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Archive for the ‘Courier Services’ Category

The Role of a Good Courier Service in Dropshipping Business

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Dropshipping might be the next big thing in the world of entrepreneurship. What’s so great about it is that it allows you to turn your idea into reality without leaving your home. Everything is done over the internet, starting with the creation of the product. You also get to sell the product online, as well as organize its delivery to the buyer.

Becoming a dropshipping retailer means owning a virtual store rather than a real one. Instead of coming to your brick-and-mortar store to take a look of the products you offer, potential buyers will check them out on your website. And if they decide to buy an item you sell, you won’t be the one who sends it to them. That role is taken care of by the wholesaler/manufacturer, who will ship the item straight to the buyer without using you as the ‘middleman’.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you’re not in charge of anything. Apart from promoting the products to the potential buyers, your job is also to ensure all other processes are done the right way, parcel delivery included. The fact that you won’t physically deal with parcel delivery does not mean you don’t get any say in it. Actually, you do get your say as the dropshipping retailer is the one who gets to decide which courier service to do business with.

The Importance of Courier Service in Dropshipping

Sure, you can let the buyer, or even the wholesaler, to decide how the items will get shipped. Still, for the sake of your business, it is better to take the matters in your own hands. After all, shipping is an important part of the dropshipping business.

In this day and age, you can buy almost anything on the internet. There are literally thousands of online stores out there, meaning that the competition is fierce. In order to succeed in this type of business, you need to do all in your power to keep the customers satisfied. And you can bet they’re not gonna be satisfied if their package gets lost, damaged, or takes much longer to arrive than expected.

If a courier service makes a mistake, the buyers are probably not going to blame them, but you. In order not to lose your customers due to the mistakes of others, you need to find a good courier company. But, what are the things that make a courier company good?

Reliability

If an item is going to be shipped from another part of the world, let’s say China, the wholesaler probably won’t be willing to risk anything. Instead, they’ll insist on getting paid in advance. That means that either you or the customer is going to have to pay for it before the item gets on its way. And because of that, not receiving the package (or getting a damaged item) is going to mean loss of money.

To reduce the risk of such a scenario, the best thing you can do is find a reliable courier company, even if that meant paying more for the service or waiting a little bit longer for the delivery. 

Delivery time

When you buy something online, you want it to get to your address as soon as possible. The problem is that it takes time to ship items from another part of the world. Unfortunately, for some customers, a long delivery time can be a deal-breaker. However, what’s even worse is not getting a parcel at the expected time. And that’s exactly what’s likely to happen if you put your trust into an unreliable shipping company.

If the delivery time they offer seems too good to be true, it’s because it probably isn’t. The fact is that it takes about 3 weeks for a package to arrive from China to Europe if sent by sea freight. It’s much faster if air freight is used, but it’s also much more expensive.

Price

Speaking of shipping price, this is another big deal-breaker for your customers. You can try to solve it by letting them decide on the shipping method, but as we’ve already mentioned, this would increase the risk of the parcel not arriving at time, or not arriving at all.

The second option is to pick the best-possible shipping option, but that would increase the cost of the item and that could make the customer decide to give up on it. Sure, you can cover the shipping fees on your own, but that would greatly reduce your profits. So, what are you supposed to do?

Finding some middle-ground is what you got to do, based on the distance between the wholesaler and the customers, the value of the items, and many other factors. 

Coverage

A big factor in deciding which shipping company to use is their coverage. You need to pick it according to the location of the wholesaler, as well as the location of most of your customers. There really is not point in offering a worldwide delivery (and paying more for it) if 99% of your customers are from the UK, for example.

Parcel tracking

For low-value shipping, some shipping companies don’t offer parcel tracing. And this increases the risk of the package getting lost. With no parcel tracking option, neither you, nor the buyer, nor even the wholesaler will know where the item is.

Returns

If the buyer isn’t pleased with the product for whatever reason and wishes to return it, who pays the shipping fees? You, the buyer, or the shipping company? Problems do happen in the dropshipping business and you need to have a solution ready.

Finding the Perfect Shipping Company

These are the things you need to take into account, as they can affect your dropshipping business significantly. A poor shipping company can tear your customers away from you. A good one, will keep them by your side.

But, the question is are you prepared to give up a little bit of profit in order to ensure your customers get their items in flawless condition, within the expected time frame? Finding the perfect balance between user satisfaction and your profits is of utmost importance here.

Delivery Bots: Is This the Future of Parcel Delivery?

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

It’s fair to say that most of us have had some problems with parcel delivery. Whether the problem was the parcel arriving late or not arriving at all, these kinds of scenarios can be pretty stressful. The good news is that such things are expected to become a part of the past. Future does seem bright in the parcel delivery universe.

Sure, it’s impossible to predict the future, especially when technology is in question. Still, the fact is that a number of big-name logistics companies are planning for the future. And their vision of future is implementing autonomous vehicles into parcel delivery business. Actually, as of 2019, there are already many companies going into the final stages of testing of their parcel delivery bots.

Delivery Bots Today

You might not see them on the streets every day, but delivery robots are already pretty much up and running. In Europe, several prominent companies have started pilot programs for delivering goods using unmanned vehicles.

Domino’s Pizza, a global fast-food chain teamed up with a company called Starship Technologies to create a fleet of delivery bots that would deliver pizzas in cities around the Netherlands and Germany. Although the robots didn’t revolutionize the pizza-delivery industry right away, they did provide some useful insights into the implementation of this kind of technology.

It’s a similar case with other test-projects going on across the world. The delivery robots of today might not yet have what it takes to change the shipping industry as we know it, but they definitely have the potential to do so in the near future.

Delivery Bots in Near Future

Biggest optimists believe self-driving vehicles will become a common thing by the year 2020. Those who are a little bit more skeptical think we will have to wait a few more years before they become a common sight on our roads (and skies). Still, it seems that everyone agrees that autonomous vehicles are going to start their revolution sometimes during the 2020s.

The issue here is not only that it takes time for the modern tech to become so sophisticated it can replace certain old-fashioned technologies; it’s also because modern tech has a potential to make certain jobs obsolete. In this particular case, delivery bots could make the old-fashioned couriers not needed anymore.

It does seem like a legitimate worry, but according to the experts, we’re still far away from something like that happening. Delivery robots will require some real workforce in order to keep them going. At least in the beginning. 

The delivery model that involves unmanned vehicles and parcel machines is eagerly expected to become a real thing not only by big delivery companies but also by buyers/sellers from different parts of the planet. This technology definitely has the potential to revolutionize the industry. In a good way, of course.

First of all, with delivery robots, there’s no room for human error. This means that such scenarios like lost or damaged parcels will be removed from the narrative. Another benefit this technology is expected to bring is a reduced price of shipping.

How Do These Robots Work?

There are dozens of different companies out there that are currently working on developing delivery robots, meaning that in a few years’ time, we’re gonna see them in all shapes and sizes. Still, one thing all of the delivery robots will have regardless of who made them is their delivery model.

As this technology is developed with user-friendliness in mind, the delivery model is expected to function in the following manner:

  • Step 1 – The parcel sender requests a delivery bot on their address
  • Step 2 – Once the robot arrives, the sender places the package inside the robot (alternatively, the item is picked up by a human employee who then takes care of packing and placing it inside the bot)
  • Step 3 – The delivery robot then takes the parcel to the address of the recipient
  • Step 4 – In order to be able to receive the parcel, the recipient has to use a QR code (or digital signature, or some other method to confirm their identity) on their smartphone

Obviously, such a delivery model is not going to be possible for long-distance deliveries. In fact, judging by the experience of Dominos’ Pizza delivery bots, their delivery range cannot be bigger than only a few miles. In order to increase the range, the parcel will have to make a few extra stops along the way which brings the question of their efficiency. An old-fashioned parcel delivery service is bound to do a faster job than a fleet of delivery bots, each of which has a range of only a couple of miles.

Another problem with this is that the delivery bots, regardless of how tiny they might be, could cause severe problems to the traffic. They’re meant to use GPS to find their way to the destination, avoiding traffic jams along the way. The problem is that it takes a lot of computing power, even for large and expensive unmanned vehicles to get around in busy traffic, especially when found on the same road with manned vehicles. In turn, this could increase the number of traffic jams, as well as make driving less safe.

For all these reasons, it’s reasonable to assume that these types of vehicles will be used primarily for low-traffic places, such as college campuses, shopping malls, public parks, and so on. Another possible use for delivery bots is dealing with parcel sorting at large ports, where large volumes of cargo are shipped from abroad on a regular basis.

When it comes to other cases of parcel delivery, it appears that delivery drones are going to take things in their hands, rather than wheeled-delivery robots. After all, flying parcels from one place to another is safer, quicker, and possibly even cheaper than doing it on the ground. And that’s why it’s not surprising that delivery drones are already a fairly common sight unlike their counterparts on the ground.

What to do if You Receive Someone Else’s Package?

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

These things happen all the time. We’re all humans after all and humans make mistakes. Unfortunately, a seemingly tiny mistake can sometimes turn into a big problem, not only for the sender but you as well. In preventing such a scenario, time is of the essence. As soon as you notice there’s something wrong, you need to act!

Fortunately, most senders put more information inside the parcel – to ensure that it will eventually get to its rightful owner. So if it gets misplaced, the person receiving the parcel will know who to contact to return it.

Even though returning the package should not be of inconvenience to the receiver, for whatever reason, sometimes, people refuse to cooperate with the courier company and fail to return the misplaced parcel. Most of the time, this is why the process of finding misplaced packages takes so long.

Our advice is not to be one of those persons. Instead, be a Good Samaritan and notify the courier service about the mistake. Otherwise, you can cause all kinds of issues to the sender and rightful package receiver, but also to yourself. Who knows, you might even get sued for that!

Why It’s Not Okay to Keep Someone Else’s Package?

It’s not advisable to withhold any misdeliveries ahead of attempting to return it. As the carriers are notified, either by the person who sent the package or the rightful recipient, that the delivery never arrived where it should have, they will track the delivering process and locate the parcel. Eventually, they can come to your house and enquire about the package – this should not surprise you. So our advice is that you do not attempt to retain any misdeliveries.

Should you receive something that was not ordered by you, the right thing to do is get in touch with the sender and then ask the courier to take the parcel back. Usually, deliveries that you receive but didn’t order are labeled by the courier as “unsolicited goods”. However, this might not be the case with misdeliveries.

It’s because the description on the parcel generally states clearly about who sent the package. This means that you have information about the sender, as well as about the person who is waiting for the package.

If you are unable to find the rightful recipient on your own, what you should do is get in touch with the ones that delivered the package – you will find information about the courier company on the tag of the parcel. Just calling their assistant service and informing them about the mistake should be enough. It’s up to the courier service to take care of the rest.

Making Sure Your Parcels Don’t Get Misdelivered

Double-checking that you’ve entered the right details about the recipient (e.g. their name, their phone number, the delivery address, etc.) goes without saying, but there are a few other ways to ensure your parcel is delivered to the right person and vice versa.

It is a good idea to watch the tracking system permanently, as even though incorrect data can help – it might signal if something wrong happened. Therefore, you’ll be informed if you should contact the carrier for enquiries. As per usual, at delivery, the tracking system displays the name of whom signed for the package. This way, in the case of it being delivered somewhere else, you will know.

Sometimes, for whatever motive, parcels can be checked by the carrier as “delivered” before they actually get delivered. The courier might bring it later, regardless of the tracking system showing otherwise. However, should the parcel be impossible to find even after a few days and it is declared lost by the company that was supposed to deliver it, you hold the right to file a claim o get your money back for your lost package.

Can you get a refund if your package was wrongly delivered? In the case of your parcel being unable to be tracked in a couple of days and the carrier declaring it lost – you have the right of filing a claim to get your money back. For this, proof of the cost of the parcel’s contents will be required. Then the company needs to assess the situation, and then you will be given a response.

Why Do Packages Get Misdelivered?

Usually, this happens due to receiving inaccurate or erroneous addresses or information. It can be a real challenge sometimes to find an individual home, so it’s vital to be careful with the information you give and check how accessible it is. Should the data be imprecise or the location obsolete, the parcel is generally brought back to whoever sent it by the carrier or the wrong beneficiary. So it is possible that you receive an unwanted parcel.

Often, issues come up when the location is hard to pinpoint. Generally, you don’t have to label your parcel and put information on the box (carriers mark the packages on their own – if not, they will need you to print a label and glue it to the parcel).

Nevertheless, it is useful if you point out who sent the package and who should receive it and their locations in the eventuality that the tag deteriorates or cannot be read anymore due to the delivery mechanism. It is then when the parcel gets from a depot to another, as the carriers try to read the undecipherable. If they do not succeed, the order will be returned to whoever sent it, if that information is still available.

A critical piece of information is the postal code – it aids in the sorting process, speeding it up for the delivery company. Generally, this is an automatic process, which means that is there is a mismatch between the actual location and the postal code, it will take a while until this gets observed. The delivery might get to the right place or be sent back.

There are times, though, when misdeliveries are just mistakes. Should the courier company say that the delivery has been made, yet you didn’t get anything – it usually means that your package was received by the wrong person.

Future of International Courier Service Post-Brexit

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Nearly three years have passed since the UK voted to leave the European Union and Brexit is still pretty much an everyday topic on the island. Will it be a hard Brexit or a soft one, or a no-deal Brexit still remains the question. But, one thing is certain, once it’s done, Brexit is going to cause some big changes in the business world of both the UK and the EU.

It seems that the British exit from the European Union is going to affect literally every business, including courier services. Until now, sending a parcel from a country within the EU to the United Kingdom (or vice versa) was pretty simple. All you had to do is drop it off at a post office or call a courier to pick it up. In both cases, you had to pay only a small fee.

However, in the post-Brexit era, the chance is that you will have to pay more. In fact, it’s expected that the shipping costs are going to go up by 30% on average. Of course, the question is whether the increase in the shipping costs is going to affect the customers as well, or only the courier services dealing with parcel transport between UK and EU.

A factor that can greatly impact the shipping costs is whether the UK will remain a member of the European Economic Area. Norway, for instance, is a country from the EEA, even though it‘s not a part of the EU.

Unless the UK government manages to get such a deal, the country won’t share a single market with the other European countries, meaning that all kinds of expense will come into power, including those involvingcustoms processes and paperwork. Apart from increasing the cost of parcel shipping, Brexit could also have an impact on the delivery times.

Brexit’s Impact on Parcel Delivery Times& Costs

One of the main reasons why the United Kingdom became a part of the European Union nearly five decades ago was that it allowed free trades with other member counties. Being a part of a single market mean that the Brits could buy and sell things from and to other EU counties in the same manner they did within the UK.

As a result, the European Union became the biggest single importer of UK-made products. In fact, before Brexit, the members of the EU were the ones buying over 40% of the total UK exports. According to leading experts in the world of global economy, that percentage is bound to go down as soon as Brexit is put into action.

The main reason why that’s expected is that export/import regulations are going to get more complicated, requiring more paperwork, which, in turn, is going to cost the customers their time. Every package sent from any EU country to the recipient within the United Kingdom borders will need to go through the customs’ inspection.

Apart from increasing the parcel delivery times, Brexit can also affect the cost of items bought abroad. If the UK falls out of the shared market, the country will probably have to add VAT on packages coming from the continent. You can expect that, in post-Brexit Britain, you will have to pay about 20% more on goods imported from the European Union.

And that’s why many UK business people are expected to give up on international trade and focus on doing their business domestically. As a result, the British courier industry is expected to grow, at least in the first few months after the Brexit. However, as soon as the people from the UK are used to the new delivery times and the new tariffs, the UK-EU trade is expected to bounce back to its feet.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Future?

If your business relies on goods shipped from/to the UK, Brexit has the potential to cause you some problems. The good news is that everything is still pretty much in play; no one can yet say for sure what kind of changes Brexit will cause in the courier industry.

Still, the experts do agree that there isn’t a need to panic. Even though Brexit does have the potential to make international shipping more complicated, it surely won’t destroy this industry. After all, it’s in no ones’ interest for the trade between the UK and the EU to die out. And couriers play a crucial role in this trade.

In the worst case scenario, the trade with the EU will become similar to the trade between the UK and other countries, e.g. China, India, etc. Of course, due to the geographical location of the UK, shipping delivery times for EU parcels just cannot be as long as those coming or going to other parts of the globe.

When it comes to the costs of international shipments, the experts agree that it’s going to have more to do with the couriers than the government. In order to keep the customers interested in making trades between the UK and the EU, the courier companies will have to deal with some of costs on their own, rather than adding themto the customers’ bills.

Finding a reliable international courier service is crucial for ensuring a bright future in the post-Brexit era. Apart from providing you with good deals money-wise, the couriers also need to ensure decent delivery times for the goods you order or ship off. They will also have to make sure that the items reach their destination undamaged and unaffected by potential delays.

Every decent international delivery company will have to make sure their vehicle fleet is good enough to handle waiting at the customs. They will also have to provide alternative transportation methods in case delay would be too long. For instance, if the delivery by truck would take much longer than expected, it’s up to the courier company to find a way to deliver the cargo on time, either by planes, ships, or some other means of transport.

It seems that the British exit from the European Union is going to affect literally every business, including courier services. Until now, sending a parcel from a country within the EU to the United Kingdom (or vice versa) was pretty simple. All you had to do is drop it off at a post office or call a courier to pick it up. In both cases, you had to pay only a small fee.

However, in the post-Brexit era, the chance is that you will have to pay more. In fact, it’s expected that the shipping costs are going to go up by 30% on average. Of course, the question is whether the increase in the shipping costs is going to affect the customers as well, or only the courier services dealing with parcel transport between UK and EU.

A factor that can greatly impact the shipping costs is whether the UK will remain a member of the European Economic Area. Norway, for instance, is a country from the EEA, even though it‘s not a part of the EU.

Unless the UK government manages to get such a deal, the country won’t share a single market with the other European countries, meaning that all kinds of expense will come into power, including those involvingcustoms processes and paperwork. Apart from increasing the cost of parcel shipping, Brexit could also have an impact on the delivery times.

Brexit’s Impact on Parcel Delivery Times& Costs

One of the main reasons why the United Kingdom became a part of the European Union nearly five decades ago was that it allowed free trades with other member counties. Being a part of a single market mean that the Brits could buy and sell things from and to other EU counties in the same manner they did within the UK.

As a result, the European Union became the biggest single importer of UK-made products. In fact, before Brexit, the members of the EU were the ones buying over 40% of the total UK exports. According to leading experts in the world of global economy, that percentage is bound to go down as soon as Brexit is put into action.

The main reason why that’s expected is that export/import regulations are going to get more complicated, requiring more paperwork, which, in turn, is going to cost the customers their time. Every package sent from any EU country to the recipient within the United Kingdom borders will need to go through the customs’ inspection.

Apart from increasing the parcel delivery times, Brexit can also affect the cost of items bought abroad. If the UK falls out of the shared market, the country will probably have to add VAT on packages coming from the continent. You can expect that, in post-Brexit Britain, you will have to pay about 20% more on goods imported from the European Union.

And that’s why many UK business people are expected to give up on international trade and focus on doing their business domestically. As a result, the British courier industry is expected to grow, at least in the first few months after the Brexit. However, as soon as the people from the UK are used to the new delivery times and the new tariffs, the UK-EU trade is expected to bounce back to its feet.

How to Prepare Yourself for the Future?

If your business relies on goods shipped from/to the UK, Brexit has the potential to cause you some problems. The good news is that everything is still pretty much in play; no one can yet say for sure what kind of changes Brexit will cause in the courier industry.

Still, the experts do agree that there isn’t a need to panic. Even though Brexit does have the potential to make international shipping more complicated, it surely won’t destroy this industry. After all, it’s in no ones’ interest for the trade between the UK and the EU to die out. And couriers play a crucial role in this trade.

In the worst case scenario, the trade with the EU will become similar to the trade between the UK and other countries, e.g. China, India, etc. Of course, due to the geographical location of the UK, shipping delivery times for EU parcels just cannot be as long as those coming or going to other parts of the globe.

When it comes to the costs of international shipments, the experts agree that it’s going to have more to do with the couriers than the government. In order to keep the customers interested in making trades between the UK and the EU, the courier companies will have to deal with some of costs on their own, rather than adding themto the customers’ bills.

Finding a reliable international courier service is crucial for ensuring a bright future in the post-Brexit era. Apart from providing you with good deals money-wise, the couriers also need to ensure decent delivery times for the goods you order or ship off. They will also have to make sure that the items reach their destination undamaged and unaffected by potential delays.

Every decent international delivery company will have to make sure their vehicle fleet is good enough to handle waiting at the customs. They will also have to provide alternative transportation methods in case delay would be too long. For instance, if the delivery by truck would take much longer than expected, it’s up to the courier company to find a way to deliver the cargo on time, either by planes, ships, or some other means of transport.

6 Steps to Understanding Risk Management in Your Supply Chain

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

Every business is only as good as the supply chain it’s built on. Understanding issues within the supply chain itself and effective management of the risks are imperative for the survival and prosperity of a company. This will help to maximise customer value and ensure an uninterrupted flow of goods and services.

Leaders need to be able to recognise and understand the risks that are present in their supply chains so they can ensure that products arrive where they are supposed to, when they are supposed to, and in pristine condition.

The problem is, most organizations tend to focus on what happens within their own walls. Few understand and effectively manage the entire chain of events that deliver products to the final destination. The result is a disjointed and often ineffective supply chain.

To help you overcome this issue, here are five steps you can implement to improve the risk management of your supply chain and streamline the entire process.

Know Your Suppliers and Potential Suppliers

There needs to be an effective due-diligence process that can answer any queries you might have about third-party practices. Questions to ask include:

  • Do they have a good track record?
  • Do they fulfil their contractual obligations?
  • Do they have good existing relationships with customers or suppliers?
  • Are there any conflicts of interest?
  • Do they meet the high standards you set within your company?

This list is not exhaustive but if these factors are not considered you run the risk of putting your supply chain, and ultimately your business, at risk. Research each supplier and business you are dealing with so you are more prepared to manage issues when they arise. You may find a certain link in your supply chain is the reason for inefficiencies. In this case, it may be time to find alternatives.  

Get What You’ve Asked For

Monitor the goods and services you receive closely to make sure you are getting exactly what you’ve asked for and, more importantly, paid for. If a supplier starts cutting corners on products or services, it is you and your business who will suffer at the end of it. By working with organised, professional suppliers and couriers you can ensure you are getting quality products and, in turn, your customers are getting a quality service. On average, inventory is accurate just 63% of the time. This shows a drastic need for improved inventory management, which begins by improving your supplier process.

Only Pay for What You’ve Received

You should always ensure that your invoice corresponds precisely with the goods or services you have received. This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is imperative that you manage your imports to make sure you are not getting fleeced. This is especially important if you have a complex network of suppliers because it is easier for things to go missing if a blind eye is turned.

A poll of 2660 professionals found that 29% indicated that their own supply chains had experienced waste, fraud or abuse in the past twelve months. This statistic highlights just how common an issue this can be. Approaching the situation with a healthy scepticism rather than an intent to find wrongdoing can help to reduce the risk to your company.

Prevent and Resolve Disputes Effectively

There will inevitably be a time where a dispute is unavoidable on some level of the supply chain. How it is handled can solve or worsen the issue. You want to quickly deal with any dispute so that it promotes smooth running between the links in your supply chain, ensuring that everyone is happy.

By having processes in place that can highlight potential conflict areas you can also avoid disputes happening at all. Effective management of all levels of the supply chain can enable you to do this and the employment of supply chain automation that can spot and reduce human error can also help. This will mitigate risks to your company and enhance the value of it as well for prospective partners and new suppliers.

Avoid Risks in The Sales Process

Management should be aware of the potential risks in the sales process as this can protect the supply chain from a knock-on effect. The sales process is essentially customer demand that ultimately dictates how your company moves forward. As sales channels evolve, they can introduce new risks into your supply chain. For example, opening a new branch to meet new demand can put a strain on the supply chain. To address this, understand the liability that sales interactions expose your company to and how they can affect your sustainability. An expert supply chain manager may be helpful to take on this important role and ensure all sales processes are growing your business, not stalling it.

Use a Quality Courier Service

Your courier team is usually the only face-to-face contact your customers have with your company. Thus, they need to expertly deal with customers and help avoid issues falling back down the chain.

Now is the Time to Focus on Supply Chain Management

With the vast number of challenges faced, it’s no surprise that 85% of global supply chains had experienced at least one form of disruption in the past twelve months. However, proactive risk management in the supply chain is the solution. Many businesses note they spend around 50% less time dealing with supplier disruptions if they have effectively risk managed their supply chain.

79% of companies with high-performing supply chains attain greater revenue growth than the average in their industries. If you needed any more convincing that supply chain risk management needs to be at the forefront of your business plan, let that statistic be it.

Creating value in your supply chain and mitigating the risks it is exposed to will ultimately lead to value in your company and increase the prospects of partnership or investment as well. All of this will help your company grow above and beyond industry norms.

Where to Begin

If you’re interested in finding out how our expert courier team can help you reduce risk in your supply chain, get in touch with Same Day Dispatch Services today. Tel: 0800 999 1010.

Optimizing Last Mile Delivery Efficiency

Friday, March 15th, 2019

The ‘last mile’ is a term used in supply chain management that accounts for the movement of goods from a warehouse, depot or transportation hub to the final destination – the customer.

This last leg of the delivery process is the most inefficient and expensive part of the process. In large cities, persistent obstacles such as diversions, construction work, traffic, and parking restrictions make the last mile incredibly time-consuming. With London expanding its ultra-low emission zone, last-mile delivery has become even more complicated for logistics companies and these environmental challenges will continue to grow.

It’s no better in rural areas either. Drivers are often delivering single consignments to low-density areas, only to find the recipient isn’t home. This makes the delivery journey a wasted effort and unnecessarily expensive on fuel.

Combine all this with the fact that people are currently expecting their orders the same-day or next-day, the problem is amplified.

But there is a solution to this issue – implementing processes and using tools to optimise last mile delivery. Streamlining this process as much as possible can reduce cost, save time, and ultimately improve customer satisfaction. This post covers five ways to improve last mile delivery efficiency to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Integrate Planning Tools

The number of parcels being sent each day has never been higher. With companies having to consider route planning and scheduling for hundreds of consignments at a time, this planning process is simply too complex to manage your operations using a spreadsheet or on paper.

Investing in route planning and fleet management tools will help you map out optimal routes while also generating real-time data on delivery status and vehicle location.

This updated software will allow you to more effectively monitor running costs, driver overtime, number of stops completed, the efficiency of your routes, consignment priorities, and smaller delivery windows.

This technology should also integrate effective mapping tools to improve address accuracy. One of the main factors causing delayed deliveries is an inability of drivers to locate addresses efficiently.

These tools can provide the information you need to enhance the last mile delivery process, while simultaneously optimizing operations and improving route mapping and scheduling.

If you don’t have your own delivery fleet or the idea of investing in a whole new system seems overwhelming, an alternative is to team up with a courier service who already utilises this technology. Your courier team will be able to use their systems to improve your last mile delivery process for you, allowing you to focus on other important facets of your business.

Shrink Delivery Windows

When you have optimised route planning and scheduling, you can give customers much more accurate ETAs. Customers now expect extremely accurate delivery times, no longer are they willing to wait in all day for a delivery when many businesses offer a strict 1-hour delivery window.

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, this optimised delivery time allows you to increase the number of deliveries you make per day, reducing the cost of delivery and ultimately improving your bottom line.  

Factors which challenge shrinking your delivery windows include delivery restrictions, difficult loading and drop-off zones, customer-specific delays and perishability of products. However, all of these factors can be alleviated with proper route planning tools. These tools will allow you to take all of these factors into consideration and give each customer an accurate ETA, regardless of unexpected delays. 

Again, a professional courier service can take care of this for you. They will have the tools available to optimise their routes and give your customers accurate delivery slots.

Mobile POS Devices

The last step of last mile delivery is an area that can be optimised for improved performance, and mobile computing technology can have a huge impact. Finding paper delivery forms and working out hard copy invoices in the van can take up a lot of the driver’s time, having a knock-on effect on each additional drop. This makes the whole delivery process for companies longer and customer wait-time increases.

By using mobile hand-held devices, drivers can quickly and professionally access the documents they need, get the customer’s signature electronically, and quickly, in real-time update the back-end supply chain managers of drops.

By freeing up the time drivers spend on hard copy documents, they have more valuable time to perform their drop, give a better level of customer service, and complete more deliveries on a route. For companies that need to maintain hours of service or fuel tax logs, these can also be tracked automatically, which eliminates another time-consuming aspect of deliveries. This all pulls together to increase drops, improve your bottom line, and heighten customer satisfaction.

Maximise First-Time Delivery

Finding a way to maximise first-time delivery each time a package is sent can significantly reduce the risk of lost or damaged parcels. Research suggests that items are more likely to be damaged or stolen if they are left with a neighbour or in a ‘safe’ place. Communicating well with the customer and confirming a suitable time for delivery can eliminate a lot of this risk. Ensuring someone is home when a drop is made can be crucial as well. This circles back to giving customers a small, specific delivery window. First-time delivery is significantly increased if customers are given a smaller ETA.

Invest in an Expert Courier Team

Having a professional courier handling your last mile deliveries will help improve your entire delivery process. Here at Same Day Dispatch Services, that’s exactly what we do. We are a professional logistics team who often perform last mile deliveries. Using advanced tracking and delivery tools, we do the legwork to make sure each package gets to the customer promptly and unharmed. Each of our vehicles is tracked and we always send collection and delivery notifications so you are constantly kept up to date of the progress of your delivery.

We pride ourselves on our customer service and someone is always available to answer your queries. If you’d like to find out how Same Day Dispatch Services can help optimise your last mile delivery service, please contact us today. Tel: 0800 999 1010.

Qualities you need from your delivery service

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

When you are choosing a UK courier, there are three essential qualities you should demand: resourcefulness, flexibility and ultimately compatibility.  These are the values of a trusted delivery service.

A courier company will travel to all nooks, crannies and corners of the UK.  Organising such logistics is challenging and therefore finding a company in who you can rely is essential. 

Same Day Dispatch Services reliability and accountability.  It is essential to all our professionals that our clients’ experience is faultless.

The need to be resourceful

First, you should seek a UK courier that is equipped to deal with your needs, no matter the time of day or the size of the job.  There need to be enough drivers and vehicles available when you need them. Do you need a night-time delivery? Should the package be delivered at the weekend?  Will the package require careful handling?

The best parcel delivery services will have a solution to your needs.  A courier should be able to adapt resources, work within standard operating procedures, but also deliver a versatile service.

It is easy to test the resourcefulness and versatility of your UK courier company.  Make your first request the most extreme, the most non-standard delivery your organisation could expect.  If the courier steps up and says: “no problem, we can work this out” then you know you have the resourcefulness you need.

Resourcefulness is not just about having the largest fleet or most employees. Ingenuity is a state of mind: can your UK courier solve your logistics problems? Can they offer a plan that demonstrates common sense and obvious value for money?

Reliability with flexibility

You want your parcel delivery service to get your consignment to its destination on time and in perfect condition.  You will need a company with a reputation for doing a great job each and every time.  But is this enough?

It is likely that you will need a reliable service that is capable of being flexible. Some UK couriers can offer reliability because they have a fixed way of working.  This strategy cannot be adapted, and managers have little room for deviation, but ultimately delivers good results.  However, the best UK couriers will be able to shape practice to your needs.

Part of being flexible is having a variety of vehicle types, from small vans that handle the city with ease, to three and a half tonne trucks that can go from one end of the UK to the other with a large load.  Flexibility means the company has the resources that they can call on to fulfil a customer’s demands reliably.  At any one time, the company can adapt its ways of working because the resources are there to make innovative and creative decisions.

Examples?

Your job might be small.  You have run out of printer ink on the morning of the big meeting.  Give your courier company just two hours and the cartridge should be available at reception.

Your job requires special care.  You may need critical deliveries of medical supplies.  You cannot afford for the delivery to be late or for the product to be damaged.  The best courier parcel delivery service will have the equipment and training to support your needs.

Flexibility, when defined by courier experts, is the ability to offer reliability at all times.

A compatible partner

When you hire a courier service, this company becomes an extension of your organisation.  They will be in direct contact with your clients or your business partners; therefore they need to represent your values.

Demanding a courier service be a compatible partner suggests you are entering a relationship, and you are.  For this relationship to last, your courier service needs to represent everything that makes you successful.

You should seek testimonials that prove that the couriers understand how to communicate with customers.  Do the drivers present themselves with pride? Does the company value security, tracking your valuable items as they journey to their destination?

A courier service that enjoys long-standing relationships with clients, which enjoys the loyalty of customers, is one that understands your values.  It should be the aim of all outstanding parcel delivery services to continue to reflect and learn how to improve their service for you.

It is a question of values

Same Day Dispatch Services commits each day to provide clients with a fast, dependable and prompt delivery service.  We value integrity, professionalism and courtesy – ultimately, we aim to exceed your expectations for excellence.

We are your partner in business.  We will deliver on time, designing logistic solutions that solve your bespoke needs.

If it is a question of values, and these values should always be excellent service, open communication, innovation, teamwork and accountability.  We are continually learning and reflection, respecting individuals within our company and within yours.

We strive to be resourceful, flexible and compatible.  We demand excellence, and so deliver quality.

Contact Same Day Dispatch Services on 0800 999 1010 and tell us your needs and we will design and deliver your logistics.

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