The business of last mile delivery, whether you own an Amazon Delivery Service Partnership or we’re talking about your FedEx Ground Business, can be one with thin profitability margins, unexpected issues, and the need to constantly adapt.
The solution is to get logistical. Take a long hard look at the logistics of how you run your business and work to make it better. Here are 5 ways to improve your FedEx Ground business.
Set Priorities for Your FedEx Ground Business
The first key is to set priorities and goals. While this might seem simple at first when you consider your primary goal is to deliver packages, it doesn’t stop there. Both shippers and receivers have expectations they want you to meet.
To do that, you need to look at what matters first to your business, and how everything lines up behind that. Some suggestions can include:
- Taking care of your people and your vehicles. If you don’t have drivers and trucks to deliver packages, your business is going nowhere. This should always be at the top of your priority list.
- Think of the shipper. This includes more than just the businesses you pick up from on your route, but the person who shipped the package from miles away. When you deliver, you leave the recipient with an impression of you, FedEx, and the shipper. Think of their reputation before you leave that battered package on a doorstep.
- Consider the recipient. Have you ever been waiting for a delivery and it is delayed? Or you miss a signature and have to go pick something up rather than getting it on your doorstep. That can be a frustrating experience, and you might direct that frustration toward the shipper, the delivery person, or the delivery company.
There are various ways to focus on these priorities and that could shift depending on timing and what is happening in your business. If you have a truck that is not operational or an ill driver, the first priority might override the others for your attention. However, these things should always be at or near the top of your priority list.
Stick to Commitments You Have Made
While most pickups for FedEx Ground routes are not strictly scheduled, it is important that you hit target windows to meet your shipper’s needs. And sometimes they will have more specific times in mind. It is important to tell them if you cannot make those commitments, but once you have committed to a time, stick with it.
The same is true for deliveries. If you have left a knocker telling a customer when you will be back to deliver in their area, be sure you hit that time window, and if they have a specific time request and you can meet it, be sure to do so.
This impacts your reputation as a route owner and a driver, cuts down on complaints, and can even result in customer praise and positive reviews. More importantly, it establishes trust with all of your customers.
In addition, if you have made promises to your drivers or helpers, keep those commitments as well. A happy workforce will make your job that much easier.
Listen to Your Drivers
You can’t be on every route all the time, and your FedEx Ground business depends on your drivers. They are also your eyes and ears on a route and can tell you when things are not going well, or when you might need to address an issue or make a change.
Listen to them. They know the route and their customers better than you do, and when you show you value their opinions, they will also be more loyal to you and your business.
Don’t Waste Space or Time
A frequent issue, especially during peak and busy periods, is that your drivers will run out of space in their vehicles, time in the day, or both. Be sure to give them all the tools they need to maximize the space in their vehicle every day. Offer training, and supervise loaders to ensure trucks are used in the most efficient way possible.
Don’t waste too much time with the load process though. Sometimes your drivers or you will need to shift on the fly, sometimes rearranging the interior of the vehicle once big loads have been dropped off. Change routing if need be, but ensure that things are organized and ready to go without taking up valuable route time to “over organize.”
Reduce Routing Guesswork in Your FedEx Ground Business
Lastly, reduce guesswork in routing your drivers and vehicles. There are a variety of GPS and routing programs available, and all of them can increase efficiency both in the use of fuel and time. Set up routes using them, and constantly test the process. Make improvements based on data, and take the guesswork out of it.
The most important thing is to use the tools at your disposal, embrace technology, and create routes and maps of your own as you go. Your drivers, your customers, and your team will thank you for it.
Want to improve your FedEx Ground business right away? Get logistical, and use these five methods to make your route more efficient, increase driver satisfaction, and serve your customers and shippers better.
Whether you are a new route owner or a seasoned one, these tips can help you. And when you are ready to buy or sell your route, get in touch. At Route Advisors, we’ll be with you every step of the way.