As a result of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown of so many economies, many businesses have had to rethink their entire business model. In some cases, the “old” delivery options aren’t available, traditional vendors have idled manufacturing so new sources have created new challenges, and business models that ran perfectly in February have proven to not be tenable today.
Expertec has seen so many small businesses in western Canada adapting and one of the biggest spaces these companies are turning to (and turning a profit in) is delivery for clients as well as courier services.
If you’ve found yourself either making this change yourself, or you’ve already been handling delivery and courier services for much longer, there are some exciting new possibilities that are open to you.
Let’s look at some prime subjects to consider in the delivery and courier market.
- What’s Handling the Delivery? Let’s face it – there’s a lot of ways to get an object from point A to point B. Bicycle, motorcycle, van, drone, passenger car, long distance, international? The list is endless, but the majority of what we’re seeing now is focused on local delivery. For 90% or more of the courier and delivery companies, trucks, vans and passenger vehicles are being utilized.
- Are Those Vehicles Reliable? If your business model is going to be based on getting products to customers, then the transportation system had better be reliable. That’s not to say those vehicles have to be brand new, but all the maintenance should be up to date, tires and brakes checked and tested, and every driver should be 100% competent to handle the job and ensure proper customer service when they meet your clients.
- What Insurance Will You Need? Before you get too far into ramping up delivery or courier services, make sure you have the right policies in place to protect you, your drivers, and your cargo. It might seem silly, but if the value of the cargo is exponentially higher than the vehicle, your insurer needs to know! The same holds true of where those vehicles will be used and stored, too.
- Do You Need Additional Licensing? For the most part, this is a conversation to start with your insurance company, but different Provinces have different rules. Make sure you understand those to prevent opening yourself up for traffic citations, fines, or potentially litigation.
- Getting Organized. There’s two parts to this point. The first, of course, has to do with how the items to be delivered will be staged in your facility. You might have a full commercial operation and simply deliver based on when an order comes in. On the other hand, you might be staging items for delivery onsite. Think of a pizza parlor – they have to deliver a product that is still hot and savory, so what is the best way to do this?
This brings up the second point: How will you keep various deliveries separated while in transport? Bins, shelves, files, cabinets? Expertec has loads of solutions for these challenges, too, and they can range from a full custom built design to an easy-to-use Fold Up Shelving System that fits in a variety of vehicles.
- What Options Will You Need? A lot of consideration must be placed on the system you’ll use for delivery. Are you “hot shotting” one product each time or will your team only make one delivery run each morning? Will customers pay a premium for before lunch delivery or same-day? Many of these questions can only be answered by talking to your clients about what they need and what they’d prefer.
- Think About your Image. This is a HUGE challenge for anyone building or using a delivery program. People – not even your clients – will judge you based on the vehicle, the logo, the safety of the driver, and the overall appearance of the driver. They’ll do it no matter whether your team is good or bad, but by planning the image you want for your team, you can considerably narrow the list of challenges you’ll face.
A great example of this is by using partitions between the driver and the items being delivered. Expertec has been providing partitions for a variety of upfitted vehicles for decades, but for courier or delivery services? Our new Crew View Sneeze Guard Partitions offer a clear barrier between the front of any vehicle and the rear – even if that is simply the rest of the passenger seats in a SUV. This offer a fantastic way to prove to new customers how dedicated you and your team are to their safety in these “no touch” times.
- How Will You Track the Delivery? Companies like Amazon, UPS, and even Uber Eats have spent millions to figure out how to track shipments, and there’s no excuse, with the technology today, that your company cannot do the same (but without the price tag!). It’s definitely worth exploring if these types of programs make sense in your delivery model or courier business.
Today, people are looking for new options and smaller courier and delivery services, long deemed a dying model due to the digital age and the big names that dominated the industry, are making a big comeback. Companies working to ensure the safety of their clients are taking on delivery firsthand rather than subcontracting that out, and these “old” ideas are gaining a new lease on life.