In the “need-for-speed” world of direct store delivery, every minute matters. But DSD and transportation companies are struggling to find workers, with a recent study showing that the trucking industry is short by 80,000 workers — an all-time high1. With no end in sight to worker shortages, companies need to keep operations running as usual — no matter what their staff roster looks like. More and more DSD distribution companies are automating aspects of their delivery processes to meet these challenges and empower their drivers to execute essential job functions.
Read more: Glazer’s delivers by making product deliveries as friendly, fast, and efficient as possible
Why a great direct store delivery experience is mission critical during worker shortages
Worker shortages and driver turnover mean that companies are faced with the challenge of frequently training new drivers or retraining existing drivers. Unfortunately, this means that the delivery experience is often impacted — which can impact your company’s retention and ROI.
Your customers have tight schedules that rely on ETA’s, mobile invoices, and order fulfillment being 100% correct. Their experience with your driver sets the standard for what they’ll expect from your company— and if they want to keep working with you.
Keeping stress levels low and job satisfaction high is critical for reducing burnout and turnover in your company. Providing your drivers with the DSD systems and tools they need to increase safety and efficiency can help boost their overall satisfaction on the job, which in turn can improve the customer experience during servicing.
When budgets are tight, automating and streamlining as many DSD logistics and processes as possible is one of the best ways to do more with less workers while still improving your bottom line.
Read more: Automation driving use of DSD technology solutions
Three crucial delivery driver skills that improve the delivery experience
Here are three ways that the right tools can improve delivery driver skills and enhance the delivery experience — even with turnover and worker shortages.
Delivery driver safety
The dangers of trucking, paired with increased pressure to lower dwell time and deadhead miles in a “need-for-speed” omnichannel retail environment, can put drivers in dangerous situations. By equipping your drivers with the right route accounting software, they can drive optimized routes, service stops more efficiently, and decrease dwell time. This means they can focus more on the road, and less on the speedometer.
Delivery route optimization
Route optimization requires weighing multiple factors to find the most cost-effective route, with the capability to quickly adjust to changes in the route when needed. No matter how strategic and methodical your driver may be, it’s nearly impossible for them to manually account for what route to take that day without the right route optimization tools.
Read more: Technology Quenches Thirst for Route Accounting Efficiency
Delivery technology tools for route optimization can help enhance delivery driver skills and improve delivery customer service by providing more reliable ETAs, reducing fuel costs and drive times, and improving safety and satisfaction. Your driver can deliver better experience with smart mobile technology that solves for last-minute changes and print up-to-the-minute route lists, directly from the cab.
Delivery customer service
Customers rely on accurate ETAs to keep things going. Service stops need to be quick, accurate, and efficient. And having a friendly, unstressed driver makes a huge difference in whether or not a customer will continue working with you. These key delivery driver skills — accurate ETAs, efficient servicing, and improved driver experience — can be enhanced with the right tools.
Rely on smart route optimization to deliver better ETAs. Provide efficient mobile invoicing and proofs of delivery with the ability to print the right documents on-demand. And improve the driver experience with in-cab printing capabilities that can reduce or eliminate time spent returning to the warehouse to complete paperwork.
Leveraging mobile delivery technology to boost delivery driver skills
In the face of worker shortages, supply chain issues, and increased customer demand, companies can no longer rely on driver’s skills alone — that’s a recipe for safety issues, burnout, and mistakes. It’s no wonder that so many DSD companies rely on route accounting software that helps ensure the right products are delivered to the right customers in a timely manner, and potential sales are not missed.
Deliver a better experience by printing mobile invoices, store orders, inventory, transfer printouts, returns, credits, and more with a smart mobile solution. Learn more about in-cab and in-store printing solutions here.