Customer expectations are constantly evolving, hence the disruptive nature of retail today. Of all the chaos this has caused, one area that still seems to be lingering as a problem for retailers is the conundrum that is last mile delivery. The simple reality is that retailers need to ensure it is a positive experience for the customer, but they need to find a way to do it both efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. Overall RILA 2019 lived up to expectations as we got to hear from retailers on the top challenges and opportunities facing their supply chains in 2019. As the retail supply chain grows more complex, innovation and emerging technology are more important in the path to meeting shopper expectations. We are available to answer your questions and concerns regarding last mile delivery please contact us today.
United Delivery Service Chicago’s leading regional small parcel carrier will be exhibiting at LINK/RILA, stop by BOOTH #307 to learn more about the company and how they are helping some of the largest retailers improve their delivery experience.
February 24 – 27, 2019 | Gaylord Palms Resort | Orlando, Florida
As the trade association that represents the largest and most successful retailers in the U.S., RILA can provide a substantive perspective on the many issues facing the industry today. Their experts are well versed in both industry operations and public policy and the important link between the two. RILA is a key voice in many of today’s most critical issues.
UDS will be in attendance (Booth #307) to identify new ways to improve customer retention through fulfilment, delivery and reverse logistics programs. UDS has developed successful delivery solutions for various key industries, finding solutions that will work right for your company.
UDS offers options ranging from overnight delivery to customized routing solutions.
- Real-time package tracking and reporting
- 24/7/365 Customer Support Personnel
- Electronic signature capture, GPS, VPOD, VPOA
- Same Day, Next Day, Scheduled / Static Route solutions
- Transportation service solutions throughout the Midwest
Contact us at http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com or 630-930-5201.
Are you looking to cut costs for 2019? Have you evaluated your regional carrier service and see a big opportunity but are hesitant to switch? Switching your regional carrier service can be a smooth transition and definitely a change worth exploring. Moving your small parcel shipments to UDS does not have to be a painful process. Whether you have outgrown your in-house capabilities or have chosen to switch from one carrier provider to another, good planning is good protection. What’s at stake is the ability of your business to meet its delivery commitments to customers, and I don’t have to tell you what that can mean to your company if there’s an interruption in service!
Transition planning is not a cookie cutter process. Each company has specific requirements and unique relationships with carrier providers.
Recently we asked many of our top customers to give us feedback on our service and the response we received was incredible. Our customers told us time and again how we have been a valued logistics partner and have saved them time and money! We are so proud of the feedback that we are sharing it with you and on social media!
Next week we will review the process involved with switching to United Delivery Service as your regional carrier.
The truth is retailers are looking for ways to deliver goods faster to consumers’ doorsteps to stave off competitor threats and meet customer expectations. To accomplish that, retailers and delivery providers are zeroing in on the “last mile” of fulfillment, the most expensive and time-consuming part of the delivery process, which is when a package reaches the customer’s address.
What are the costs of last mile delivery?
*As a share of the total cost of shipping, last mile delivery costs are substantial — comprising 53% overall. And with the growing ubiquitousness of “free shipping,” customers are less willing to foot a delivery fee, forcing retailers and logistics partners to shoulder the cost. As such, it’s become the first place they’re looking to implement new technologies and drive process improvements.
Perfecting the last mile
As the demand for final-mile deliveries grow, and fulfillment timelines continue to tighten for both consumer and business deliveries, perfecting the last mile has become even more important.
By adopting a balanced approach, incorporating innovative solutions that address the final stretch, combined with the proper attention to order fulfillment and streamlined dispatch processes further upstream, we may finally reduce the headache and costs that currently make the last mile the hardest mile of all. Let us answer any questions you may have regarding last mile delivery.
If shopping around other last mile providers is on your to-do list this year let us help you weigh your decision.
* Source The Business Insider
Happy New Year!
For many people, a new year is a fresh start, a do-over of sorts, that motivates you to try something new or to recommit to those tasks you put on hold. When we talk about the new year, one word often comes to mind: resolutions. You may ask your friends or co-workers about their New Year’s resolutions, finding that yours are similar to theirs: lose weight, get out more, save money. But, what exactly are resolutions? To make a resolution is to resolve to dodictionary says that to resolve is “to make a definite and serious decision to do something.” That sounds promising. But, what happens after you’ve made that decision? How do you carry it out?
Instead of making resolutions, setting measurable goals is more likely to lead to success in seeing your hopes and dreams come to fruition. Want to increase the chances of seeing your dreams become reality? Here are goal-setting tips that will get you started on your journey towards reaching your goals.
1 – Self-reflect
Setting any kind of goal starts with reflecting on yourself. Evaluate any growth you made during the year. Take some time to think about what you have achieved as well as what you fell short of accomplishing. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome it? What new skills did you learn?
2 – Know your values
In order to set lasting career goals, you need to know what is important to you in your life. Then how would you prioritize these values in the following year depending on where you are? This will help you strike the right balance and make decisions when necessary or unexpected circumstances occur. When you align your goals with your values, you will be more likely to stay committed.
3 – Understand the purpose
As you are considering your goals for next year, make sure you understand the meaning and purpose for setting it in the first place. A clearer perspective can help you to push ahead and overcome any challenges that come your way.
4 – Express them
Make your goals real by putting weight behind them through expression and acknowledgement. Write down and talk to others about your goals or intended actions. This will allow you to have an outlet or get the support that you need in order to succeed. Keeping a journal or having someone to remind and push you can also help you stay on track and hold you liable.
5 – Set a time frame
Make your action plan even more real by setting a timeframe. Most people work productively when they are striving to meet a deadline. Measure out the steps and consider how long each action will take to achieve, then set a date. Breaking the goals into smaller objectives to reach within a certain time can also allow you to stay committed.
6 – Rewards
When you have fulfilled a goal, reward yourself. Some goals will be harder to achieve than others, so set the reward accordingly. Setting up a reward system for yourself will make the journey better and each step more satisfying. Also, don’t forget that the biggest reward will be to achieve your goals and becoming a better version of yourself than the previous year.
Like most things in life, preparation is key to achieving your career goals. With the right consideration, research and planning, there’s every reason your big dreams can become your reality.
The lifetime value of a customer is one of the most important factors in sustaining the long-term growth of your business. Ideally, you want to build an army of loyal customers who keep coming back, so you can not only establish a strong customer base but also cultivate word of mouth marketing. This article will introduce the fundamentals of customer loyalty and give you tips for building a loyal customer base for your business.
1. Making customer service a priority
Make customer care a key part of your business strategy
- Effective customer relationship management means organising your business to focus on the needs of customers.
- Set out the levels of service you plan to offer your different customer types. For example, you might assign key account managers to your most profitable customers.
- Make sure customer-facing employees have all the information they need to serve customers. Give them powers to make certain decisions independently.
- Draw up procedures for handling customer contact. For example, standards for speed and courtesy when answering phone calls.
2. Essentials of customer care
Think of ways to make life easier for customers
- Try to save the customer inconvenience at every stage of the buying experience. For example, provide a simple procedure for returning unwanted goods.
- Concentrate on providing quality service in key areas. For example, customers often complain that deliveries fail to arrive on time.
3. Encouraging customer feedback
The more you know about customers, the better you can meet their needs.
Provide opportunities for customers to give feedback
- Ask new customers why they chose you over the competition, and existing customers what you could do better.
- Set up a customer hotline, and make sure the number is visible on every piece of communication you send out.
- Get feedback online by encouraging customers to engage on social media.
- Include an email response form on your website.
- Encourage customers with a concern to contact you. You may then have a chance to rectify an issue before it has escalated to a complaint.
- Thank customers for their feedback and let them know if you make changes as a result.
4. Customer communications
Plan your communications
- Regular interaction helps build trust and loyalty.
- Be clear about your aims. For example, you might want to turn your best customers into advocateswho recommend you. Your communications might aim to keep them informed, rather than sell.
5. Customer loyalty schemes
A successful loyalty scheme pays for itself by encouraging more frequent purchases. The most common loyalty schemes are based on offering rewards to loyal customers.
You can offer cumulative discounts
- A cumulative (or ‘retrospective’) discount gives customers money back whenever they reach specified spending targets.
- Retail businesses can offer loyalty cards which work this way.
- You may need to track customers’ purchasing activity to flag discounts as they are earned. If customers have to ask for the discount, the scheme will be less effective.
6. Employees and customer service
Make sure everyone gets customer care training
- Staff who have regular contact with customers should receive training on customer care. They are at the front line of your business and need to give an efficient, professional image at all times.
- Sales people should be trained to listen to the customer, so they sell intelligently, not aggressively.
- Everyone in the company should be taught how to handle calls and take basic enquiries.
- Make sure all staff understand how it will affect customers if they do not do their job properly. For example, production errors could delay the completion of an order.
7. Customer relationship technology
The tech you use could improve customer relationships
- Consider installing a customer relationship management (CRM) system so that all customer-facing staff can access customer details and records.
- Network your PCs so that any member of staff can retrieve customer information.
United Delivery Service is a small parcel regional carrier servicing Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com.
Planning ahead is the best way to prepare for holiday shipping season success. In the months leading up to the holidays, increased amounts of imported and domestic goods must be transported to distribution centers or retail stores. The increase in volumes typically leads to limited capacity and decreased amount of drivers. On top of a challenging freight environment, possible winter weather and hard delivery dates by retailers can create further shipping challenges.
To prepare for the holiday shipping season, here is a list of tips from our transportation experts to help you minimize the impact of peak shipping season:
- Plan staffing in advance and have a contingency plan to minimize the effect on daily operations. Many companies are negatively impacted due to PTO or sick time during the holidays.
- Communicate with management, marketing and sales to understand demand forecasts as well as upcoming discounts and specials.
- Plan your pricing strategy so that additional shipping costs can be covered on rush orders.
- Place transportation bookings as early as possible and factor in additional transit times for critical shipments.
- Acknowledge that an increase in demand on carriers can limit available capacity and cause a temporary increase in rates. Increased volumes could also impact the available equipment for shipments.
- Have a worst case scenario plan which accounts for expedited shipping cost increases.
- Clearly communicate shipping deadlines with suppliers and delivery expectations with customers.
- Have a communication plan in place in case of delays.
- Understand that not all carriers provide Protect From Freeze services and availability can vary by carrier, location and time.
- Monitor safety stock levels just in case supply chain delays or port congestion transpires.
- Realize that any delays will impact the “estimated” time of delivery.
- Know that cut off dates and times for fixed weekly sailings can be changed on short notice.
- Communicate early with end customers should any delays occur.
In an effort to effectively and efficiently manage your logistics program this holiday season, let our team help you plan ahead. With state-of-the-art technology, a comprehensive suite of solutions and transportation experts, your holiday inventory will be handled with professionalism and precision.