Delivery Service

Prepare for the 2017 Shipping Season!

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As we enter the height of peak shipping season, it’s a good time to start preparing your game plan.   Whether you’re a business owner of an e-commerce or brick and mortar store – or even a warehouse operations manager – the tips and tricks listed below can help you grasp a better understanding of what you should be doing to assemble your team and plan of action for peak season.

Peak season should be at the top of your mind year-round. 

In the months leading up to peak season, you should be making great strides each day to ensure that peak season goes off without a hitch – not something that you simply just “get through”. When thinking about how far in advance you should plan your logistics – just know that consumers are thinking about and researching their potential purchases months before they actually purchase anything in the peak buying month of November.

Understand when each customer’s “peak season” is.  

Each of your customer’s peak season may differ depending on what commodity they sell. It wouldn’t be wise to take on all customers who share the same peak season. The more spaced out your customer’s peak seasons are, the less stretched you’ll be for available freight options.

Plan to use insurance.  

During peak season, theft increases due to freight being unattended during long holiday weekends. In October, theft surges to an all-time high. Insurance is not something you ever want to skimp on, but especially not during peak season.

The reality of shipping costs, time, and demand. 

When the demand for freight shipping goes up, so do the prices. It’s the reality of the situation, but the sooner you educate your customers about this, the less shocked they’ll be about it when peak season rolls around.

Be transparent. 

Customers want transparent and generous return policies. Don’t try to hide anything in the fine print, especially during the upcoming holiday season when tensions are high. Be upfront and honest with customers about how you handle returns if they’re not satisfied with your product or service. If you’re an eCommerce retailer, know that over 50% of customers back out of a purchase if there is no offer for free return shipping.

Provide convenience. 

By now it comes as no shock that consumers want instant gratification. The moment you make a purchase or interaction difficult for a consumer, they back down and move onto your competitor who provided a much more pleasant and seamless experience. By offering little incentives such as in-store pick-ups, limited time sales and promotions, and free shipping, your customer is much more convinced they are making the right purchase.

Test your customer experience.

Try walking through the customer’s experience when making a purchase at your store or online website. Was it a fluid and guided process? Are you providing customers with all the information they need to make a purchase? Is there room to provide a more customized experience? These are the questions you should be asking yourself in the months leading up to peak season.

Although patterns will change and certain events simply cannot be anticipated for, it’s important for industries and companies alike, to learn from past years and analyze what works, what doesn’t, and what you could be doing even more of.

Be efficient in crunch times.

With events like Cyber Monday, companies see a huge spike in orders. Those who make it successfully through these specific sales days are those who have quick turnaround, a report by Kurt Salmon, a global management consultancy firm, stated. Researchers in the report found that Cyber Monday (the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend) is the largest online shopping day, which puts more pressure on getting items out of the warehouse faster.

Automate simple processes.

In the packaging industry, some facilities still spend several man hours taping, assembling boxes, void-filling boxes, packing, labeling and moving products out the warehouse door. With the peak season quickly approaching, look for automation opportunities that reduce package handling. This will increase throughput, reduce labor costs for temporary employees and allow you to focus more on customer satisfaction.

Contact UDS for more information: http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com.

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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, 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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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, Delivery Service

UDS Keeps the Focus on Customer Service with Real Time Tracking!

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Keeping the focus on customers has always been a priority. For years, business leaders have touted the virtues of a high customer-service orientation as a means to retain customers, grow market share, and ultimately increase revenue. And while it’s never been easy to accomplish – whether you’re a distributor, retailer or a logistics service provider – today it’s even more challenging.

One service we like to extend to our customers is VPOD/VPOA(Visual Proof of Delivery/Visual Proof of Attempt).  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated. Currently, many proof of delivery and chain of custody processes are largely paper-based, increasing the risk of mistakes, disputes, and lost or misplaced shipments.

Whether you need B2B or Residential delivery solutions, United Delivery Service is ready to partner with you to service your customers. Our United Delivery Service programs have been designed and developed over many years to cater to a wide range of shipping needs. Should the occasion arise, our software and services are flexible enough to respond and adapt quickly to meet any customer’s needs.

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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. 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.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology. Call us today 630-930-5201. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com

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Business Tips

What are the qualities that make you a leader?

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Being the leader of any organization today can be a daunting task.What goes into the making of a great leader — one who gets results, commands respect and eventually leaves the position with a positive reputation?

By definition leadership is…

An effective leader is a person who does the following:

  1. Creates an inspiring vision of the future.
  2. Motivates and inspires people to engage with that vision.
  3. Manages delivery of the vision.
  4. Coaches and builds a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision.

Leadership brings together the skills needed to do these things. We’ll look at each element in more detail.

Here are some of the most common traits in the characteristic of leadership: 

  • Empathy: Creating a legitimate rapport with your staff makes it less likely that personal issues and resentment can creep in and derail the group. When your team knows that you are empathetic to their concerns, they will be more likely to work with you and share in your vision, rather than foster negative feelings.
  • Consistency: Being a consistent leader will gain you respect and credibility, which is essential to getting buy-in from the group. By setting an example of fairness and credibility, the team will want to act the same way.
  • Honesty: Another characteristic of leadership that lends itself to credibility. Those who are honest, especially about concerns, make it far more likely that obstacles will be addressed rather than avoided. Honesty also allows for better assessment and growth.
  • Direction: Having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things –then the wherewithal to set the steps necessary to get there– is an essential characteristic of good leadership. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there, a good leader can create impressive change.
  • Communication: Effective communication helps keep he team working on the right projects with the right attitude. If you communicate effectively about expectations, issues and advice, your staff will be more likely to react and meet your goals.
  • Flexibility: Not every problem demands the same solution. By being flexible to new ideas and open-minded enough to consider them, you increase the likelihood that you will find the best possible answer. You will set a good example for your team and reward good ideas.
  • Conviction: A strong vision and the willingness to see it through is one of the most important characterizes of leadership. The leader who believes in the mission and works toward it will be an inspiration and a resource to their followers.

Of course, there are several other theories about leadership and leadership styles where different skills come into play. But no matter what your approach, if you display the previous traits you will be well equipped to lead a team successfully.

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Business Tips

Building a Better Relationship in Business!

Business relationships can take many forms. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you obviouslSetWidth700-Sales-Team-Hands-Iny want to create good relationships with your customers or clients. You may also want to connect with other business owners for possible partnerships. If you are seeking funding, you will need to develop relationships with potential investors.

Young (or even older) entrepreneurs can benefit by finding an experienced mentor, another relationship that is necessary to cultivate. The type of people on this list will depend on your current situation and goals. There are, however, certain guidelines that hold true for just about all business relationships.

That’s why people who build extraordinary business relationships:

1. Take the hit.

A customer gets mad. A vendor complains about poor service. A mutual friend feels slighted.

Sometimes, whatever the issue and regardless of who is actually at fault, some people step in and take the hit. They’re willing to accept the criticism or abuse because they know they can handle it–and they know that maybe, just maybe, the other person can’t.

Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit. And few acts better cement a relationship.

2. Step in without being asked.

It’s easy to help when you’re asked. Most people will.

Very few people offer help before they have been asked, even though most of the time that is when a little help will make the greatest impact.

People who build extraordinary relationships pay close attention so they can tell when others are struggling. Then they offer to help, but not in a general, “Is there something I can do to help you?” way.

Instead they come up with specific ways they can help. That way they can push past the reflexive, “No, I’m okay…” objections. And they can roll up their sleeves and make a difference in another person’s life.

Not because they want to build a better relationship, although that is certainly the result, but simply because they care.

 

3. Answer the question that is not asked.

Where relationships are concerned, face value is usually without value. Often people will ask a different question than the one they really want answered.

A colleague might ask you whether he should teach a class at a local college; what he really wants to talk about is how to take his life in a different direction.

A partner might ask how you felt about the idea he presented during the last board meeting; what he really wants to talk about is his diminished role in the running of the company.

An employee might ask how you built a successful business; instead of kissing up he might be looking for some advice–and encouragement–to help him follow his own dreams.

Behind many simple questions is often a larger question that goes unasked. People who build great relationships think about what lies underneath so they can answer that question, too.

4. Know when to dial it back.

Outgoing and charismatic people are usually a lot of fun… until they aren’t. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, still, some people can’t stop “expressing their individuality.” (Admit it: You know at least one person so in love with his personality he can never dial it back.)

People who build great relationships know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, and when to take charge and when to follow.

Great relationships are multifaceted and therefore require multifaceted people willing to adapt to the situation–and to the people in that situation.

5. Prove they think of others.

People who build great relationships don’t just think about other people. They act on those thoughts.

One easy way is to give unexpected praise. Everyone loves unexpected praise–it’s like getting flowers not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but “just because.” Praise helps others feel better about themselves and lets them know you’re thinking about them (which, if you think about it, is flattering in itself.)

Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone you know, not because you’re expected to but simply because you can. When you do, your relationships improve dramatically.

6. Realize when they have acted poorly.

Most people apologize when their actions or words are called into question.

Very few people apologize before they are asked to–or even before anyone notices they should.

Responsibility is a key building block of a great relationship. People who take the blame, who say they are sorry and explain why they are sorry, who don’t try to push any of the blame back on the other person–those are people everyone wants in their lives, because they instantly turn a mistake into a bump in the road rather than a permanent roadblock.

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