The seven deadly SME sins of transport and logistics

Walter_ScreminTNWith transport a top five cost for many businesses, transport and logistics management expert Walter Scremin outlines the seven deadly sins of transport and logistics and how SME owners can avoid them.

With transport a top five cost for many businesses, transport and logistics management expert Walter Scremin outlines the seven deadly sins of transport and logistics and how SME owners can avoid them.Walter_ScreminLG

Transport is a top five cost for many businesses and more SMEs than ever are dependent on deliveries, yet transport is a constant migraine for many. Where do these businesses go wrong? Often they succumb to transport’s seven deadly sins:

Driver mismanagement
Finding quality drivers is not easy and high driver turnover hurts. It’s costly, and each time a new driver has to learn your routes and procedures it affects service levels. Sourcing the best drivers and keeping them happy and long-term is an absolute must.

Wasted management time
When management is constantly distracted from their core business to chase up transport issues then you have a big problem. Review your systems and consider other options, such as outsourcing.

Poor route management
Back-tracking and doubling up on delivery routes wastes time and money, yet is extremely common. Reliable GPS monitoring ensures greater transparency and opportunity for improved efficiency in your delivery routes.

Too many vehicles
A vehicle which sits idle in your parking lot is not only adding zero to your business, it is costing you money every day. Finding the sweet spot is difficult – too few vehicles is also common, often resulting in poor service to clients – which is why transport arrangements require flexibility.

Antiquated communication
If it takes 10 minutes to chase up a driver in response to a customer query then your communications systems are outdated, yet this is typical of many businesses. A good GPS means that everyone from management to communications staff to customers can see exactly how a delivery is tracking instantly. GPS also makes drivers accountable – if a driver is off-route, parked somewhere, going slower than they should or dropping in at home then you will know about it.

Outdated proof of delivery systems
Even small businesses can now afford systems that provide ease when seeking a proof of delivery with a time and date stamp – this information is accessible in real time with the ability to easily send a copy to an enquiring customer.

Couriers taking up slack
Using a courier when you are over-stretched may seem harmless, but there is a high cost per delivery involved which adds up over time. It’s just a sign that your transport needs a review.

Walter Scremin is General Manager of Ontime Group.

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