11 November 2021
By Roger L. Jones
The holidays are always the busiest and most profitable time of year. For delivery businesses, the hustle will start in November and not stop until after the start of 2022. Specifically, in these times of supply chain shortages, consumers are encouraged to shop early which means a longer holiday rush period than normal for businesses. Millions of parcels and on-demand orders will have drivers flooding the streets the entire season. How can you prepare your team for the fastest, most successful season possible? Follow these tips to plan ahead and get your winter delivery strategy in order.
Upgrade Your Fleet Technology
Install safety features on cars, such as backup cams, and perform detailed maintenance before your cars are on the road. Adding GPS tracking and delivery route planning software can help your business stay on top of your fleet’s precise locations with real-time data and help you create more efficient routes.. You want to have as many resources and insights at your disposal to offer drivers feedback, alternative routes and traffic warnings. During this time of year, delivery deadlines are demanding, so every second behind the wheel counts. GPS tracking also helps you determine who is performing the best and which drivers need to spend less downtime in their vehicle.
Give Drivers Care Packages
Keep morale high by providing your drivers with care packages behind the road. Hot packs, a new thermos for their favourite warm beverage and some healthy snacks are all good ideas. Make sure that you also keep the company culture at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Remind your drivers that you’re thankful for their services. They’re sacrificing most of their holiday season so other people can have theirs exactly as they want it.
Distribute Routes Based on Experience
Do not give new or less experienced drivers the same route and workload as someone who’s been delivering for years. The higher stress can result in a greater risk of traffic accidents and delivery mishaps. It’s best to delegate assignments according to a person’s vehicle size and ability. As they get more comfortable on the road, you can expand their delivery route.
Expand Your Customer Service
You may want to outsource or temporarily hire new customer service representatives to handle the holiday rush. More customers mean more calls and emails, and you don’t want people to be stuck waiting 30 minutes or longer for a response. If the bulk of your customer service inquiries come through email, then make sure you set up an automatic response that informs people their message has been received and you will get back to it shortly. You may also consider expanding the number of ways people can reach out to your business. In addition to phone calls and emails, you may set up an on-site chat support option or offer chat support via your delivery app.
Get in Touch with Your Vendors
Make sure you have a solid understanding of what inventories will look like prior to the season. If you’re in the business of packaging and shipping goods directly to customers, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of what availability will look like this year. Because of inflation rates and supply chain disruptions, many items will be in short supply or heavily delayed. Gather as much information as you can ahead of time to keep your consumers informed.