The on-demand economy is dramatically shifting customer expectations and is putting pressure on businesses to keep up. In response, more organizations like retailers and restaurants have turned their attention to providing delivery services. According to a study by Accenture, 26 percent of consumers are willing to pay $10 or more for same-day delivery for an item they need urgently, 13 percent would pay extra for next-day delivery and 22 percent would consider paying $20 or more for delivery within two hours.
Service organizations have realized that it’s no longer about offering the best products—most companies offer the same or similar brands—but rather, providing the best availability, convenience, and service. If they want to stay ahead of e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and reach a larger pool of customers, they need to consider entering the delivery space.
Building an on-demand delivery program, however, poses many challenges to the business—from managing the customer experience to overcoming challenges associated with staffing and logistics. To ease the burden of entering the delivery space, many organizations have outsourced the delivery process to third-party services like Postmates or Instacart. While easier and more affordable in the short-term, outsourcing delivery forces organizations to hand over control of the customer experience and labor management process to lesser known organizations. Bringing delivery in house with the help of technology solutions like WorkJam, however, allows service organizations to achieve labor flexibility while staying in control of training and service quality.
Here are three ways service organizations looking to manage delivery services in-house can effectively hire, schedule and manage workers to ensure success.
- Enable agile scheduling: The purpose of offering delivery is to get goods to customers precisely when they want them and how they want them, but demand from online orders is often too variable to support a traditional, consistent employee schedules. Delivery drivers may be needed on the road early in the morning or during late-night shifts. And for many part-time drivers, delivery is just one of multiple jobs they balance for income, meaning their shift availability will be constrained by other professional commitments.
With the high need for flexibility, businesses can’t rely on static tactics for assigning and communicating schedules. The surest way to maintain driver staffing levels is with tools that empower their employees to manage their own time and schedules. Giving divers a voice in the scheduling process not only benefits the drivers themselves, but also means less work for managers to fill and schedule shifts, and less risk of understaffing and absenteeism.
- Source delivery staff from existing workforce: When establishing in-house delivery services, most organizations focus their efforts on bringing in new labor, outsourcing to providers that solely cater to their delivery needs or hiring extra part-time employees. However, relying on external contract labor leaves room for decreased customer service quality and puts the brand reputation at risk and part-time employees, who are often seeking more shift hours in the week, are demoralized when labor is assigned elsewhere.
Instead of hiring a handful of new or contract workers, organizations should first look at how they can better manage the labor they already have on staff. By deploying workforce management systems that can connect multiple store locations, a chain retailer can unlock the ability to maximize the use of its existing staff’s availability and optimize labor costs, while increasing employee satisfaction. By doing so, employers can offer existing employees more hours first, creating happier employees, while avoiding the service pitfalls associated to outsourcing delivery.
- Provide a more engaging work experience: Delivery drivers are the last mile of customer experience, responsible for whether the product arrives as expected and on time, but most delivery drivers lack access to quality working conditions, leading to lackluster service. By providing drivers with tools to better communicate with their managers and more training and development opportunities, grocers and restaurants can make strides towards more engaged employees who deliver better customer service.
If service organizations want their in-house delivery services to work, they need to transform their approach to labor management. The companies that proactively match their need for logistical flexibility to the unique needs of their mobile workforce will be the ones that deliver the best customer experience in