As a small business owner, you understand that making sales is critical to continued success. Sales pipelines, customer retention strategies, and marketing campaigns, therefore, get a lot of attention. Yet the sale of a product is just the beginning of the order fulfilment cycle. In reality, once an order is placed the work is just beginning.
Shipping orders are printed, the items are pulled from inventory and must be packaged for shipment. From there, the best freight options and costs must be determined. All of this must be done in a timely manner and should be nearly invisible to the customer. The best customer service occurs when your client places the order and never has to even think about how it arrived so quickly at their door. Here are some tips for transporting and shipping goods for small business ventures.
GPS-Based Fleet Management
If you really want to get a handle on everything that is going on with your fleet of delivery vehicles, you’ll need to utilize GPS-based fleet management software. GPS devices allow you to monitor all of the vehicles and assets that are part of your order fulfilment system. This vehicle tracking device is also used in the food industry.
In addition to providing historical or daily recaps of all routes, you’ll also be able to get real-time information that shows exactly where each vehicle and driver is at that very moment. This allows you to provide enhanced levels of customer service by making changes in response to last-minute customer requests. In addition, if you leverage real-time tracking along with driver rest times, you’ll be able to estimate customer order delivery times. You’ll also be able to optimize your routes, thus increasing your operational efficiency.
Saving Money with Safe Driving
A comprehensive fleet tracking system will also help your company save money on fuel costs and other expenses by encouraging safe driving practices. You’ll have the ability to look at the performance of each driver, and in some cases, systems may also include video cameras aboard the vehicle. By eliminating or reducing dangerous or aggressive driving, you’ll find you save money on fuel, insurance, and ongoing operating costs.
Hard braking or suddenly accelerating from a complete stop increases fuel consumption dramatically. Monitoring has been shown to have a positive influence on driver habits, reducing speeding and other factors. Monitoring, along with improved communication with the drivers, will have a positive impact on your safety record.
Managing Unexpected Conditions
Sometimes, even with the best-laid plans, we learn that the only thing we can count on is the unexpected. Real-time tracking allows you to monitor and respond to changing traffic conditions. Instead of finding your drivers trapped in a traffic bottleneck caused by an accident or construction, you can proactively reroute them around any trouble areas. This can also help improve customer service when you are facing specific deliverables.
You’ll also be able to respond to dramatic changes in weather conditions so you can keep the deliveries on track while you keep your drivers safe. With increasing climate extremes, more and more areas are being affected by flooding and record rainfalls. Being able to respond to these changing conditions quickly and professionally is important in today’s world.