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How to solve the delivery transport headaches for small business

Small businesses often face challenges in managing their delivery transport, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Delivery transport is a vital part of many small businesses, as it affects customer satisfaction, brand reputation, and profitability. However, there are many potential headaches that can arise from delivery transport, such as late, lost, or misplaced items, absent drivers, broken down vehicles, accidents, or delivery drivers that are rude, disinterested, or unsafe.

Moreover, delivery transport can be a major overhead for small businesses, as it involves costs such as leasing vehicles and equipment, maintenance and repairs, insurance and WorkCover claims, and fuel and tolls. So how can small businesses regain control and solve these delivery transport headaches? Here are some key tips from Inside Small Business, a leading online publication for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Understand your goals

The first step to solving your delivery transport headaches is to understand your goals and how important delivery is to your business. You need to consider how often you need to deliver items, how fast you need to respond to customers, how many deliveries you need to perform each day, week, or month, and what kind of items you are delivering. Are they small parcels, or products that are large, irregularly sized, or fragile? These factors may require specialist care and handling. You also need to be realistic about your expectations and the role delivery plays in your business. Do you need a permanent delivery fleet, or something more flexible? Do you need vehicles and drivers branded with your company? Are your drivers the face of your business? This will influence the level of professionalism and service quality you require.

How to solve the delivery transport headaches for small business

Analyse your current performance

The next step is to analyse your current performance and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your delivery transport. You can do this by asking your customers about their experience with your deliveries, conducting an anonymous survey, or using a feedback system. You can also track metrics such as speed, consistency, reliability, accuracy, and customer satisfaction. Try to get a clear picture of how well you are meeting your customers’ needs and expectations, and where you can improve. You should also examine things like driver absenteeism, accidents, insurance claims or WorkCover claims, vehicle breakdowns or maintenance issues, and fuel consumption. What is working well, and what is costing you money or causing problems?

Be honest about your shortcomings

The third step is to be honest about your shortcomings and acknowledge the areas where you need to improve. It can be tempting to ignore or downplay the problems that affect your delivery transport, but this can have negative consequences for your business in the long run. For example, if you have cut corners or opted for the cheapest provider in the past, you may have compromised on quality or safety. This can result in customer complaints, lost sales, damaged reputation, or legal issues. You need to consider how these shortcomings impact your customers and your bottom line. You also need to recognise the opportunity to improve your company’s reputation, trust, and loyalty by rectifying these issues.

Analyse your current costs

The fourth step is to analyse your current costs and understand how much you are spending on delivery transport. Delivery transport can be a top-five business cost for many small businesses, but it can also be hard to calculate accurately. There may be hidden costs that you are not aware of or that are not reflected in your invoices. For example, leasing vehicles and equipment may involve upfront fees or ongoing charges that are not transparent.

Fuel and tolls may fluctuate depending on the distance and route of each delivery. Maintenance and repairs may be unpredictable or expensive. Insurance and WorkCover claims may increase your premiums or deductibles. You need to have access to an impartial financial tool that allows you to input all the data and understand your total costs with complete transparency. This will help you make informed decisions about your delivery transport budget and strategy.

Put steps in place to make a change

The final step is to put steps in place to make a change and implement a better delivery transport solution for your business. This may involve making some big changes or even starting from scratch. The key is to engage with transport suppliers who can offer you more control, flexibility, efficiency, and value for money. You may want to consider outsourcing some or all of your delivery transport needs to a specialist who can provide you with professional drivers, reliable vehicles, advanced technology, transparent pricing, and customised service. This way, you can focus on your core business activities while leaving the delivery transport headaches to the experts.

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