcel.

This will reduce the chances of failed deliveries, improve first-time door opens, and ensure the other scheduled line-ups don’t fall behind schedule.

Calling up a customer to inform him or her of the status may not be appropriate or effective. So, rather use a technology solution to automate the notification process.

For example, Route4Me comes with a customer alerting and notification feature that automatically lets a customer know, through email or text, whenever a delivery is close.

You can decide when you want to notify the customer. For instance, should the notification be sent when the driver is 5 minutes away or 5 km away?

Moreover, Route4Me’s route optimization software offers a unique customer portal feature that allows your customers to track the delivery statuses on their own, using a tracking link or account ID.

#3 Analyze Performance

An analysis is key to identify your area of improvement, boost performance, and reduce expenses. For example, you need to track your fuel costs to identify whether it’s a reasonable expense or something you need to reduce.

You can gather the data from the bills paid (such as slips for the fuel), by asking your drivers, or from a delivery route planner.

You cannot find all the data you need from your bills though, and getting input from your drivers for analysis is not recommended because it will only increase your dependency and you cannot be sure of the accuracy of the data.

Delivery management software can solve all these problems. The best delivery management tools come with a powerful reporting and analytics feature that helps you track all information regarding your delivery operations, such as :

  • Distance (Planned vs. Actual)
  • Stops (Planned vs. Visited)
  • Time (Planned vs. Actual)
  • Routes per Day
  • Average Time On Site vs. Allocated Service Time
  • Stops per Day (Planned vs. Visited)
  • Notes per Day
  • Total gas cost
  • Average trip gas cost

You can also use the data to identify which drivers are performing best and reward them accordingly. This will boost driver morale and improve productivity.

#4 Optimize Your Warehouse

Warehouse optimization is critical if you want to save hours and offer your customers faster and more accurate deliveries. Below are some tips to help you get started:

  • Establish optimal material flow routes.
  • Optimize pick-and-pack routes.
  • Replace barcodes with RFID tags to itemize goods in the warehouse because the tags are simpler to track which makes your shipping process more efficient and reliable.
  • Ensure seamless load distribution so that it doesn’t slow down your drivers.

#5 Monitor the Drivers’ Activities on the Road

Track your drivers to ensure they are following your routes as instructed and not doing anything unnecessary, such as making personal stops, taking naps, slowing down, or slacking off.

It’s not about being a big brother and keeping an eye on your field workers’ every move; rather, it’s about getting ahead of any disruptions before you get caught off-guard.

For example, if a field rep drives aggressively, it could jeopardize his or her safety, and you will eventually have to pay and bear the damage for any mishaps associated with bad driving.

Also, what if a vehicle breaks down in a deserted area? Such a breakdown will not only delay the intended delivery but all the other scheduled deliveries as well.

Tracking your drivers will help you identify and send roadside assistance quickly to get things up and running as quickly as possible.

Monitoring drivers manually may not be feasible though. So, get a delivery management system that comes with a GPS tracker to help you track vehicles in real-time.

Such software also comes with a speed alert that notifies you as soon as a driver violates the speed limit to help you take corrective action before it becomes too late.

So, how do you make your delivery management process foolproof? Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!