Delivery Service

Tips To Reduce Your Shipping Costs

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Most shippers recognize the advantages of having alternatives in the marketplace. In fact, two-thirds of all shippers surveyed told  Shipware they are open to exploring the use of regional carriers.  Research shows that shippers could realize as much up to 40 percent cost savings by using regionals. Underscore that you have fewer assessorial charges than the nationals. It is so much easier it is to negotiate contracts with regionals. But equally important is service. Show customers how you offer a higher level of service, earlier deliveries, later pickups, and a wider Zone 2 footprint for next day delivery.

Shipping costs are one of the biggest expenses for small businesses, but it is possible to reduce them. Here are a few ideas.

1. Negotiate.  Shipping carriers will negotiate their rates based on your annual shipping volume. The more you ship, the lower your rate.

2. Know where you’re shipping. If you primarily ship to one specific region, a regional carrier may be your best bet. Regional carriers often provide lower rates than national shipping carrieres because they cover a small geographic area.

3. Use 3rd party insurance. Carriers charge more for shipping insurance than third party companies. Carriers charge about $0.90 for every $100 of insurance, and third party companies charge about $0.55 cents for every $100. This savings can add up, especially if you ship expensive items.

4. Watch out for fees. Depending on the shipping carrier you use, you may be charged for things like Saturday delivery, fuel surcharges, delivery signatures, and residential delivery charges. Understand these fees in advance so that you don’t pay for a delivery feature that isn’t important to you and your customers.

The Advantages of Using UDS as Your Regional Parcel Carrier

Used as a part of a data-driven transportation management system and shipping strategy, the strategic use of regional parcel carriers can have important advantages for your company.

  • UDS offers improved customer service at competitive prices. That’s a win-win. Save at 10% or more with a free shipping evaluation.

  • Better Customer Experience.  At UDS you will always speak to a person not a computer.  Need help with a package or delivery let our customer service specialists assist you through our issue management system.

  • Excellent service, next-day delivery. The large next-day service area many regional parcel carriers offer for their ground shipping provides the shipper with excellent overall transit time in other words we can deliver faster than national carriers. UDS guarantees next day shipping!

  • Proprietary Technology developed with our customers in mind.  Real Time Package Visibility through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, we are able to offer total visibility into the delivery process.
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Tips to Stay Motivated at Work

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You may find your mind wandering elsewhere while at work. Consequently, maintaining your focus on given tasks and getting items checked off your list can be a challenge. When you start to feel yourself falling behind on your to-dos, it’s likely because your motivation is lacking. Your level of motivation has a direct correlation with your productivity, so a lack in motivation will result in…well, no results. Here are 5 simple ways to stay motivated at work

Set some goals.

I’d take an aggressive growth plan and being overworked any day before a job with no purpose or goals. Goals give us meaning and in work, they give us direction. We need a vision to be inspired and without that it’ll all start to feel pointless.

If you find yourself in a situation like this you’ve got to take the bull by its horns! Don’t wait for someone to motivate you – try some self-motivation! If the vision isn’t set, set one. It doesn’t have to be an impressive vision, linked to the corporate strategy and all of that. It can be a vision for you and your work. You can frame success within the context of your environment and what is within the scope of your control. Create your own goals, even if they’re small. Having goals and making progress on those goals makes us happier so go out there and start setting some goals.

Spend time with co-workers

I believe it’s important to get to know all of my employees outside of the office — grab coffee, lunch, or even work out together! We spend so many hours of our life in the workplace, why shouldn’t we use the relationships we make to stay energized?

Set Mini Deadlines on Your To Dos

Building off the strategy of time blocking, another option to help keep you moving is to make mini “deadlines” for each of your tasks. For example; if your blog is due Friday, make a mini deadline for you to finish your opener by end of day Monday. This gets the ball moving and puts you one step closer to completion.

Push yourself
If you always do work that your comfortable with that’s fine, but eventually you will start to lose your motivation. Sometimes actually pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be inspiring — similar to the feeling you get when accomplishing a workout goal. So I always encourage people to push their professional limits –jump into a new project or attend a brainstorm meeting.

Spread the love.

When the going gets tough and you’re struggling to make yourself happy, try and make someone else happy. In a study, researchers “found that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more purposeful their lives felt.” This is all fine and dandy but how can you apply it at work? Find out what the pain points are and strive to abolish them. Help others out wherever you can. Be a source of positive energy for others. In everything you do, strive to be helpful. It could mean small acts of kindness around the office like refilling the kettle for the next guy or starting a social committee and planning some well-earned fun for your team. Whatever you do, ask yourself if it’s helpful to someone else and their joy will soon translate to your own.

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Why Switch to a Regional Carrier?

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It’s easy to understand why parcel shippers might want to use a regional carrier; they usually offer flexible pickup windows, faster transit times, and lower transportation and accessorial cost. And while a regional carrier can absolutely provide these advantages, shippers need to consider the following items before they take business away from their national carrier.

While the obvious answer might be lower shipping costs and fees, there should be more motives that drive your decision to use a regional carrier. Is it better customer service or on-time delivery rates? Does your business require more same-day, next-day, or two-day delivery capabilities? Or do you need a custom shipping solution in place?

Lower cost
As a result of lower operating costs, regionals can often pass along to customers savings of 10% to 40% over UPS and FedEx pricing. Most regional carriers transport packages via truck hubs instead of airlines. Trucking can be as little as 10% of air costs.

Regional carrier pricing and contracts tend to be simpler and easier to understand than the national carriers. Most regionals have fewer accessorial charges than the nationals.

Shippers that have a high concentration of customers in a particular market should consider regional carriers in conjunction with less-than-truckload services. Many shippers leverage regional carriers to lower pricing with the national carriers. Competition enhances leverage, which is essential in any negotiation. Shippers may also feel more comfortable not putting all their eggs in one basket.

Expanded next-day delivery footprint
Since regionals concentrate operations in a well-defined geographic market, service to that market is often better than what the national carriers provide.

Many shippers find the wider next-day delivery footprint offered by regionals a competitive advantage. Imagine if you could offer your customers next-day delivery at a lower cost than what a competitor that charges for a three-day delivery.

Moreover, the regional approach often means later pickup times and earlier deliveries than the standard 10:30 a.m. service, improving both productivity and customer satisfaction.

Flexibility
Shippers in a recent national survey cited annual rate increases, hidden “accessorial” charges, complex contracts, arrogant sales reps, invoice errors and poor claims processes as their top frustrations with “the other guys”.

Getting the nationals to be flexible can be a frustrating experience—even for multimillion dollar shippers. Merchants that make the switch to regionals often see a greater degree of customer service and accommodation.

Other benefits
There are many other potential benefits to working with regional carriers. By bypassing national and multiple regional hubs, service can be more reliable in inclement weather. Some shippers reported lower damage rates with regionals, the result of reduced package handling. Regionals can often offer special services or make it easier to ship certain products like hazardous materials.

Questions to Consider

Once there’s an understanding of the pros and cons of regional parcel carriers, some of the criteria for shippers to consider include:

  • Are rates negotiable?
  • How much volume can move to regional carriers without losing existing FedEx or UPS discounts?
  • What are the minimum volume requirements for a contract?
  • What are the fuel surcharges?
  • What other surcharges are there?
  • Are daily pickups provided or is drop shipping needed?
  • Are residential deliveries offered?
  • How does one ship with the regional carriers?
  • Is a multi-carrier shipping platform required?

Call now for more information and for a FREE shipping assessment!

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Good Customer Service: Tips To Step Up Your Game

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No matter what kind of business you run, customer service is what will decide whether your company succeeds or fails. This is why it is imperative that everyone on your team–not just your customer service reps-are on top of their game with regards to their customer service skills. Here are a few tips to make sure every member of your team is set up to offer stellar service to every single person who interacts with your company.

  • Empathy, patience and consistency. Some customers will be irate. Others will be full of questions. And others will just be chatty. You must know how to handle all of them and provide the same level of service every time.
  • Adaptability. Every customer is different, and some may even seem to change week-to-week. You should be able to handle surprises, sense the customer’s mood and adapt accordingly. This also includes a willingness to learn– providing good customer service is a continuous learning process.
  • Clear communication. Ensure you convey to customers exactly what you mean. You don’t want your customer to think he’s getting 50% off when he’s actually getting 50% more product. Use authentically positive language, stay cheerful no matter what and never end a conversation without confirming the customer is satisfied.
  • Work ethic. Customers appreciate a rep who will see their problem through to its resolution. At the same time, you must have good time management skills and not spend too much time handling one customer while others are waiting. Stay focused on your goals to achieve the right balance.
  • Knowledge. Ultimately your customers rely on you for their knowledge of your product. Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and know where to turn if the questions become too detailed or technical for you to answer. But don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” either. Customers will appreciate the honesty and your efforts to find the right answer.
  • Thick skin. The customer’s always right… right? The ability to swallow one’s pride and accept blame or negative feedback is crucial. Whether your team works directly with customers or looking for feedback on social media, they’ve got to keep the customer’s happiness in mind.

 

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Business Tips, Holiday Season

Tips for Returning to Work After a Summer Vacation!

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After hanging by the shore and soaking in the sun, the last thing you want to think about is work. But as much as you would like your vacation to last forever, it’s time to come back to reality and figure out ways to get back to work after your vacation. Ideally, before you head out to your vacation, you want to make sure everything is good to go: you’ve communicated with everyone, turned on your OOO (out-of-office) responder, and tied up any loose ends from projects or assignments. While those things are important, it’s just as vital to set up a plan for when you return.

Turn On Your Out-Of-Office Responder Before You Leave

Out-of-office responders are lifesavers. They will notify people that you’re not at work, so when you return, you won’t feel overwhelmed with angry emails.

Don’t Try To Tackle Your Work all At Once

Rather than feeling overwhelmed with your workload, take one step at a time with your assignments. Also, make sure to schedule your meetings the second day you’re in the office, so you don’t go crazy, cry, and then runaway from all your responsibilities.

Resume Your Routine

It can be hard to get back into the routine of things when you first return to work. After a day or so, your natural work rhythm can fall back into place and you can start to feel productive again.

Clean & Prioritize Your Inbox

Even though you want to pull your hair out while you’re trying to answer all of your emails, figure out a system to answer the most important ones first and then return to the others later.

Create A To-Do List

If you really want to be an overachiever (of course you do), try creating your to-do list the day before you head into the office. It can organize your thoughts and make you feel more prepared when you go to work.

Strategize Your Tasks

Whether you decide to tackle the easiest or the hardest tasks first, remember to stick to a routine that works for you, so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted away your day.

Get A Good Night’s Rest

The last thing you want to do is feel anxious because your workload is overwhelming. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest so you can wake up feeling refresh before you head into work. If you’re having trouble sleeping, feel free to drink some tea or mediate to help slow things down. It might take a while to get back into the routine of things, but with patience and time, it can happen.

Don’t feel flustered the minute you head back into the office. With a little bit of prep and a lot of coffee, you can get back into the routine of things in no time.

 

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Tips to Nail Your Presentation!

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No matter your position within a company at some point you will be expected to give a presentation whether it be to a large audience or a small group.  It can be nerve wrecking to try and win over the audience with your message.  Don’t get too worked up here are some tips from some of the pros on giving a killer presentation:

Show some energy — No great presentation can be delivered like a conversation. You’re not lecturing to a college class, you’re not at a cocktail party and you’re not chatting with a small group in a board meeting. You’re on stage! People are sitting in their chairs for too long — most of them squirming. Many of them have their iPhones and laptops ready to command their attention the moment that you start sucking. You’re on stage — act like it! Get out of your comfort zone. You need to be an order of magnitude more perky than you would feel comfortable with in a normal conversation.

Tell a story — Every great presentation tells a story. Stories have starts, middles and ends. They are human and touch emotions. The bring your product to life. They are not buzzwords or bullet points. Why do people think that buzzwords are going to interest audiences?

Learn how to structure — Telling a story is one thing. But make sure that you’re structured in the way you communicate. You need to break down your message into key components. It is generally best if you have a “theme” or “thesis” which if the main point you want to get across. You then need sub-themes or “supporting evidence” to reinforce your key theme. These are weaved through your story.

KISS — (keep it simple, stupid) The goal of the presentation is just to give the audience a basic sense of what you do and why it matters. Don’t confuse this with a tour-de-force education on the finer details of how your company operations. They simply need to know: who has a problem? how are you solving this problem? why does this matter? how big of a problem is it — really?

 Make it visual — Bullet point were the worst thing ever created for group presentations. Nobody wants to read your text on a big screen. If you’re going to do that why not just print out your presentation and leave it on my seat. Far more expedient. Your presentation should have almost no bullet points. The way to capture an audience’s attention is visually. Pictures set the image, your voice tells what would have been in the bullet points.

Eye Contact – Match eye contact with everyone in the room. I’ve also heard from salespeople that you shouldn’t focus all your attention on the decision maker since secretaries and assistants in the room may hold persuasive sway over their boss.

Come Early, Really Early – Don’t fumble with powerpoint or hooking up a projector when people are waiting for you to speak. Come early, scope out the room, run through your slideshow and make sure there won’t be any glitches. Preparation can do a lot to remove your speaking anxiety.

When considering a regional carrier look to United Delivery Service to offer you exceptional customer service and save you money! http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com Contact Us at 630.930.5201

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Frequently Asked Questions for Package Delays

Facebook-page-tips-and-tricksBusinesses rely on United Delivery Service for secure, tightly-controlled delivery solutions. UDS has your customers’ best interests in mind.

Our innovative solutions include:

  • Real-time tracking from our website (and other options)
  • On-Time delivery (ability to adhere to time commitments during route optimization)
  • “Wrong Address” warning at point of delivery
  • Smooth implementation of value added services or on-demand orders, including quarterlies and tax documents
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • GPS, Electronic Signature, VPOD & VPOA provide accurate accountability
  • Report and Analysis tools to ensure results meet or exceed your customers’ needs

We understand that issues do arise and although we expect customers to receive their packages on time sometimes it is beyond our control.  Our Issue Management System can help locate lost packages or help with delivery issues. Accessing it is easy, here are some of the answers to the most common questions we see at UDS:

Q. My package tracking is showing that there is a delay, how come?

A. Circumstances out of our control sometimes come up and when a package is delayed. There can be several different reasons for delays, 1. Mis sorted which we do our absolute best to not have that happen but unfortunately does occur. Mis sorts can mean it was sent to an incorrect hub that does not service that particular area or it was sent on an incorrect route that does not service that area. 2. Sometimes packages are not received into the UDS warehouse from the vendor that the customer purchased from.  Rest assured that we will do our best to locate the package and get it out for delivery as soon as possible. By entering your tracking number on www.unitedddeliveryservice.com – you’ll be able to see the reason of the delay.  This may be caused by a line haul delay, a missort on the route or maybe weather issues on route. Or enter your issue and someone will get back to you.

Q. I need to communicate with the driver to leave my package inside my building how can I get ahold of them.

A. We would be happy to relay a message to the driver on your behalf but please keep in mind that  there is no guarantee that we will be able to reach them, but we will always do our best to try. By entering your tracking number on www.unitedddeliveryservice.com – you able to create an issue and we will be able to add any special instructions you have for the driver.

Q. I think my package is missing how can I get a picture of my Visual Proof of Delivery?

A. Customers can access images (VPOD) to confirm their package arrived safely – or to check where it ended up. The image will help us determine what happened to your package. Customers can enter in tracking number using the website and we can answer the issue with an attachment of where the driver released the package. By entering your tracking number on www.unitedddeliveryservice.com – you able to create an issue and request a VPOD from the website.

 UDS would like to partner with you and be your first choice in last mile delivery! Your customers deserve the best and so do you! Save 10% or more with a FREE shipping evaluation. Call me at 630-930-5244  http://uds-email.com/LindaV/

UDS-Business-Development-Specialist-Linda

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