Why On-Time Delivery Is Important for Your Business

Shot of a businesswoman checking on-time delivery
Featured image credit: PeopleImages/iStockphoto.com

What is the importance of on-time delivery?

Simply put, no one likes to wait anymore.

People have become impatient. The sweet anticipation of waiting for a package from an online shopping spree to arrive has lost its charm.

Even a few years ago, it was still considered normal to wait for seven to 10 business days for an online order to arrive, but, thanks to technology, same-day, and next-day delivery have become commonplace.

So, people want faster services now and are even ready to pay more for them.

According to a study, 80% of online shoppers in the US want same-day shipping options.

The deadly pandemic has made on-time deliveries more important. This is because people now shop differently, with American consumers preferring to buy online to stay safe.

If you do not exceed your customers’ expectations by delivering their orders on time, you’ll dig a grave for your last-mile delivery business.

Here’s how this costly mistake can cost you:

  • Bad Customer Reviews

Remember, customers can always take their business elsewhere. If they don’t receive their deliveries on time, they’ll go to your competitors.

Worse still, they might leave your business a bad review online. Even one bad review can tarnish your reputation and lose you valuable business.

According to a report, 40% of consumers read just one to three reviews before forming an opinion, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation.

So, people no longer ask their friends and families for recommendations. Instead, they go online and use search engines to find reviews.

Don’t compromise on a huge customer base by taking your on-time delivery performance for granted.


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!

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  • Lose Loyal Customers

You must already know how valuable a loyal customer is. They’ll repeat their orders as well as bring in new ones through referrals.

If you keep your existing customers happy, they’ll recommend your services to all their friends and families. Such word-of-mouth marketing is essential for businesses.

In fact, according to the statistics shared by the Wharton School of Business, the lifetime value of a new customer who comes through referral is 16% more than a customer earned without one.

In addition, a study by Oracle shows that 86% of consumers are even willing to pay more for a good experience.

ALSO READ: 5 Tips for Taking Customer Experience to the New Level

So, just by keeping your promise of on-time delivery, you’ll gain so much more than just a single happy customer.

You’ll get loyalty, referrals to more customers, and maybe even good online reviews.

Even if your charges are higher than your competitors, you can rest assured that your customers will not move away.

  • Loss of Valuable Bulk Business

A survey revealed that 59% of US companies felt that last-mile delivery is the most inefficient process in the entire supply chain.

While it is true that complex route mapping, customized services like delivering orders at a particular time, and other factors, such as the weather, make perfecting last-mile delivery a challenge, your end customers are unlikely to understand these factors if you can’t provide on-time delivery.

Also, your suppliers will cut ties with you if you’re a last-mile delivery partner and they receive bad reviews or complaints from their customers because you couldn’t provide on-time delivery.

They will move away and take their business to your competitors. You wouldn’t want that!

Becoming the delivery partner with a supplier is a huge deal because they provide regular bulk business, but if they go down because of you, you will lose out on this continuous flow of business.

Your reputation will suffer too and you’ll have a hard time making other suppliers trust you again.

ALSO READ: How to Maximize a Positive Delivery Experience for Your Customers in 2021

  • Expenses Will Shoot Up

If your drivers can’t make deliveries on time, then they’ll have to make up the difference somehow to make all the deliveries.

For example, the drivers might speed which puts them at risk of causing road mishaps.

That would not be good for your business or your drivers as you’ll need to pay a hefty amount in repairs, medical expenses, and legal costs. Such expenses could ruin your business.

Also, if your drivers don’t make deliveries on time, then customers might not be available to collect the packages.

So, your drivers will then need to make another round to make the same delivery which will affect the other deliveries too.

It will also increase your fuel expenses as well as other driver and associated expenses.

ALSO READ: Top 7 Must-Know Strategies for Reducing Fuel Costs

Moreover, if your drivers continuously can’t make deliveries on time, then you’ll have to hire additional drivers and buy new vehicles to complete all the deliveries.

This will be more evident when there’s a lot of deliveries to be made, especially during the holidays or festive season. It will ultimately damage your pocket and lower your profit margin.

You can’t even take up more delivery orders which means you’ll lose out on additional earning opportunities.

How to Achieve On-time Delivery?

With the right on-time delivery improvement plan and by using available technology solutions, such as a commercial vehicle route planner, you can reduce the pressure on your drivers and make sure that they show up on time. Read on to find out how.

Reduce Wait Time and Failed Deliveries

Waiting time at customer locations can jeopardize your entire process. If a driver waits for even a couple of minutes, it will mess up his or her other scheduled deliveries.

This makes it more difficult to offer on-time delivery service, especially now that the driver has to make more deliveries than ever.

Failed deliveries can be even more costly.

A single failed delivery will impact your other deliveries and will increase your expenses in terms of time and distance traveled as your driver will have to make another round to deliver the parcel.

Last-mile delivery costs will further skyrocket if you deliver goods that need specialized handling, treatment, and security, such as those requiring refrigeration.

Such goods fall into the attended delivery category, comprising the largest number of delivery attempts.

So, try incorporating practices or use tools that will ensure that your drivers don’t need to wait or engage in lengthy paperwork.

For example, Route4Me’s route planner offers a customer alerting and notification feature that notifies your customers whenever their packages are out for delivery or nearby.

In this way, your customers will be available to pick up their packages and your drivers won’t need to wait when they arrive at customer locations.

Individually, it might not look like such a feature will make a big difference. However, if you combine the entire delivery period for the day, you will find that such waiting times are a silent killer. Remember, even a couple of seconds or minutes of wait time can delay your drivers’ other scheduled deliveries and mess up your entire plan.


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!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

Keep Your Drivers Happy

To make an on-time delivery, you need to depend on your driver. So, you should ideally try to ensure that your drivers are happy and giving their best on the road.

If the drivers are unhappy, they won’t put in that extra bit of effort that can mean the difference between whether you can achieve on-time product delivery every time or not.

To keep your drivers engaged and happy, involve them in important discussions. They will then be more productive, be more accurate in their work functions, stay in their jobs longer, and treat customers better.

It is surprising how often delivery companies think of their drivers as separate entities, not involving them in decision making.

There is a lot of information as the following that can impact whether delivery is made on time that fleet managers don’t know and their drivers don’t bring up with them.

  • Type of vehicles you need to buy
  • Which route optimization software makes their job easier and they like the most
  • What the traffic coefficients should be in different parts of town on different days of the week
  • Type of rugged devices they are most comfortable with
  • Which tires and/or pressure feel most comfortable or safest
  • Areas or parts of town they would like to avoid 
  • Typical battery life duration and different types of mounts/charger speeds
  • Locations of dangerous intersections or schools to minimize high-risk driving

Moreover, losing a good driver means increased costs, including hiring and training costs and the time spent doing that.

So, keeping your drivers on staff is crucial, especially in these tough times. To ensure this, you can offer incentive and reward programs.

You can use Route4Me’s delivery scheduling software, which often comes with a reporting and analytics feature, to track on-time delivery performance. You can then recognize those drivers who keep to the on-time delivery benchmark.

If your drivers are rewarded, they will be motivated to keep up the good work.

Even just providing free WI-FI, directing them to truck-friendly restaurants, giving gift cards, and allowing them to take breaks in safe and standard motels can work towards ensuring the happiness of your drivers.

Using the analytics feature, you can also promote the top performing drivers to the next level.

Learn why you should promote your drivers and 5 easy ways to get your drivers motivated and excited.

You can also have a dynamic driver training program in place to train the under-performing drivers to help them rise up the ladder next time.

When your drivers see that you are committed to their growth, they will do the extra effort to make deliveries on time.

Here are four delivery driver training tips to elevate your drivers’ skills today.

Optimize Your Delivery Process and Increase Visibility

If you pay extra to hire drivers and buy vehicles, then offering an on-time delivery service won’t make sense.

So, not only do you need to offer on-time delivery, you need to do so with fewer vehicles and resources. That is only possible when you plan efficient routes for your drivers.

ALSO READ: How a Delivery Route Planner Can Help You Complete More Deliveries with Fewer Vehicles

Manually planning routes, using pen and paper, Apple Maps, or Google Maps may not be the best option. There are too many variables at play that can affect on-time delivery.

ALSO READ: Is Google Maps Route Planner Right for Your Delivery Business?

You need to use a delivery route planner like Route4Me to plan well-optimized routes with the best directions to work for your delivery drivers, while factoring in multiple parameters, such as traffic, weather, sunrise and sunset times, left turns, one-ways, loading, weight, and height.

Our software takes just 30 seconds for vehicle routing and scheduling so you don’t need to spend productive hours.

Learn how to plan a route with multiple stops in 30 seconds.

In addition, the Route4Me map route planner comes with a re-optimization feature that helps you reroute an affected route due to a breakdown or any other unanticipated events and still make deliveries on time.

Also, Route4Me comes with a GPS tracking feature that helps you monitor your drivers and vehicles on a map in real-time. This helps you provide an accurate estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) to your customers.

On-time delivery measurement also becomes easy with GPS on-time delivery metrics.


While these are three primary ways you can make your on-time delivery service world class, below are a couple other best practices you can implement:

  • Invest in local warehouses in multiple locations to lessen the delivery time.
  • Maintain realistic delivery service deadlines and follow these aggressively.
  • Build strong relationships with your suppliers or carrier partners.
  • Analyze your past production demand and delivery history to predict future requirements so that you can stock up accordingly.
  • Maintain accurate raw material inventories.

Remember, for business growth, it is imperative that delivery companies support their drivers with the right strategies and accurate decision-making to make on-time delivery possible every time.

Technology is available, but you need to embrace the right technology solutions such as route optimization software to see the benefits in no time.

So, are you still wondering how to achieve on-time delivery? Do you have any questions about on time delivery? 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!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.