Delivery Service, tradeshows

The UDS Team Will Attend Parcel Forum 2017!

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PARCEL Forum has been hitting all the right notes for the past 15 years! From day one, they’ve been steadfast in their mission to serve the unique and ever-changing needs of professionals who are responsible for the shipping, distribution and delivery of parcel-sized (<70lbs) packages. This unwavering commitment has helped thousands of small-package professionals learn how to ship more packages, more frequently, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively. Whether you are new to the industry or a veteran, attending PARCEL Forum will be music to your ears!

One of the regional carriers that has had tremendous success and growth is United Delivery Service. Started in 1972 and based in Chicago, UDS provides next day and same day delivery solutions for retail, ecommerce, payroll, pharmaceutical and office supply companies.  Their success is a total team effort as their staff is committed to helping create the best delivery experience for your customers.

United Delivery Service will be at this years Parcel Forum 2017 event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, September 18-20.  UDS will be at booth#338

The First Choice…In Last Mile Delivery

 

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Business Tips

Communicate Better with Your Coworkers at the Office.

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You’d think we’d all be master communicators. All we do all day long is communicate. Talking, chatting, texting, emailing. Yet despite how often we do it, there’s always room for improvement.

Effectively communicating with coworkers is something you cannot afford to overlook. There are many things which can make or break the success of a company, and communication is certainly one of them. Despite the important role clear communication plays in the workplace, there are many employees that have not been trained in effectively communicating with coworkers.

7 Ways to Communicate Better with Your Coworkers:

1. Don’t bury the lede

Whatever your main point is, start there. If you need something, ask for it clearly. Be direct. Be concise.

2. Be a better listener

Effective communication, by definition, is a two-way street. Start out by making sure you’re hearing the message others are trying to deliver to you.

Don’t try to multi-task while someone’s trying to get information into your brain. Stop thinking about how you’re going to respond. Just listen, or slow down and really read the entire email, don’t skim it.

You can only respond effectively if you understand clearly what they’re trying to say. If they’re not being clear, ask them.

3. Understand your personal communication style

We all have our own communication preferences regarding the words and media we use. We’re also communicating nonverbal information through our tone and body language. Are you an eye-roller? Do you insist on including emojis in every thread? Do you speak in acronyms or corporate jargon? Do you ramble on about your pet peeves or memories of past times before getting to the point?

Take a good look at your own communication style preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t just listen to others. Listen to yourself. We all have pet phrases we get into the habit of using. Do those phrases help or hurt our message? Do they help people listen to us more attentively or tune us out?

Does your language build bridges? Encourage conversations? Inspire ideas? Or do people shut down? Ignore you? Talk over / past / around you? These are all clues as to whether or not your coworkers value you and what you have to say.

When you see that your message isn’t getting across, don’t automatically assume the recipient is the communication obstacle. It might be you. If it keeps happening, figure out how you can connect better with this person or in the specific setting. And that’s the key: create a connection, find a common thread you can both relate to authentically.

4. Respect people’s preferred communication methods/tools

We have so many communication options now. Almost too many. Everyone has their preferred medium. Respect that. If someone is notorious for not digging through long email threads, don’t expect them to find the question you asked of them if it’s buried inside your latest tome.

Do you have a coworker who never answers their phone? Stop calling. She’s probably communicating to you through some other tool. Use it.

5. Pick your moments

This one is so important. Sometimes it’s not how you’re saying it – the problem is when it’s being said.

If you’re concerned someone isn’t pulling their weight or making some mistake, raise it directly with them, not in public at the team meeting. Don’t assume the urgent issue you need to resolve right now is someone else’s priority. They have their own urgent issues, so don’t charge at them or send all-CAPS messages demanding a response right now.

Other bad moments? How about the all-hours emails and calls? An “always open” work environment wears people down.

Last, have some empathy for someone who’s stressed out. We all go there. Make some allowances when someone is obviously having a bad day. Even for those who are master communicators – stress can make idiots of us all. So learn when to give someone a break. Give it a rest. Your urgency doesn’t make it their urgency. Let the stressful time pass, and then make your request. You may discover it will happen all that much faster, and with less drama.

6. Build relationships, but stay professional

Of course there’s room to talk about non-work stuff with coworkers. We want to. We want to get along with and find common ground with the people we work with Everyone wants to feel connected to their coworkers to some degree. Getting personal at the right times helps us see coworkers as individuals, as real people with feelings.

But there’s personal and there’s personal. Don’t cross professional lines. A team chat channel isn’t Sunday brunch. No one wants to hear about your love life. TMI. It’s easy to cross this line with our business digital tools, since they feel and act like our social digital spaces. We need to remember they’re not appropriate for personal communication.

7. Stay constructive

When you do have to deliver a difficult message, stay constructive. The goal in communicating this message is to get a better result. Embarrassing someone or getting aggressive with them isn’t going to lead to a better result. No one shows up wanting to do a bad job.

8. Address mistakes

Whenever there’s a miscommunication that’s in the way of progress, address it quickly. Letting it fester doesn’t make future communications any easier.

Always be the first to admit whenever you’ve made a mistake. Apologize sincerely. Fix the mistake as best you can. By the same token, if someone else makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. Be gracious. Learn to forgive. Because holding on to anger only hurts you — not them.

As you work to improve your own communication skills, keep one guiding principle in mind: treat others with respect and consideration (aka “don’t be a jerk”). If you can master that, people will definitely be more open to what you’re saying.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

Real Time Visibility with VPOD

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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.  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated.  As an owner or operator of a small business, the benefits of proof of delivery are invaluable.  UDS offers innovative technology,  seamless integration proprietary software with 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.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology.

Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) & Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) With online ordering growing by record numbers, UDS continues to be an innovator in technology and providing delivery assurance to its customers. Company drivers take photos of the packages when they are delivered to residences and are viewable by your customer service team. Visual Proof Of Delivery (VPOD) or Visual Proof Of Attempt (VPOA) technology is a unique advantage for both the shipper and recipient.     Call Customer Service: 630-930-5201

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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

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

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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Business Tips

Working with Different Personality Types.

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Managers have the difficult task of overseeing diverse teams in the workplace, and finding ways for them to be as productive, creative and efficient as possible. While this may seem like an impossible task, especially as organizations cut back on resources and spending in an effort to survive the recession, it is not impossible to create harmony in a diverse environment. The key is understanding these different office personality types, and how to motivate them and keep them happily working together.

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