After starting a courier business the best business decision one can make to improve efficiencies, save costs and impress more customers is to build delivery management software to automate all of your manual delivery processes. But before you think about investing thousands in courier tracking app or fleet management technology consider these 4 things that will save you time and money.
1. Look for delivery management software tools
Instead of spending time and money on building your own logistics software application, there are now many delivery management SaaS providers who will offer similar functionality for a fraction of the price. Write down what you need your software to do and approach all companies to see which is the best fit within your budget and feature requests. If most services can cater to 80% of your needs is it worth building your own software or is it better to save that money and allocate it towards marketing and other investments that will contribute towards your business delivery growth. On-demand delivery software is now becoming a part of the on-demand stack and it no longer makes sense to build your own delivery management software and courier apps.
2. Stay lean with V.1 functionality
A quick and easy way to know what you want is to make a list of the functionality of all of your competitor apps and then as a team go through each one and delete that features that are not 100% relevant to your business. By staying lean and launching your MVP (minimal viable product) you will save your company time and money and this will allow you to build only the most important features into your software. When we built version one of Swift, we made some big assumptions on features that we thought we needed. Features that would have blown out our budget by another $100,000 if we built them. Looking back, I am glad we focused on launching an MVP product as most of the assumed features would now be irrelevant to our delivery software needs.
If you have decided to build your own courier fleet software than it will be good to first build the core and important features of the application and then wait to add more features. Keep an eye on the market and see what features other courier services have added to their software to enhance their efficiencies and experience for their customers. To save even more money, look to see if you can integrate a delivery tracking tool with a simple delivery job assignment algorithm that you might be able to find on the internet.
3. Ensure Automated Capacity Utilisation
If your deliveries are time sensitive and have a tight delivery window (aka on-demand delivery), then make sure that your software can automatically utilise capacity on your network of drivers. You can utilise capacity by setting limits for orders that drivers can accept so the fleet is utilised efficiently and not one driver is stacked with too many jobs which slows everyone down. You can also utilise capacity by offering emergency jobs to drivers for higher compensation to bring more drivers onto the network during surges in demand. Stabilising the work load and incentivising backup drivers within your delivery fleet network will lead to improved customer satisfaction and good business and for a busy company the only way to successfully do this is to automate through software. Perhaps if you are starting out, look to partner with local on-demand delivery companies who you can call upon in the case of surges in demand.
4. Let the software make decisions for your drivers
If you really want to maximise the uptime of your delivery drivers then you should have your management software tell them which delivery to do in the exact order based on a number of parameters (distance, time due, traffic, smart routing, perishable vs non-perishable items) this will make the life of your couriers extremely easy, will ensure that all deliveries are made on time, and increase the volume of orders your fleet can fulfil per hour (incredibly important for wage earning fleets)