Business Tips, Delivery Service

Get Motivated & More Productive!

Ways to increase your motivation in your career if you’re struggling lately!

Employee motivation is at an all-time low right now because they aren’t doing work that takes advantage of their strengths and passions. Employees feel stuck doing their job because of a bad economy or just bad luck. They simply don’t know how to get motivated and remain motivated at the office. This is a big challenge because if you can’t motivate yourself, you will end up slacking off and not delivering on your project commitments, which could end up getting you laid off in the long run.  Here are six ways to get motivated in your own work so you can become as productive as possible and achieve a higher level of success at your company:

1. Concentrate on one goal at a time. Most people try to multi-task but find it hard to get anything done. If you write down one goal to accomplish each day, it’s much easier to be focused and more motivated. When you have multiple goals, it can be very hard to be motivated because you are overloaded and you don’t feel like you can do them all. When that happens, you feel like you’re a failure or lazy, both of which are probably not true. You just don’t have enough energy to do everything. Every time you finish a goal, check it off and move to a new one. Eventually, all of your goals will be checked off and you would be able to give your complete attention to each so the quality would be better.

2. Choose the right goals. You will be very motivated if you select goals that you’re excited about. It will be easy to put the time and energy into a goal that you’re really interested in, over one you’re just doing because you have to. Basically, you are more motivated if you are working towards something that you genuinely want to do or achieve. If you are forced to do goals that aren’t of particular interest, which happens a lot in the workplace, then find things that interest you within them. Sometimes you have to do work that you don’t like in order to get work that you do like.

3. Schedule breaks in your day. If you are constantly working you will get burned out and then your productivity will be zapped. Make sure you schedule regular breaks for yourself so that you can loosen up and recover the energy that you had lost. Tell yourself that you’re going to take ten minutes off after you complete a certain amount of work. For your breaks, you could take lunch, go get a coffee, run a short errand, just walk around or just talk to others at the office.

4. Get a support group. It’s important that you have other people who want you to be motivated just as much as you want yourself to be, and you can help them too. Get the support of your manager and co-workers so that they are holding you accountable and offer yourself as a member of their support group too. If a member of your support group sees that you’re fooling around at work or you’re slouching, they should go over to you and check in to help you get your motivation back.

5. Change your environment. If you don’t feel motivated it could be that there are too many distractions in your current environment. If you’re sitting in a cubicle every day, try to work in a conference room or even at home. Talk to your manager about the different options and see if that new environment helps you get more work done faster. If anything else, it will feel good to work from a different area and you won’t be as bored.

6. Have something to look forward to. When you know something good is coming up in your life, it’s easier to get motivated. That something could be a vacation you are planning, a night out with friends, a major conference or wedding or just a bigger project that you know is coming up. If you don’t have anything on the horizon, then start planning because that will make you push yourself harder.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

5 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Business Should Ship with UDS!

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Your business is growing and your shipping needs are changing. There is allot to consider when choosing a shipping company that is right for your business.  Let United Delivery Service give you 5 reasons they are worth considering.

Meeting Diverse Needs

We strive to partner with progressive companies and to provide a high level delivery solution that will meet or exceed your customers’ highest expectations. UDS has tailored its solutions to specific industry requirements, ranging from pharmaceutical to floral and Residential to B2B. Our operation, as well as our software, can scale to handle the needs of small and large businesses alike.

Knowledgable & Responsive Staff

From Customer Service Representatives to Warehouse Personnel to Drivers, UDS understands that our staff is not only a reflection of our company, but also of yours. Through training, monitoring and audits, we continually strive to ensure that our staff is providing the best service possible. We have processes in place to ensure that staff is notified of any changes to regulations or customer SOP. We maintain a standard of excellence in our people, technology and service.

Flexible Solutions

At UDS, we chose to build our own technology, allowing us to quickly adapt to the growing technological needs of the industry. This allows for flexibility and responsiveness during integrations.More importantly, we can continually offer our customers the most advanced technology available, such as GPS and imaging technology and other integral tools to help pinpoint your deliveries. These technologies bring you total visibility into the delivery process.

Our services have been designed to offer flexibility as well. A single service may not suit the needs of every customer. Our Same Day, Next Day and Customized Routed services offer flexible options. Our services may be customized or combined to offer a complete shipping solution for your company.

VPOD

Real Time Package Visibility Through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process. Innovative Technology Seamless Integration Proprietary Software Real Time Tracking Barcode Scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e. damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

Delivery Solutions

UDS has developed successful delivery solutions for various key industries over the past forty years. Together we can find a solutions that will work right for your company.

We offer 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.

United Delivery Service makes deliveries happen faster for businesses and consumers. We’ve developed a Midwest network positioned to enhance the speed and flexibility of last-mile delivery. We help consumers get products more quickly while lowering the cost of distribution for the businesses they buy from. Contact Us at http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com/

 

 

 

 

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Delivery Service

Rethinking the Last Mile

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 9.35.10 PM.pngInnovation is vital in today’s environment of technological change. To stay ahead, one must innovate or face extinction. It’s amazing how today’s small parcel market differs from the one just five years ago, and it will undoubtedly differ from the one five years from now.

Here are four interesting new ideas that make us rethink the last mile, all of which are sure to affect the future of small parcel delivery:

Drones

The most talked about new way to deliver e-commerce orders is by drone. Its appeal is largely based on the speed that orders can be delivered. Theoretically at least, it’s the fastest, most direct way to make a delivery — weather and weight limitations aside.

The real question will be the feasibility and scalability of delivering with drones. The high costs may prevent it from being a realistic everyday option for consumers, making it just another premium ‘expedited’ service.

Robots

There are already small robots being used to make food deliveries in some big cities, with e-commerce deliveries coming soon. The concept is based on using a small, autonomous robots big enough to fit things securely inside and then sending them on their way.

Robots seem to have slightly fewer practical limitations and scalability problems than drones. But, are more limited in their potential service areas and will require greater population density to be economical.

Underground

The opposite of drones is the idea of going underground to make deliveries. For the same reason subways work, this could be the next great option for small parcel deliveries. After all, why deal with above ground hurdles of people, buildings, and traffic if you don’t have to?

The reality is there are big infrastructure investments needed to make this idea work, but with the right density of customers, it becomes a possible option. Many cities already have networks of underground tunnels that most people don’t know about.

Self-Driving Trucks

Autonomous vehicles, although futuristic just a few short years ago, will likely be the first of these new last mile concepts to become real. It’s easy to imagine self-driving trucks arriving curbside and a person coming out to get their boxes off the truck.

This option is not limited in the ways each of the others are – mostly because there is no need for new infrastructure and the technology already exists for the most part. It also allows for the carriers to maintain their economies of scale, and keep the rates they charge low.

These technological advances may have a significant impact on how deliveries (B2B and B2C) are made and future logistics infrastructure is developed to enable these new options. Stay tuned….

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

How to Survive Office Politics!

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One of the greatest challenges people in the workplace face is avoiding negativity. Nothing can turn an enthusiastic mood around more quickly or throw a wet blanket on the creative fires on the job than a solid dose of downer energy from someone you work with. In fact, it should be viewed as the number one work hazard to avoid at all costs.

Office politics will never go away. It’s a fact of company life. However, destructive office politics can demoralize an organization, hamper productivity, and increase turnover. Here are some tips, applicable for both staff and management, on dealing with office politics.

#1: Live at peace with others

The easiest way to avoid problems with politics is to get along with people. I’m not saying you need to hug everyone and sing songs, and I’m not saying you have to be a pushover for everyone. You can be pleasant and professional, while at the same time being assertive when necessary. If you have a concern, focus only on the issue, not on the person. If you have to refuse a request, explain why and try to come up with alternative solutions.

Living at peace with others also means being careful about choosing sides during office power struggles. Aligning yourself with one faction or the other will prevent you from working effectively with people from the “other” side, thereby hampering your productivity and thus your performance. It’s even worse if “your” faction loses out. Instead, try to focus on your tasks, dealing with people in either faction on the basis of the tasks alone, and avoid talk on the political issue that separates the groups.

#2: Don’t talk out of school

Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

— Benjamin Franklin

Does your organization have issues? Have people told you things in confidence? Then keep those matters to yourself. Talking to outsiders about issues within your organization makes all of you look bad to that outsider. Furthermore, your boss or your boss’s boss will not appreciate that behavior. People will find out that you spoke about what they told you, and they’ll lose confidence in you and respect for you.

#3: Be helpful

We all have responsibilities and objectives, and those things should receive priority. Nonetheless, if it doesn’t take too much time, being helpful to others can reap benefits for you. Does someone need a ride in the direction you live? Did your co-worker leave headlights on in the parking lot? Is someone having trouble building an Excel macro? If you can help that person, especially if you can do so without taking too much of your time, you benefit yourself as well as the other person. By doing these things, you’re building political capital and loyalty. In doing so, you reduce the chances that you will be the victim of political intrigue.

#4: Stay away from gossip

I never repeat gossip, so listen carefully.

— Old joke

Nothing destroys the dynamics of an office more than gossip. Stay away from it, because nothing good comes from it. Just be sure you avoid the “holier than thou” attitude of lecturing your co-workers on the evils of gossip. You’ll make them lose face, and they’ll resent you. Instead, try subtly changing the subject. For example, suppose the group is talking about Jane’s problems with her child, and of course Jane is absent from the group. Do some free association and try to come up with some topic that’s related to Jane or her child, but won’t involve gossip. Then, make a comment about that topic.

For instance, suppose you know that Jane’s child is involved in a sports league. Mention this fact, thereby linking the child and the league. Then, shift the conversation so that you’re now talking about the league rather than Jane’s child. You could ask when schedules will be published, or if they need parent volunteers. If you do it right, no one will even notice that you’ve moved them away from the gossip.

#5: Stay out of those talk-down-the-boss sessions

Suppose your co-workers start complaining about the boss. If you join in, it makes you look disloyal to the boss. If you don’t, it looks awkward in the group. What can you do? As with the situation of gossip, try changing the subject by linking the boss to another topic, then talking about that topic instead. Or you could simply respond to your co-workers with a smile and a tongue-in-cheek, “Come on, aren’t we exaggerating? [name of boss] really isn’t THAT bad.” Be careful, though, because it could be taken as an admission by you that the boss is bad.

#6: Be a straight arrow

The best way to keep out of trouble politically is to be seen as someone who doesn’t play office politics — in other words, a straight arrow. Do what you say you’re going to do, alert people to problems, and admit your mistakes. Others will respect you, even if they don’t always agree with you. More important, you have a lower chance of being a victim of politics.

#7: Address the “politics” issue openly when appropriate

Tell people you’re not interested in scoring political points but only in getting the job done. It might not work, but unless you bring the matter up, there’s no chance at all that they will believe you. So if a co-worker is unavailable, and you have to act on that person’s behalf, consider saying to that person, “I had to act because of your absence. I wasn’t trying to go behind your back and I wasn’t trying to show you up.”

#8: Document things

Nothing saves a job or career more than having a written record. If you believe a matter will come back to haunt you, make sure you keep a record of the matter, either via e-mail or document. Documentation is also an effective way to highlight of your own accomplishments, which can help you when your performance evaluation is conducted.

#9: Set incentives to foster teamwork

If you’re a manager or senior executive, take a close look at your incentives. Are you unwittingly setting up your staff to work against each other? Do your metrics address only individual departments, or do they also address how departments could benefit the larger organization?

If you reward employees in a department based only on how well that department does, you may inadvertently cause destructive competition among departments. Each one will be competing against every other one, and all the departments could end up in a worse position. To minimize this possibility, give employees incentives based not only on department results but on organization results as well. That way, employees from different departments have more motivation to work together and less motivation to engage in destructive politics.

#10: Set an example for your staff

People in an organization look to leadership to see how to act. Do you want your staff to refrain from negative politics? Do you want to see collaboration and teamwork instead of petty rivalries, jealousy, and back-stabbing? Act the way you want your staff to act, and they will follow you.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Saving Money on Shipping Costs!

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 1.11.44 PMShipping merchandise can be one of the most complicated operations for any business. Poor or no planning can result in owners overpaying, as well as losing sales if the company can’t provide consistent and cost-effective delivery to customers.

For businesses that don’t often send larger shipments of several pallets at a time or can’t afford to hire a logistics provider to manage its shipping services, developing a set of guidelines can be essential.

Have a minimum purchase value for free shipping

Offer free shipping with a minimum purchase order value. Avoid offering free shipping with a minimum number of purchased items because in that case, the customer may buy low-priced items just to qualify for free shipping. That does not quite bring you a lot of money.  According to the surveying firm Comscore, 75% of online shoppers in Canada tend to buy additional stuff, even if unnecessary, to attain the stipulated minimum purchase limit and qualify for free shipping.

Negotiate with carriers for better rates

That is common sense, isn’t it? Lower shipping rates will mean higher profitability. You might be a great negotiator, but from the carriers’ perspective, they need good incentives to offer you lower rates — incentives that make sound business sense to them. Commit to give higher shipping volumes to carriers and they might be happy to give you lower rates. And it would not be a bad idea to include inbound shipping to the assignment list of the carriers.

Use reward points from business debit and credit cards

Ecommerce retailers usually make payments for bulk product purchases with their business debit and credit cards. Over time, the ecommerce retailer earns huge reward points for the purchases made, usually in the form of Visa or MasterCard gift cards. You can easily utilize these gift cards to pay for shipping charges, provided your carrier accepts the cards. In most cases, most carriers do.

Adjust product price based on product cube value

Carriers’ shipping rates usually depend on the space your product is occupying on the shipping vehicle, other than on the product weight. So, you may be losing some money on shipping large but lightweight items. Items such as a large box of pillows may be lightweight but occupy a lot of space on the shipping vehicle. So, you should smartly price especially the potentially large but lightweight items so that you do not lose money on shipping.

Know where you’re shipping

If you primarily ship to one specific region, a regional carrier like United Delivery Services, may be your best bet. Regional carriers often provide lower rates than national shipping carrieres because they cover a small geographic area. United Delivery Service began in the Chicago Metro area more than 40 years ago. They quickly recognized that many of thier  clients needed service outside the area for their Residential and B2B solutions. They added On Demand, Route Distribution, and customized routing services to expand their reach across the Midwest. As a Midwest Regional Carrier, UDS provides customers with cost savings, flexibility and personalized service that national carriers can’t match.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Performance Review Time!

performance-reviewIt may be performance review time at your company and as a manager you will be asked to review your employees.  We are all busy with a workloads but it is imperative that you properly prepare for these reviews by doing some homework and giving some thought to the reviews. Are you interested in tips about how to make performance reviews successful in your organization? While performance review methods and approaches differ from organization to organization, universal principles about how to talk with an employee about his or her performance exist.

Performance Review Tips

1. The employee should never hear about positive performance or performance in need of improvement for the first time at your formal performance discussion meeting unless it is new information or insight. Effective managers discuss both positive performance and areas for improvement regularly, even daily or weekly. Aim to make the contents of the performance review discussion a re-emphasis of critical points.

2. No matter the components of your performance review process, the first step is goal setting. It is imperative that the employee knows exactly what is expected of his or her performance. Your periodic discussions about performance need to focus on these significant portions of the employee’s job.

You need to document this job plan: goals and expectations in a job plan or job expectations format, or in your employer’s format. Without a written agreement and a shared picture of the employee’s goals, success for the employee is unlikely.

3. During preparation and goal setting, it should be made clear as to how this will be evaluated.  Describe exactly what you’re looking for from the employee and exactly how you will assess the performance. Discuss with the employee her role in the evaluation process. If your organization’s performance review process includes an employee self-evaluation, share the form and talk about what self-evaluation entails.

4. Solicit feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with the employee. Sometimes called 360-degree feedback because you are obtaining feedback for the employee from his boss, coworkers, and any reporting staff, you use the feedback to broaden the performance information that you provide for the employee. Start with informal discussions to obtain feedback information. Consider developing a format so that the feedback is easy to digest and share with the manager.
If your company uses a form that you fill out in advance of the meeting, give the performance review to the employee in advance of the meeting. This allows the employee to digest the contents before her discussion of the details with you. This simple gesture can remove a lot of the emotion and drama from the performance review meeting.

5. Prepare for the discussion with the employee. Never go into a performance review without preparation. If you wing it, performance reviews fail. You will miss key opportunities for feedback and improvement, and the employee will not feel encouraged about his successes. The documentation that you maintained during the performance review period serves you well as you prepare for an employee’s performance review.

If needed, practice approaches with your Human Resources staff, a colleague, or your manager. Jot notes with the main points of feedback. Include bullet points that clearly illustrate the point you plan to make to the employee. The more you can identify patterns and give examples, the better the employee will understand and be able to act upon the feedback.

6. When you meet with the employee, spend time on the positive aspects of his or her performance. In most cases, the discussion of the positive components of the employee’s performance should take up more time than that of the negative components. For your above average performing employees and your performing employees, positive feedback and discussion about how the employee can continue to grow her performance should comprise the majority of the discussion. The employee will find this rewarding and motivating.

7. The spirit in which you approach this conversation will make a difference in whether it is effective. If your intention is genuine to help the employee improve, and you have a positive relationship with the employee, the conversation is easier and more effective. The employee has to trust that you want to help him improve his performance. He needs to hear you say that you have confidence in his ability to improve. This helps him believe that he has the ability and the support necessary to improve.

8. Conversation is the key word that should define a performance review meeting. If you are doing all of the talking or the meeting becomes a lecture, the performance review is less effective. The employee will feel as if he was yelled at and treated unjustly. This is not how you want employees feeling as they leave their performance reviews.

You want an employee who is motivated and excited about his ability to continue to grow, develop, and contribute. Aim for performance review meetings in which the employee talks more than half of the time. You can encourage this conversation by asking questions such as these.

–What do you expect to be the most challenging about your goals for this quarter?
–What support can the department and I provide for you that will help you reach these goals?
–What are your hopes for your achievements at our company this year?
–How can I be a better manager for you?
–How often would you like to receive feedback?
–What kind of schedule can we set up so that you don’t feel micromanaged, but I receive the feedback that I need about your progress?
–What would be a helpful agenda for our weekly one-on-one meetings?

If you take these performance review tips to heart and practice these recommendations in your performance review meetings, you will develop a significant tool for your management tool bag.

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Business Tips

Spring Clean Your Office to Increase Productivity!

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Spring Cleaning is in the air!  The warmer temperatures, colorful flowers and breezy days are all the season’s signs of refreshment and renewal Let the season of new beginnings kick off a fresh start at work.   Chances are you have been buried in year-end financials, budgets, deals and tax preparation during the winter months.   The following checklist will guide you through your office Spring Cleaning.  Keep in mind that cleaning and organizing at work is not a waste of precious work hours.   This process will help you become a more efficient and organized worker.  Before you get started, read through the checklist and tailor it to meet your individual work area.

#1: Organize!

When most people think of spring cleaning, what often comes to mind is throwing things away. While this is certainly helpful, sometimes we simply need is to organize all the belongings around us. We should divide all of items on our desk into zones if we can, and tools like filing cabinets can provide much-needed space. A good rule of thumb is to keep everything you need within an arm’s length, and everything else neatly put away.

#2: To-do, To-Read, To-File

Continuing the first organization tip, every paper we have should be organized into three categories: to-do, to-read, and to-file. Start by organizing all papers into these three piles; from here, we can have three labeled binders for easy placement of everything going forward. By using these three categories, we can eliminate that mountains of paper that inevitably end up on our desks at times.

#3: Clean Up that Clutter Drawer

The good, old clutter drawer. Chances are we’ve all had one at some point in time – that infamous top drawer where we keep all items we need in some way, but don’t necessarily like to have on our desks. By throwing everything into one drawer, it will be difficult to find our stapler or sticky notes when we will actually need to use these items. Drawer dividers or organizers are a great way to place all of our items into organized sections so we can easily access the items we need.

#4: Digital Clutter

So now you have your desk and office space cleaned off – nice work! Unfortunately, there is probably a bigger mess lurking in the computer. It’s to stash all of the files we need on our desktop, or in one master folder – but that won’t do any favors to our stress levels. The same can be said for not properly organizing and deleting or archiving emails. Luckily, our computers and software have great built-in filing and organization systems. We should create an adequate number of folders that are easy to access, and regularly delete old files on our computers to keep the digital clutter at bay.

#5: Regular Upkeep

Let’s not wait until spring every year to clean our office space! One of the best things we can do is establish a limit for how much clutter we can comfortably deal with. We all get busy, and things eventually pile up, but when we hit our clutter capacity it’s time to clean things up. By spending minimal amounts of time doing some basic cleaning each week, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and maintain our ideal work environment.

Spring cleaning your office will be worth your effort.  When you enter the office, you will feel less stressed and more energized to get started on your day.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

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