Friday, June 27, 2008

Typical Friday for a courier company

  • 4 drivers out sick
  • 3 drivers broken down with car problems
  • Most of the office staff out doing deliveries
  • 90 jobs on the dispatch board to be dispatched
  • 600 "patient" customers ;)
  • uh... yeah, a little busy

Well, better than sitting around with nothing to do, huh?

Is anyone ever staffed properly for Friday's and the end of the month? Let me hear from you...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to choose a courier service. Part 2

ok, so we know from the last post that you need to choose a courier service that is staffed well enough to handle all your deliveries. Billy Bob and his brother-in-law cannot cover all your deliveries in the city. Now, let's talk about professionalism...

I am constantly amazed at the prices I see from some other "courier companies" out there. Literally, some companies are charging 50% of what we charge, which means they CHARGE less than what we PAY our drivers. So, the obvious question is: in this day and age of $4.00/gallon gas... How do these drivers make a living? Well, it doesn't take much investigating to find out that the vast majority of these drivers are... well, let’s just say you probably wouldn't want them in your house or business. Some of these guys literally look like they have been pulled out of a homeless shelter and given a repo from a junk yard.

Keep in mind that if a courier drives 200 miles per day and gets 20 miles/gallon, then he is using 10 gallons per day, equaling $40.00 per day just in gas expenses. Couriers need to make at least $600- $700 per week to survive.

The point here is that if you are using a cheap courier company, you are probably getting what you pay for... cheap service and questionable characters delivering your packages. Now, if you have any sort of sensitive documents that you are sending out, what type of person are you entrusting these documents to? Do you really want some ex-con handling your bank deposit, your documents that contain personal & confidential information or anything else???

There is a reason why reputable delivery services have to charge the rates they do. It's called good, professional service. This is what you should be looking for:

  1. Drivers wearing professional uniforms. This gives a professional appearance to your customers not to mention the ability to identify that they are a courier. Can you imagine if the FedEx, UPS or DHL guy came in your office wearing blue jeans and an un-tucked Metallica shirt?

  2. Drivers that are friendly yet professional. I cannot stand it when I see a driver ask a customer to use their restroom or for a soda out of their fridge. Couriers are in your office to do a job, not to take a break. There are plenty of office building restrooms, gas stations and fast food joints where they can take a break. Also, you don't want some creepy courier asking your receptionist out on a date and making her feel uncomfortable. The courier should be polite, friendly and professional and then get out of your office.

  3. Deliveries that don't smell like a bar. If you have ever received a package that smells like smoke, you know what I am talking about. Despite the fact that people still smoke, nobody wants to receive a delivery that smells horrible. Even if the courier smokes, there are steps he can take to ensure that he and the package don't smell bad: keeping the windows rolled down, using deodorizer spray, etc.

  4. Drivers that care. So many problems result from drivers that just don't care. They don't take the extra effort to make sure they have the right package; they don't care that deliveries might be late, etc. The reason? They typically don't get paid enough to care.
    The point is, you get what you pay for. You are not just paying to get a box from point A to point B. You are paying for a professional driver that looks good, won't offend your staff or your customer and takes the time to ensure that your package gets delivered correctly and safely. They won't try to steal any personal information and they do their best to get your delivery on time.

Don't just look for the cheapest courier in town, find a courier that offers a reasonable rate and proves that they can provide excellent overall service. Remember, your customer associates the courier you use with your company. Some of your customers actually see your courier service more than they see you. So, your courier is many times the face of your company. Do you want this to be the face of your company?

Click here to choose a Courier Service in Dallas

Next time we will talk about convenience and availibily.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

How to choose a courier service. Part 1

You are right... a monkey could do this job. Heck, it's just a matter of picking something up from here and delivering it there, right? Well, yes and no.

Yes, a monkey can pick up a package and take it somewhere. But, do you really want a smelly monkey delivering your package? No.

Delivery. It's a smiple concept. But, there are many complicated factors involved. Such as: traffic and weather conditions. Sure, it may be easy to get that package delivered across town at 10:30am on Tuedsay. But, not so much on Friday afternoon at 4:30pm. Sure it is a 20 minute drive on a nice July afternoon. But, it is a nightmare during a sleeting storm in December. Turns into 90 minutes. Those are just traffic issues.

So, what am I saying? Well, although Joe-Bob and his brother have a "courier service", the two of them can not effectively service any large account. If you have any significant amount of business then you need a legitimate courier firm that has enough drivers to handle your business as well as all their other customers. Click here for a Dallas Courier Service.

Next time we will talk about professionalism and image.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Are we in the 70's again?

Astronomical gas prices, dive-bombing value of the dollar, record home foreclosures... ugh.

Today, the national average of regular unleaded is $3.98. In San Francisco, the average is $4.33 and deisel fuel is as high as $5.39!!!

I haven't seen any gas lines... yet

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke highlighted in a speech yesterday, said that the falling value of the dollar can feed into inflation expectations, and that rapid price escalation, if sustained, "might lead the public to expect higher long-term inflation rates, an expectation that ultimately could become self-confirming."

"We're at the edge of the cliff right now," said Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo. "It's still at an embryonic stage, like where we were in 1973 or 1974, not as bad as things were in 1979. But it could move in that direction if the Fed isn't aggressive."

"We are assuming that prices will continue to go up, not that they're going to level off anytime soon," said John Benko, president of Manko Delivery Systems, a Tampa company that offers ground freight, logistics and other services. His company has been able to pass on about three-quarters of the higher fuel costs to customers in the form of higher prices, with the rest cutting into his firm's profit.

So, crank up your Rolling Stones 8-track, put on your hip-huggers and pray that we don't see another round of disco music... Who will be our Ronald Reagan and pull us out of this mess?