In-house delivery team vs courier service for wholesale distribution

in-house delivery

Service For Wholesale Distribution Whether you’re a small local business or a large global corporation, one thing is clear: your customers expect reliable and fast delivery of your product.

And that doesn’t just apply to the average consumer ordering desired items from home with a click of a button.

The same expectation holds with wholesale distribution, too.

The ability to store, manage and organize large amounts of product and to supply retailers with the exact quantities they need is critical to the success of your business.

You may be wondering about the most efficient method to address this important need. There are a variety of possibilities available to you.

Some companies decide to invest in their own in-house delivery team, while others choose to contract this service out to a courier company.

Of course, there are pros and cons to either choice. Your decision will depend on a number of factors.

Here’s what you need to consider.

Reliability: Choosing a Reliable Express Courier Service​

Unreliability in your supply chain can lead to loss of customers and income. If your product doesn’t arrive when you say it will, this leaves customers hanging, increasing the possibility that they will find another supplier who can follow through.

This kind of reliability can be hit or miss with an in-house delivery team. Bad weather, accidents and traffic tie-ups can wreak havoc with your delivery schedule, and your control over these factors is limited. Often, you may find that you will personally have to rearrange your schedule to ensure hitting promised delivery times.

Most businesses simply cannot afford to keep an extra truck and/or driver on hand in case of such unforeseen events. Even if you can afford it, this is an additional cost which your business shouldn’t have to absorb.

This is an area in which a courier service has a distinct advantage over an in-house delivery team. They have access to multiple drivers who can cover for one another in the event of an emergency. This greatly increases the chances that your product will arrive at the time you planned. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about it. You can just count on your deliveries occurring right on schedule.

A good courier service will make reliability their foremost concern. They can concentrate on organizing and optimizing delivery routes to ensure the best service possible, freeing you up to do what you do best: creating and selling a great product.

A courier service also has the flexibility to meet special needs, such as same-day express delivery or the transport of bulky, frozen or perishable items. These considerations could be burdensome to your in-house delivery team.

Of course, if you do hire a courier service, you’ll want to research them carefully to make sure that they are reliable. Read online reviews and talk to the drivers to get a sense of whether they will prioritize timely delivery of your product. Ask how many drivers and trucks the service has at their disposal. This is a good way to gauge whether you can count on them.

Most of the time, as long as the courier service is reputable, you will find this to be the better choice for reliability.

In-House Delivery Team Vs Courier Service For Wholesale Distribution - In-House Delivery -

A Smooth Customer Experience

In any good business, the customers come first. You want their experience with you to be positive, from start to finish.

Sure, you make a great product that customers adore. But their adoration will be short-lived if the online ordering process is cumbersome and difficult, or if they encounter problems with routine tasks like canceling or rescheduling their orders.

A courier service with integrated technology can make a huge difference to customer experience.

The best courier services routinely have:

  • Handheld devices which simplify the delivery process
  • Real time tracking, allowing your customers to know exactly where their order is at any given time
  • Warehouse management software to easily keep track of inventory, so a customer always knows when ordering whether or not desired items are in stock
  • The ability to electronically capture signatures, allowing for easy proof of delivery
  • Devices and software that minimize errors, making for a seamless customer experience
  • Reduction of paper waste to please eco-conscious consumers
  • Barcode scanners that track items at every stage of the process
  • Radio frequencies for easy communication between drivers and warehouses
  • The ability to record and quickly retrieve information about deliveries to answer customers’ questions
  • Streamlined route optimization software allowing you to collect and monitor real-time data on drivers and deliveries

Route Optimization

On that note, consider looking into the use of route optimization software no matter what decision you make about your wholesale distribution process. This is a simple investment which can yield substantial dividends, making deliveries a painless process which will delight your customers, and keep them coming back again and again.

How does it work? The courier company simply uses an algorithm to determine the best route for making all delivery stops in a timely manner. The software seamlessly accounts for distance, time and traffic.

The process is simple. A driver collects your orders and then enters all the desired addresses into the route optimization app. The app will then use a common navigational system like Waze or Google Maps to determine the most efficient route to reach all these addresses quickly.  This process is quick and easy, usually just requiring one click.

Having said that, it’s cost-prohibitive for most businesses to access all the cutting-edge transportation technology which a good courier service can utilize. So if you are truly committed to a positive customer experience from start to finish, it’s in your best interest to work with a good courier service that has all the relevant software, tools and devices in place.

Another perk to using a courier company: their technology results in lower costs to you, the business owner.

The use of technology brings your business a plethora of benefits including flexibility, efficiency and easier task management. It reduces labor costs and allows you to use your space, time and money more effectively, translating into a better experience for all.

In-House Delivery Team Vs Courier Service For Wholesale Distribution - In-House Delivery -

Day-To Day Delivery Management

Let’s be honest: making deliveries is a lot of work, at least if you do it the right way.

Taking orders, planning routes, communicating with customers…it all takes time. And that’s on a good day.

Other days, you’ll have to deal with unforeseen glitches like vehicle breakdowns, damaged or lost packages, and incorrect addresses.

And on top of that, you’ll have the constant stress of acquiring and maintaining a fleet of delivery vehicles, as well as hiring and training drivers.

All of this adds up to a huge hassle, taking your attention away from what it is you’re really supposed to be doing: growing your business.

The management of deliveries can lead to a huge bottleneck in your business, tying up your most talented staff members in endless mundane tasks.

Of course, you can do it all. But do you really want to?

However, should you decide to take on the challenge of employing your own in-house delivery team, consider hiring a dedicated operations manager.

Having someone in this role can save you much of the time and hassle you’ll encounter while managing the delivery process.

This person will have the task of analyzing business workflow, especially as it relates to delivery, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. They can monitor the delivery process, keep track of drivers, trucks and packages, and generally make sure that everything happens in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Cost Control

While delivery is a valuable, even an essential, service to provide, it’s going to cost you some money, no matter what route you choose.

But the real question is which method gives you more control over those costs.

If you’re planning on developing an in-house delivery team, you’ll have substantial costs right from the get-go.

It’s not just the wages for drivers, although that certainly factors into the equation.

You’ll also have the responsibility of routine maintenance on a fleet of delivery vehicles. Regular oil changes, tire rotations and gas costs are going to really add up after a while.

Then you also have to deal with the myriad administrative costs associated with payroll and insurance.

Not to mention the many hours you’ll have to pay to recruit, hire and train delivery drivers. (‘Why Do Top Performing Drivers Choose Metrobi?’) 

And of course, many employee hours will be spent in the monumental task of managing delivery operations. Like any loss of time, this translates to a loss of money.

The use of a courier service for deliveries, while still costly, at least gives you control over those costs.

You can create a budget based on how much the courier company charges, and in most cases, you will be able to stick to that budget. There won’t be any unexpected costs incurred if one of your delivery drivers unexpectedly quits or one of your vehicles blows a tire. The courier service absorbs such unexpected costs so you don’t have to.

In addition, a courier service can save you lots of money because of the technology they can access.

Route optimization technology facilitates on-schedule delivery of packages, saving gas costs and hours of labor, as well as delighting your customers to keep them coming back again and again. Fast and efficient movement of your product means you can make more sales more quickly. Technology means fewer errors, reducing the cost of doing business. All of these perks result from up-to-date technology that a typical small business simply can’t afford to utilize.

However, it’s important to pay attention when you contract with a courier service to find out exactly what you’re paying for.

And of course, be aware that any tips paid by the customers will go to the courier rather than your employees, so this is important to keep in mind, as well.

Potential To Expand

Are you planning to keep your business exactly the way it is right now? Of course not. If you’re like most business owners, you crave the possibility to try different things in the future. Open new locations, produce new products, deliver to a wider range of areas.

When that day comes, your in-house delivery routines can really hold you back.

For example, if you decide you want to expand your services to include express delivery, that could mean hiring more drivers and/or purchasing more vehicles. Then those extra drivers and vehicles may simply remain on standby whenever you don’t happen to have a use for them. This is a waste of resources that could make express delivery cost-prohibitive.

Or perhaps you want to offer a new product that is much bulkier and heavier than your other products. This can mean paying out more in labor costs so that your delivery team can get it done.

Or at some point, you may want to expand your courier express delivery area to your entire region, or even nationwide. You’ll have to ask yourself whether your delivery team can handle that. If not, then you may not be able to expand in that way.

But the right courier company has the flexibility to grow right along with you, supporting your changing needs.

Our courier delivery coverage to get an idea of the possibilities. 

Besides the logistical possibilities, keep in mind that the right courier company will also boost customer satisfaction. And one happy customer will lead to more. Building and retaining a loyal customer base is one of the best weapons in your arsenal for growth and expansion.

And of course, remember that contracting with a courier company is a great way to free up your staff for other tasks. By liberating them from the burdensome tasks of delivery management, you allow your creatives the freedom to come up with new ideas, solutions, exciting new products or novel methods of getting things done. And this freedom alone is the best guarantee of continued growth for your business.

To sum up, in most cases, you will find that hiring a courier delivery service is more cost-effective and yields more customer satisfaction than building your own in-house delivery team.

And much less stressful, too.

If you don’t believe us, give it a try.

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