In this competitive marketplace, many shippers provide timely and cost-effective delivery of goods. Some obstacles that prevent businesses from delivering efficiently are:
- Manual route planning
- Outdated technology
- Lack of prioritization with deliveries
The best way to ensure efficient delivery is to perform on-time deliveries, cut down shipping costs, minimize bill errors, and introduce apps for delivery drivers that saves time and maintain delivery quality. This, in turn, will help to boost the performance of your overall delivery operations.
Now that we have learned how to make delivery services efficient, it is time to know how we can achieve it.
7 Ways to Improve Delivery Efficiency
Below are some actionable tips that can allow us to maximize the productivity of delivery drivers and improve delivery efficiency:
1. Prioritize orders
Prioritizing orders based on their urgency or importance is one of the best techniques to increase your delivery efficiency. You will need to figure out the important deliveries and can keep the least priority orders to deliver at the end of the day.
There are some ways to organize your order deliveries like:
- Expected Date: The earliest delivery date should be given a priority
- FIFO (First In, First Out): It means to ship the orders as they are received
- Processing Time: Orders should be given priority based on the processing time
Once the priority is set, it becomes easy to save time, reduce shipping costs, and deliver on time. A good example is what Amazon Flex did with MyFlexBot app that grabs the blocks for you and allows you to prioritize orders automatically.
2. Commit to delivery windows
Today, customers are more concerned about delivery time windows. And shippers failing to meet the promised delivery window are at risk of losing their reputation. Therefore, you must provide your customers with realistic delivery windows and meet them.
Sticking to the promised delivery time satisfies the customer and boosts delivery efficiency by reducing the average delay time. Moreover, consistent on-time deliveries gain customer retention.
For example: if you are picking and delivering frozen foods, they need to be delivered within a specific timeframe to avoid spoiling.
3. Route planning & optimization
It is possible to increase delivery efficiency with existing resources through proper route planning and optimization. Route Planning can help to plan the shortest route with maximum output.
Advanced planning eliminates the risk of any last-minute changes resulting in a driver shortage (or excess, which can cost you money). On the other hand, if you wait for last-minute delivery scheduling, you could be short-staffed, resulting in incomplete jobs.
If routes are planned and optimized, drivers can be sent to the right place at the right time. This, in turn, will save a lot of time and resources like fuel and driver’s wages.
4. Include break time for drivers
The delivery efficiency can be improved by optimizing the break time of the drivers. If you don’t plan any breaks for the drivers, it will decrease their efficiency, and the delivery schedule will also be impacted.
Therefore, it is essential to schedule a fixed break time for the drivers. Without planning, drivers will go out of their way, causing delays in critical deliveries.
For example, you can schedule a 30-minute lunch break for the driver after all the crucial deliveries.
5. Measure fleet productivity
Measuring fleet productivity helps to find areas that require improvement. It involves service hours, fuel consumption, driver health & safety, total vehicle usage, vehicle maintenance, cost per trip, and idle hours.
Taking care of the above factors will help to streamline the operation of your vehicle, ultimately improving delivery efficiency. Moreover, you can hire a third-party transportation service provider to reduce the hassle of tracking fleet productivity.
6. Track driver’s performance
Tracking the performance of drivers over time can help to increase delivery efficiency. The optimized routes help drivers to make on-time deliveries. Routing and scheduling software helps to keep track of performance metrics so that you can find potential areas for improvement.
For example, you spend a week implementing routing procedures. A month later, you notice that one driver always takes longer for deliveries. In that case, you can look and see what’s delaying them. It will help to find areas of improvement, further improving delivery efficiency.
7. Using a reliable delivery management system
To streamline your deliveries, it is important to have a delivery management system with multiple features. This will ensure on-time delivery and plan effective routes, thus saving you costs and time.
A reliable delivery management system helps to:
- Reduce chances of error: A proper management system will help to automate the process of delivery, hence reducing the chances of any error. With fewer errors, the change of delivery damage is also reduced.
- Eliminate paperwork: A proper system will help to eliminate the paperwork tasks. This will help customers to track their orders online.
- Minimize delivery time: It will help to improvise delivery routes in real-time, increasing delivery efficiency. This minimizes the turnaround time for delivery.
Now that we have understood how to maximize productivity for delivery drivers, the services can be fast-tracked, reducing your expenses.
Simple steps like- prioritizing orders, sticking to the delivery commitments, optimizing your route, including break schedules for the drivers, and tracking driver’s performance can improve your delivery efficiency.
You can keep customers satisfied and happy by delivering on time and in a cost-effective way, thus increasing customer loyalty and your profitability.