We don’t have to tell you that a delivery service is a uniquely complicated business to run. Your delivery crew is constantly on a time crunch, which requires a lot of meticulous scheduling and planning on your part. And since your team is always “out in the field,” there are so many outside variables that could affect the efficiency and safety of your service.
However, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve your delivery service in all areas, including safety and efficiency.
Schedule Regular Maintenance on Your Vehicles
It’s important that you schedule regular maintenance on all your delivery vehicles. Having your vehicles serviced frequently is the best way to practice car safety and make sure your deliveries are made on time. Your driver could get seriously injured if a vehicle malfunctions on a delivery run, especially if your driver is on the highway. And obviously, you won’t be able to complete deliveries as quickly if a vehicle is broken down—you’ll have to coordinate for another vehicle to come and pick up its contents, which could throw off your entire schedule for the day.
Enlist a personal auto mechanic that you can schedule to examine the vehicles in your fleet—your mechanic will be able to check tires, change oil, and inspect all the components under the hood. Remember that your vehicles are going to be doing more driving than the average car, so you should have them inspected every 4 to 6 months—or even every month, if you can afford it. You could be held liable if one of your vehicles malfunctions and causes an accident.
Use the Right Software
You can streamline your business operations and keep your employees safe by using the right software. Make sure you’ve integrated the following programs into your business:
- Fleet Tracking Software: If you’re looking for vehicle tracking solutions, look no further than a simple GPS tracking service for all your vehicles. GPS tracking is an effective way to make sure your drivers are using their vehicles responsibly. And if one vehicle breaks down, you’ll be able to quickly see where it’s stuck at so you can send assistance.
- GPS Apps or Equipment: Always make sure that your drivers have access to a hands-free GPS. GPS systems will help your drivers make their delivery more quickly because they highlight the fastest routes and keep your drivers from getting lost. If you’re going to use smartphone GPS apps, make sure to equip phone mounts in all your vehicles so drivers can safely view the GPS while they’re on the road. With phone mounts, you’ll also be able to easily call drivers if you need to communicate with them.
Hire the Best Drivers
Sometimes, your delivery service is only as safe and efficient as your drivers. Do your best to hire only the best drivers possible. “Best” means that they drive safely and are passionate about making deliveries on time—or better yet—ahead of schedule. Your drivers could technically be considered remote workers, so you should hire drivers that you can trust to be unsupervised for most of the workday and still be able to get their job done.
But how do you find the best drivers? Be sure to use an online job board to promote your job listings to a large number of people. Most job boards have automatic resume-reading features that will select only the best applicants for you to review. Also make sure you do background checks on all your drivers and don’t hire any who have numerous traffic violations. Lastly, do your best to develop a “company of meaning” because these businesses are typically able to attract the top talent.
Be Aware of Road Closures and Weather
Your deliveries may get complicated if there are major events (parades, marathons, festivals, etc.) or inclement weather that cause heavy traffic or road closures. It’s important that you always stay up-to-date on weather forecasts and local events so that you’re aware of these potential issues well in advance. It might benefit you to have a morning briefing with your drivers so you can alert them to anything that may cause delays or headaches.
If you want to run a safe and efficient delivery service, just be sure to:
- Schedule regular maintenance on your vehicles
- Use the right software
- Hire the best drivers
- Always be aware of road closures and bad weather
These are easy fixes that can make a world of difference in your business.