There is no doubt about it times are tough for businesses around the world and although recent reports from government sources are telling businesses that there is light at the end of the tunnel, businesses are still being challenged to find ways of cutting costs to improve efficiency.
Viewed from the project manager’s prospective; there are several ways a business can save money in and around the way that a business gets its products to customers and they do not all revolve around just finding the cheapest courier service. As with most projects communication is the key on an individual basis and also on a business wide basis.
Despite the explosion in communication options available within a business, many businesses still spend too much money at best or at worst fail because of communication issues. Many businesses for example send individual parcels or packages from various parts of their business to the same customer. This results in increased costs to the business, most businesses could actually use a better quality service if they were better organised and instead of for example sending five parcels to the same customer, they could sometimes actually send the individual items in one delivery. The heart of success is in communicating throughout the business.
Many companies also have multiple accounts with numerous parcel delivery companies; this is rarely an efficient way of working and the advantage of getting the best price from one courier service provider is usually missed. Using the service of one provider for parcel delivery is without a doubt the best way for companies that have multiple sites.
For large companies a good order management and CRM system is essential if efficient shipping of goods is to be achieved, but a decent ordering system does not need to be the reserve of the large multi-nationals, SME’s can do a few relatively simple things to improve how and when products are delivered to customers. Although there are some amazing project management techniques that can make businesses run better, always at the center of them is communication.
Things like centralised ordering of packing boxes, padded envelopes, bubble wrap and labels can improve efficiency. Usually a company will need to make a few small adjustments and once implemented they can take advantage of some tremendous savings.
The likely changes are to centralise the dispatching of products from the company and is also probably best to centralise the ordering of packaging materials. If products like bubble wrap are not used, then they may need to be taken into consideration this will allow individual products to be wrapped without ‘banging’ against other products being sent to the same customer, and thus avoiding damage to products.
It is worth scoping a good courier service, one that offers a full range of products including an International service if your business exports its product abroad. Another important service is the express delivery. Existing customers will appreciate the extra mile you are prepared to travel if it helps them out of a tight spot. It is the mantra of most business gurus that it is more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. On this point new customers are always impressed if you have the option to offer an express courier service for them.
To sum up from a project management perspective communication is at the heart of an efficient business, when it comes to the delivery of its products to customers some small adjustments can lead to a massive increase in efficiency in the dispatch and delivery department. A few simple tricks like packing deliveries for one customer in one delivery rather than sending multiple dispatches. Order packaging materials centrally will save the company money. Finally use a quality courier service provider one who is reliable, can offer an express service and deliver internationally if appropriate.