The coronavirus has taken its toll on the parcel and delivery sector. UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service were forced to adapt to a bigger volume of deliveries amidst tighter regulations. On top of that, worker safety is another priority. In June, the Postal Service reported that 2,830 of its 630,000 employees tested positive with COVID-19. Such a setback is a huge hindrance to internal operations. These challenges, paired with financial stresses, have clearly bogged down the industry all at once.
Now that some time has passed, delivery businesses have learned a couple of strategies to adjust to trying times. To help you out, here are five changes your company has to undergo to survive the pandemic:
1. Form a Central Team that Can Oversee Deliveries Remotely
This central team should be made up of tech-savvy communicators who can assist delivery personnel with mapping, route planning, and other field-related needs. Almost anyone who has digital skills can fit the bill, but you might get an additional benefit from hiring IT professionals. One way they can improve your business's processes is by managing websites that track parcels and by ensuring the digital security of your operations.
2. Be in Constant Communication with Your Employees
Communication is a necessity for success, especially in the time of remote work arrangements. Though most of your delivery personnel will still be on the road, your other staff will likely be communicating from the safety of their own homes. So, you need to make sure information is passed around effectively. Loop in your human resources department if you want to create new remote work policies and streamline the dissemination of information. HR professionals will also help find ways to minimize business disruptions as much as possible, and ensure that day-to-day operations continue even with more flexibility in the workplace.
3. Implement Safer Delivery Methods
Safe delivery methods ensure the safety of both your clients and your employees. This primarily comes in the form of contactless deliveries that reduce unnecessary human contact. A simple way to go about this is to no longer require the customer's signature for when they receive their package. However, this may lead to security concerns. Luckily, there are plenty of new and innovative solutions for this. For instance, companies can utilize blockchain technology to facilitate contactless deliveries. This works by having the customer upload digital biometric data to the blockchain. And when the final-mile provider arrives for delivery, they send a prompt to the customer who then verifies their biometric data. This allows for quick and contactless delivery, ensuring the safety and security of all parties involved.
4. Recalibrate Company Budget
Next, you'll have to move company budget around. In such uncertain times, it's hard to say whether clients will continue to make use of the company's services. So, it's better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you're spending less money than you're making to keep cash flow positive. If possible, enlist the help of a financial manager – a career in business administration that's growing all the more essential in the current pandemic. Financial managers help you make reports on the company's finances, assess investments, and plan for the future. Through the use of data and long-term strategy, financial managers can support the survival of your business. Evaluating your finances can help you plan for innovative technologies like blockchain, assess whether you need to reduce your workforce, let go of your office and go remote.
5. Improve Customer Service
In PARCEL's article on the outlook of the parcel landscape in 2021, it was mentioned that 2020 has caused shippers' trust in carriers to plummet. It has spurred discussions on the need for more sustainable solutions, primarily in transportation methods. In line with this, parcel companies need to adjust their business model and assure their clientele that current methods are both safe and sustainable. It's well worth utilizing a customer service team. Customer service representatives aid in developing a personal connection with a business's clients. This allows them to voice out their preferences for delivery practices, which can ultimately improve customer experience. Ensuring that consumers have positive experiences with your business is how you retain them as clients.
Clearly, there's a lot that goes in the parcel and delivery industry — from a whole slew of internal operations to finances, all the way to customer experience. It can be difficult to strike the right balance in uncertain times. Be that as it may, accomplishing this is vital to the survival and success of your company in a pandemic.