Mistakes business owners make when making deliveries  

You are a business owner dealing with flowers…it is Valentine’s Day and orders are coming in like crazy. How do you ensure you create, process, dispatch, and ensure the product gets to the customer quickly and seamlessly?  

Delivering products can be a hustle especially if you are dealing with many orders. Ideally, a perfect product delivery process is when goods are dispatched and delivered to a customer efficiently and on time. After discussing what causes late deliveries in our previous article, this is a guide to help you ensure your product delivery process runs smoothly.   

To elaborate on the common mistakes business owners face when delivering products, we spoke to Mr. Tarus Kipkosgei. Tarus is the operations Manager at ibuQa. He oversees the day to day activities of the companies logistics department. 

Mistakes business owners make during product delivery  

Common issues made by business owners during product delivery include:  

Mislabeling packages  

Tarus mentioned that business owners make the mistake of mislabeling packages and the packages end up delivered to the wrong recipient. Packages have labels that show the recipient’s details e.g., name, address, and contact number.  Placing the wrong details on the package might direct the rider to the wrong destination. Unclear labels can also confuse your rider and lead to confusion during package delivery. 

Incorrect Prioritization  

Products have different levels of urgency. It mostly depends on how fast the customer requires the product. If you do not organize the products at appropriate shipping times, you will end up with late deliveries and angry customers. 

These are the different types of deliveries: 

Urgent  

These are goods that need to be delivered instantly. These are deliveries that are picked up in an hour and delivered to the direct location. Urgent deliveries do not provide delivery companies enough time to properly plan for delivery. The goods are given the highest priority and that is why it costs more to deliver such products. 

Express 

Express deliveries are mostly delivered in a span of 2-3 hours. They are also considered urgent deliveries as you still do not get adequate time to efficiently plan the delivery. 

Same day  

Same-day deliveries are normally before 5 pm. An example of a business offering same-day deliveries is QuickMart supermarket. When you purchase a product at QuickMart before 12 pm, the product is delivered to you on the same day.  

Next day  

Next-day deliveries are shipped to the customers a day after the order was placed. Many Instagram shops use this form of delivery. It allows business owners to organize the delivery process, and route plan which benefits the customer since it is the cheapest method. 

Managing customer expectations 

When it comes to delivering products, you may be tempted to over-promise customer but you under-deliver. Business owners give customers a specific time of delivery but face challenges fulfilling those commitments. For example, you can promise a customer to deliver a product at 5.30 pm but during the shipment, the vehicle breaks down. Since the customer is expecting the product at the said time, without proper communication the delay will be an inconvenience to the customer. This is why it’s important to have different classes of service (e.g. next day) and set communicate appropriate delivery timelines before the sale. 

Lack of communication  

Communication is key when it comes to delivering products. Both from the recipient and the sender. “If the business owner(sender) does not provide enough information on the delivery details, it may inconvenience the rider. And the rider may try to communicate with the recipient, but the phone is off, and they have not communicated where the goods should be placed. It causes a delay for the rider.” said Mr. Kipkosgei. Business owners also fail to update customers on the delivery process.

The following is information customers want to know throughout the delivery process: 

Before delivery  

How will the product come? What are the delivery time expectations? Ecommerce platforms such as Jumia, Ali express, or Amazon update customers on expected delivery times.  When you order a product on Jumia, you are instantly updated on the expected delivery time before purchasing, to avoid inconveniencing the customer. You can imagine a customer receiving Christmas decorations in January. Providing a timeline will  

During delivery  

Customers want to know the shipment progress. They want to know when it is dispatched from the warehouse and when it is out for delivery. You can provide a tracking link that they can easily follow. This transparency builds trust and provides customers assurance of the security of their products.  

Inadequate planning  

The delivery process will be messy if you are disorganized. Tarus stated that at times business owners are disorganized and end up delaying product dispatch. If you do not have strategies for handling deliveries, then delivery days will be a nightmare to you. Adequate planning will help you analyze and implement your inventory management strategy, delivery process plan and will ensure a seamless order fulfilment process.

Poor route planning 

Route planning is outlining a vehicle’s path from point A to point B. It provides riders with the fastest route to use. If there is also no clear route plan, the rider may end up taking a longer route which will be wasting fuel and time.  

How to ensure a smooth delivery process for your products  

To orchestrate a smooth product delivery process, you can take the following measures: 

Implement an inventory system for product delivery  

An inventory control method is a system that tracks how products are coming in and going out of the warehouse. It also helps in keeping tab on available stocks to avoid stock-outs when delivering products. For instance, If you have many orders, you can use the First In, First Out system. This way, if an order comes in, you prepare, label, and dispatch it first before sending out another one. This will end up creating more warehouse space for more storage.  

To avoid mislabeling products, you should always countercheck the information provided and the one you have listed to ensure accuracy.  

Keep things organized   

One way to keep things organized is implementing a high value order fulfilment process. An order fulfilment process manages the movement of products from the warehouse to the customer. A disorganized order fulfilment process will cause issues during shipment. Having a systematic plan for the process of dealing with orders will help you be coordinated. Dispatch goods on their levels of urgency, whether it is urgent, express, same-day, or next-day delivery type. 

Route planning 

A route plan will maximize the utilization of vehicles and will help you improve customer satisfaction due to timely deliveries. Before a product is sent for delivery, research, and plan on the best routes to use.  

Having a reliable logistics partner  

When you are running an online business, you need a reliable logistics provider. A logistics partner who will ensure to deliver your products in a fast and efficient manner.  A reliable logistics partner will ensure that your only concern will be labeling the products for delivery.   

Thus, when you are ready to get your delivery process in order, at ibuQa, we are committed to helping you out! We can offer to deliver your products and deal with other messy stuff such as cash handling and back-office operations. To contact us, call +2547 43 750 000 or email us at courier@ibuqacapital.com  

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