Navigating COVID-19: Adapting Existing Delivery Processes

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in all aspects of our lives, affecting both our work and way of living. Many policies have been introduced over the past few months to help the different nations to safeguard and prevent the rapid spread of the virus. These policies will be the new norm and will forever change how things are done in the future.

A lot of these policies and rapid social responses have resulted in a fundamental change in consumer behaviour. As movement restrictions & safe distancing measures are put in place resulting in ‘Work from Home’ policies or even nationwide ‘lockdown’, many businesses have had to either shut down their services or migrate online to maintain their level of sales. Even companies that have continued to operate are facing the threat of losing their business due to a lack of revenue or cash flow.

Although home delivery has been the norm for many years now, with the movement restrictions in place, there is a sudden spike in online shopping as consumers are forced to adopt it for all their needs. Due to the changes in practices and safety expectations attributed to the breakout of COVID-19, all businesses are expected to meet that set standard despite being new to this space.

Additionally, businesses who have expanded into home delivery are expected to help play their part in preventing the spread of the virus and as such, ‘contactless’ delivery is expected. Many companies have urgently tried to digitalise their operational processes to enable real-time visibility & to improve their customer service to cater to the existing home delivery expectations with a safe and hassle-free experience. 

Some of the features & functionalities that should be taken into consideration when looking for a Transport Management Software or Dispatch Management Software when embarking on this process include but are not limited to:

  1. Real-Time Tracking
    Give the recipient of the delivery a peace of mind by keeping them updated with real-time tracking notifications. Go one step further by providing them with a tracking link that shows the driver’s live location. That way, they will know when packages are left at the door and will know when to expect the delivery.
  2. Recipient Verification
    Many processes that surround home delivery often involve e-Signing on the phone (sign on glass) capabilities to verify that the package has been received by the right person. Minimise contact with the customer by replacing this process with PIN verification. The recipient will be sent a unique PIN that they will have to share with the drivers to enable the drivers to verify their identity and complete the delivery successfully. 
  3. Digital Documentation
    For those who still use hard copy multi-ply Delivery Orders, this can be another safety risk due to the amount of contact and handover when handling the documents. Reduce contact by moving to digital documents. Send customers & recipients an electronic Proof-of-Delivery (ePOD) automatically by email for records to reduce contact risk.
  4. Photo Proof
    Photo proofs are necessary when drivers leave parcels at the door with the recipient’s approval and there is no physical handover between the receiving party & the driver. Photos are an important piece of evidence for the recipients to see that their package was safely delivered and to know exactly where to find it, and for the operators to check if drivers have successfully delivered the package.

Also, change management has to be facilitated well when changing existing delivery processes to new ones. There are many different ways to achieve a ‘contactless’ delivery process.

Below is an example of this: 

 

The important thing to ensure successful process changes is clear communication between all stakeholders (managers, customer service, operators & drivers). Having the process visually presented aids in communicating the changes in a quick manner.

While having software that can help facilitate a ‘contactless’ delivery process goes a long way, businesses should also take the time to look out for their drivers who are on the ground, performing the deliveries. This will protect both your drivers and customers. Simple reminders to show drivers that they are cared for is especially important in these times. Some of these reminders could be:

  1. Remember to keep 1.5m away from the other party and practice safe distancing.
  2. Watch their hands, which are in contact with many things (packages, doors, doorbells), regularly. If hand sanitiser is available, remind them to sanitise their hands between trips.
  3. Wear a mask at all times especially when they are outside of their vehicle.

 

Find out more on how to effectively implement Contactless Delivery at covid-19support.versafleet.co