What steps should you take when demand exceeds your capacity? And how to improve last mile delivery to meet high volumes and rapid fulfillment?
6 Ways to Improve Delivery Efficiency
Boost delivery efficiency with 6 actionable strategies. Enhance customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and stay competitive in the evolving market.
Customers can order products from Amazon and opt for same-day delivery. This service puts pressure on small delivery businesses. It urges them to increase efficiency and complete orders faster to remain competitive.
Statista reveals that 9% of customers like same-day shipping. Furthermore, 18% are okay with waiting for next-day delivery. On top of that, 40% are comfortable with a two-day shipping period.
If your delivery isn't swift, your customers will likely seek alternatives.
Improving delivery efficiency is a key aspect of operational efficiency as it helps you complete more customer requests daily. This, in turn, leads to happier customers. You will be able to see an increase in net revenue as well.
When done right, you'll see reduced delivery costs. You'll also see consistent growth in net revenue every day, week, and month.
You can apply six tactics right now to enhance your delivery efficiency.
Navigate to the section that interests you most:
- Three Challenges Holding Back Efficient Business Deliveries
- 6 Ways to Improve Delivery Efficiency
- Boost Delivery Efficiency Through Automated Routing and Scheduling
Three Challenges Holding Back Efficient Business Deliveries
First, let's understand why inefficiencies occur. Then, we'll explore ways to make deliveries more efficient. Understanding why inefficiencies happen helps us take the correct steps to fix them. It also helps us start boosting revenue. Several key factors can harm delivery operations and affect your overall financial performance.
Manual route planning
To make routes better think about delivery driver schedules and truck capacity. Also, examine drop-off and pickup points, alongside package weight and size.
Even more so, consider delivery time windows and package importance for proper route optimization. But doing this manually for just a few packages usually takes a long time, often hours. If last-minute orders come in while your driver is already out, it's hard to plan the delivery route well. This might result in a decrease in delivery efficiency.
Old or ineffective technology
Old technology limits your efficiency to the level it had when it emerged. (Using a butter churn to make butter is inefficient by today's standards.) Using old technology to plan routes can make it challenging to compete with bigger companies.
In fact, it might even seem impossible when they use the latest technology. Maximize your success by using the newest technology to enhance your delivery efficiency.
Not prioritizing deliveries
The way you focus on packages impacts your overall efficiency.
For instance, removing a large package from your vehicle early in the day creates space for many smaller pickups later on.
Still, delivering items without an apparent order could make your system work poorly. That could make you lose possible orders and money.
Consider your prioritization method. It could depend on package size, end date, or expedited shipping payment. It will help to enhance efficiency even more.
Let's explore ways for your business to build more efficient delivery processes. This will attract more orders and increase revenue.
6 Ways to Improve Delivery Efficiency
Boosting revenue and fulfilling more deliveries depends on advanced and automated planning.
1. Use a route planner with real-time route updates
Imagine you've planned a route for the day, but when the driver starts, there's a new pickup to schedule. A route planning tool will automatically adapt to the latest delivery. When picking a route option, choose one that updates in real time. It allows each driver to achieve the best delivery efficiency.
2. Focus on orders based on their significance
In a hectic week, particular orders may face delays. Delivery efficiency involves prioritizing orders with the most impact on your business. Ensure you complete these orders first. Pay attention to crucial orders. It will boost revenue and lessen the effect if you don't complete every task.
Check which deliveries need to go out first based on their importance. For example, you should focus on frozen goods, especially if you have to deliver them without a cooling truck. It will help you to avoid delivering spoiled goods.
Save less important deliveries for the end of the day, after you deliver the most crucial ones. It ensures you optimize the delivery schedule for any unforeseen challenges.
3. Plan orders and routes weeks in advance
Instead of last-minute preparation, scheduling orders in advance helps you plan for high and low demand. Doing this can lower the chance of significant last-minute changes. Namely, these can cause a shortage (or excess) of drivers, which may ultimately cost you money. Use the information about upcoming orders to optimize drivers' schedules for the next month.
For example, if you're scheduling deliveries for the following month, you can hire a new driver in time. If you wait until the last minute to plan your deliveries, you might not have enough staff to get the job done.
When planning deliveries ahead, make sure to have space for new orders. Also, keep track of expected work in the coming weeks for better outcomes.
4. Remember to include breaks and lunchtime for drivers in your schedule
Optimizing the lunch and break times for drivers can boost efficiency. When you forget to plan for driver breaks as they take them, it may seem like time has been lost or quotas have been neglected. Yet, the issue is often with the original unrealistic schedule.
Plan carefully by scheduling a 30-minute break for your driver. This break could be scheduled near popular lunch spots. It comes after completing important deliveries.
Without proper planning, your driver needs to reroute to find lunch. As a result, that may lead to delays in important deliveries. Plan in advance to accurately assess your delivery efficiency. It will help you avoid the misinterpretation of missed quotas.
5. Track the performance of drivers consistently
You should look into important driver performance metrics like delivery speed. This information will help you find new places and improve delivery efficiency.
Optimizing your drivers' schedules and delivery efficiency isn't a one-time job. Instead, continually test your delivery route planning and schedules to make sure they work. They need regular evaluation because routes, packages, and sometimes drivers change often.
Suppose you dedicate a week to apply these suggestions and improve your routing processes. Then, a month later, you observe that one driver often takes more time. In that case, check what is causing their delay and compare it to that of other drivers. It will make it easier to keep enhancing the delivery efficiency of drivers.
Use routing and scheduling software with performance metrics to identify areas you should work on.
6. Provide customers with real-time delivery updates and proof of delivery
Show your customers the expected delivery time using a proof of delivery template. Or, provide live delivery notifications for real-time updates. Providing proof of delivery makes customers happier.
This is especially true if there are missed deadlines or delays. Let's be honest. Despite improving delivery efficiency, delays, and missed deliveries will still occur. Keep tabs on all activities and promote openness to save time and boost customer satisfaction and trust.
When you're transparent, there's no need to spend time coming up with excuses for delays. It will build customer trust because they can rely on you to tell the truth, regardless of the situation. Ensure that delivery tracking is live. A good idea is to display the number of stops before the driver reaches their home and the expected delivery time. Lastly, you can provide electronic proof of delivery with a photo of the package at the door.
Boost Delivery Efficiency Through Automated Routing and Scheduling
Take easy steps today to enhance your delivery efficiency. It will lead to increased revenue and more jobs completed per day. You can grow your earnings and work more efficiently by using automated route planning and scheduling software. Delivery management tools like eLogii automatically generate fully optimized routes. They base the routes on the information you input and real-time data. That, in turn, provides you with more time to dedicate to other tasks.