Dedicated operations manager: 6 key advantages for your business success

If you’ve recently begun offering courier express delivery services to your customers, then congratulations on making this choice.

While it does require some amount of sacrifice in terms of the cost of doing business, this service will more than pay for itself in the years to come.

The truth is, consumers have come not just to desire express delivery of their purchases, but to expect it.

So the question becomes how you can meet those expectations cost-effectively, without taking too much of a hit on your profit margin.

As you explore different solutions to meeting these challenges, you might consider hiring a dedicated operations manager to oversee the delivery process and help your business meet its goals.

Perhaps you’ve already dismissed this option, assuming that the cost of adding another person to the payroll, especially one who does not bring in any noticeable revenue, isn’t worth the added convenience.

However, we would encourage you to revisit that assumption.

Keeping a dedicated operations manager on staff can pay off in tremendous dividends, especially if you’ve recently added delivery service as an offering to clients.

Here’s how.

The Right Drivers

Your delivery service is only as good as the drivers you employ.

Courier company drivers represent your brand, for better or worse. Their demeanor, appearance and attitude make an indelible impression on your customers, which they will associate with your company, fairly or unfairly.

So choosing the wrong drivers really does matter and absolutely should not be left to chance.

The last thing you need is a sloppy, unprofessional or just plain rude driver interacting with your customers. In some cases, their feelings about the interaction may be so negative that they choose to do business with someone else. And just like that, you’ve lost a valuable customer!

On the other hand, a driver who is attentive, courteous, friendly, and well-dressed does a lot to build positive feelings in your customers. They will feel that your company cares about their needs, and that they can trust you. As a result, they’ll keep coming back to you again and again, and might even bring in additional customers through their reviews and recommendations.

While you know how important it is, the process of choosing the right drivers can become a huge time drain, taking your time and focus away from the more urgent and essential work of actually running your business.

And even once you’ve found the right professional drivers for your needs, there’s still work to be done in the onboarding process. After all, to adequately represent your company, your drivers need to understand your customer base and how to work with them effectively. In addition, they’ll need training on any special delivery requirements that you have, especially if the product is fragile or perishable, or if you’re offering any special add-on features such as same-day courier delivery.

A dedicated operations manager can take on all the complex tasks associated with hiring and onboarding drivers. They will ensure that you have the best possible drivers for your company, that they represent your company well, and that all deliveries occur smoothly. All this will pay off big time in building customer loyalty and in facilitating more deliveries (and thus more sales).

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Driver Support

The work doesn’t end once drivers have been hired and onboarded.

As your drivers are going about their business throughout their day, they will require a certain level of management and support.

All kinds of issues are going to come up, from traffic delays to damaged items to difficult customers.

Left on their own, your drivers may not have the ability to resolve such concerns. They need a point person in your company who is able to provide guidance and support as they work.

Unfortunately, without a designated person to take on that role, it is likely to fall to you, the business owner, by default.

Supporting drivers can quickly become a massive headache, constantly distracting you from other work so that nothing gets done.

Not only that, but if your drivers work around the clock, you will need to be available to support them around the clock, too. This can really put a damper on your weekends and much-needed family time.

A dedicated operations manager can be that point person, ensuring that drivers have everything they need to carry out deliveries smoothly and efficiently.

This means more sales and purchases and more satisfied customers. Often overlooked yet just as important, it also results in happier drivers who are more likely to continue making deliveries for your company over the long term. Besides that, they will project a more positive image of your brand.

And of course, as you have more time to devote to running your business, everybody wins.

Dedicated Operations Manager: 6 Key Advantages For Your Business Success - Dedicated Operations Manager -

Emergencies

No matter how well you prepare, emergencies will happen.

Motor vehicle accidents occur. Storms disrupt travel. Tires go flat and engines overheat.

If you’re offering delivery service to your customers, it’s essential that you have a plan in place to address such emergency situations. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to foresee every possible crisis that might come up.

It’s a simple fact of nature that emergencies almost always happen just when you’re least prepared for them.

While customers may be understanding, it definitely takes away from their trust in you if you fail to make a scheduled delivery due to such unforeseen problems and events. If it happens too often, you may find yourself losing customers.

On the other hand, you just don’t have time to be available 24/7 to troubleshoot emergencies. Even creating a plan for every possible crisis takes time out of your schedule that you really just can’t spare.

A dedicated operations manager can serve as your go-to person when such emergencies arise. He or she has the right skill set to anticipate a crisis and in many cases, head it off before it occurs. Monitoring traffic and weather reports, as well as sticking to a consistent maintenance schedule for all delivery vehicles, are time-consuming tasks, yet they make you much less vulnerable to unplanned events.

If an emergency does occur, your ops manager has the right personnel on speed dial to swiftly assist, with backup drivers and vehicles on standby just in case.

And if for any reason your operations manager is unavailable, he or she can skillfully delegate the emergency standby role to another well-equipped staff member.

After all, emergencies can happen any time of the day or night on any day of the week. So a big part of emergency preparedness is ensuring that someone is available around the clock.

You can leave this daunting organizational task to your operations manager, allowing you to focus on other, more pressing concerns and needs.

HR Needs

Your Human Relations (HR) Team can make or break your business. These unsung heroes take on so many responsibilities that do not directly bring in revenue, yet are a cornerstone of your success. Developing adequate HR policies, recruiting and onboarding staff, and improving relationships between management and staff members are just a few of the essential jobs that regularly go on behind the scenes in your HR department.

Once you’ve added delivery drivers into the mix in addition to your regular employees, it becomes a whole new ball game.

Suddenly, it’s no longer just about what goes on in the office. You now have the responsibility of overseeing employees all over your region, and potentially all over the world.

If you run a small business, chances are your HR department is somewhat limited. It may only consist of one person, or you may simply take HR on yourself as one of your many responsibilities.

But if you are managing delivery drivers, you’re going to need a lot more support than this.

You’ll need someone with big-picture thinking to come up with long-term goals for all your employees, including your drivers. They will need to have a detailed knowledge of the strengths of each driver, as well as the areas in which they may need to improve.

Besides that, you need someone who is a good listener to gain the trust of your drivers and to show consideration to their needs.

It’s difficult to retain good drivers if they do not feel that anyone is in their corner. A skilled and dedicated operations manager will prioritize learning about what the drivers do every day. They will understand what skills and qualities your drivers need to be successful, and they can make a plan to help them attain these skills if they don’t yet have them.

Process Improvements

How much money is your business losing every quarter due to inefficient processes or a bumpy workflow?

Unfortunately, without a dedicated operations manager to track these inadequacies, you may never know.

And once delivery drivers have been added to the mix, there are exponentially more processes to monitor, which means more of an opening for such incremental losses, slowly eating away at your profit.

If you’re like most businesses, there are many processes, from production to sales to customer relations, which could be streamlined for greater efficiency.

And greater efficiency means getting more products into the hands of your consumers faster…a win for all concerned.

And of course, the delivery process is a huge part of that.

There are so many potential time drains when you’re dealing with delivery. For example, is there a way to time fuel stops so that they’re less likely to cause delay? Are there more stops that could be combined in a single route, or would it be more efficient to create separate routes for some deliveries? How can special services like same-day delivery be efficiently combined with regular delivery schedules? Is there a way to stagger appointments for maintenance so that it doesn’t impact planned deliveries?

A dedicated operations manager has the big-picture view to understand how all these pieces fit together into a seamless whole. And they deeply understand how delivery processes affect, and are affected by, other processes in the organization. Production, inventory, and customer relations are all intricately connected to the delivery process. A good operations manager will understand those connections. He or she can tweak processes to make a clean, smooth workflow at every stage of the journey.

Dedicated Operations Manager

Smoother Customer Experience

There’s a good reason why the motto of any successful business is “customers first.” That’s because without a strong base of loyal customers, you wouldn’t have any business at all.

With so many options now available to consumers, attracting their business and keeping it is more challenging than ever.

You need every aspect of their experience with you to be a positive one, from the moment they begin browsing products in your online store all the way up to their long-term satisfaction with their purchase.

However, there are many stages on this journey, and it’s easy to drop the ball along the way. It could be something as simple as forgetting to follow up with the customer to ask how the delivery went. Or neglecting to inform them if the delivery is going to be an hour or two later than anticipated.

These are all small details that are easy to overlook, yet make a big difference to a customer’s perception of your business.

As a business owner, you have to keep many balls up in the air all at the same time, and sometimes it’s just too much. It’s inevitable that some of these small but crucial details will fall through the cracks.

Not so if you have a dedicated operations manager.

This person can function as the first point of contact when your customers have questions about how you can meet their needs. This gives them a personal and in-depth knowledge of customer pain points, information which can drive decisions about production, sales and delivery of your products.

They have the skill set to monitor all those little details that affect customer experience. The timeliness and quality of each delivery will be very much on their radar, so they can quickly resolve problems.

But a positive customer experience is about much more than just troubleshooting. An operations manager also has the time and expertise to collect and aggregate data in order to spot areas in need of improvement. By careful analysis of various customer satisfaction metrics, the operations manager can focus on the weak links in the system, ironing them out to ensure that every customer enjoys a delightful, hassle-free experience with your company.

They can evaluate the performance of the courier company you’re working with to make sure it meets all your expectations. They can also analyze what qualities are most important and valued in a delivery driver. All of this is valuable knowledge as you make decisions about the goals and vision of your company.

Running a small business is a huge (though rewarding) challenge. Hiring a dedicated operations manager could be the best decision you ever make.

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