The business of Logistics and Distribution has been around for several decades now and touches our lives in several ways every day – who can ever forget the good ole “Pizza Delivery Guy” that shows up at our doorstep with a smile and a steaming pizza!
For Delivery Drivers making a career in driving, now is perhaps the best time to be one. The Digital Economy, e-Commerce, and the rise of our “App Culture” have made everything available at our doorstep.
However, to maximize their success as Delivery Drivers, they would do well to follow best practices and bring their A-game to their jobs every day.
Delivery Driver – A Life On The Road
While the delivery business has always employed thousands of people, it has grown even more rapidly from the turn of the century, being fuelled by the rise of the e-Commerce industry. The recent decades have also seen the exponential rise in the “App Culture” i.e. the use of Apps in modern lives for, well, everything!
With a tap, swipe, screen-pinch, or a spoken command, you can now receive everything at your doorstep – food, groceries, apparel, home products, medicines, masseurs…the list is endless! And, growing!
Due to this lifestyle of “everything-at-your-door”, it is now ever more important to make sure that the delivery experience that you provide your customers is positive and satisfying. Therefore, Logistics and Distribution companies need to make sure their Delivery Drivers have the requisite skills to carry out their duties safely, competently, and profitably.
Here are some convenient tips:
1. Select Suitable Delivery Jobs: Driving jobs use various models so pick the one that suits you most. For example, you could work with a Fleet Management company as part of their fleet driver team, or with an independent restaurant chain, or with an independent delivery service.
Naturally, your work schedule will vary accordingly – in some cases you can work on your own time, others need you to work per their shift schedules, while the more autonomous independent clients (e.g. restaurants) could even accommodate your timings to organize shifts for you. Some will provide you with a company vehicle, while others will need you to use your own. Similarly, each will have different hiring processes, salary packages, and benefits.
2. Safety Protocol: While best practices for safety should be paramount in all industries, it becomes even important in the transport and freight business for obvious reasons. Managing risks associated with driving jobs is essential for staying safe as well as performing its duties successfully.
Adhering to safe driving policies, checking for hazardous traffic and weather conditions, road closures, ensuring that the vehicles you drive are in good condition, and keeping all required documents updated are measures that Delivery Drivers must be particular about.
3. Navigation: Being clear and knowing the routes you navigate, roads you drive, and the areas you serve are very important in your role as a Delivery Driver. Being unsure about your coordinates and getting lost – often- will increase driving hours, delay deliveries, and annoy customers, not to mention create unhappy employers!
Using a reliable GPS-enabled fleet navigation system is imperative – make sure you install such an app on your smartphone and learn how to use it for all its tools and functions.
4. Carry Necessary Equipment: Your employers may – or, may not – provide you with basic driver’s equipment. In any event, you may consider investing in some additional equipment to give you a leg up as a Delivery Driver.
For example, if you are in the food delivery business, some items including coolers, insulated delivery bags, and takeout supplies (e.g. paper plates, straws, napkins, and condiments) will help serve your customers better. Drivers often maintain other handy items like loose change, clipboards, pens, sticky notes, batteries.
5. Customer Service: Customer Satisfaction is the final metric for any business. Unless you’re creating happy customers you won’t get repeat orders and will be unable to build a sustainable business for your employers. In turn, you won’t have a secure job as a Delivery Driver.
Remember, that Delivery Drivers form the “face” of the company for its customers – your appearance, attitude, demeanor, willingness to help customers, and thankfulness for their business will help you earn appreciation and good feedback to further your career. Oh, and it’ll likely get you good tips, too!
6. Contactless Delivery: While “contactless delivery” has been in use for years now (e.g. touch-free credit card payment) the pandemic has now mandated it strictly. And, it’s a change that will now become the norm.
Leaving orders at doors, avoiding contact, maintaining distancing, wearing disposable gloves, taking photos (instead of physical documentation), using ePOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery), using SMS and app notifications instead of ringing doorbells – these are modern methods of practicing contactless delivery while improving customer experience. Developing these habits would mean you are a safe, smart, and responsible Delivery Driver.
7. Income: At the end of the day, our jobs must be financially rewarding. Therefore, you must be aware of factors that influence your earnings. E.g. wage rates and bonuses of various delivery jobs, job locations, geographic demand for Delivery Drivers, number of hours you can put in, peak hour jobs vs. non-peak hours (etc.).
Additionally, be aware of how to best file your tax returns. Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, what and how much information to provide (etc.) – all these factors have an impact on your earnings.
Conclusion: As described above, a Delivery Driver must take the necessary time and effort to stay updated on all aspects of his job. Staying at the top of his game will not only further his career and financial situation but also create happy customers for his employers.
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