Managing deliveries efficiently within your business at peak seasonal times

If you’re a business that receives a lot of supplies, taking receipt of deliveries and then managing them is an inevitable part of your business operations. A constant flow of delivery drivers to contend with can be tiresome and disruptive. Receiving deliveries is not what you’re in business for – it’s an overhead, not an income stream. As a business owner, you will want to manage your deliveries as efficiently as possible so you can concentrate on the areas of the business that make you money. Below we have some tips for managing your business’s parcel deliveries with ease and efficiency.

Order your stock and supplies in bulk

By ordering in bulk, you can take advantage of economies of scale and reduce time spent on taking lots of smaller deliveries. Having fully stocked business supplies all year round is also beneficial to ensure you can fulfil customers’ demands with ease – especially at this time of year when demand surges!

You may need to weigh the convenience of fewer, but larger, deliveries against the costs of storage. Also, be careful not to over order and risk running out of space. However, it is worth doing the necessary calculations, as the fewer deliveries you need to manage, the more time you will have for other aspects of your business.

Another pertinent point to consider is the supply chain issues many businesses are facing this year. By ordering ahead and in bulk you minimise the risk of being affected by these problems, and stay one step ahead of your competitors!

Keep a spreadsheet of expected deliveries

Ever had that annoying realisation that something you need and ordered didn’t actually get delivered – and as a result you don’t have it when you need it? It could be that you are missing a necessary component or don’t have stock to send out to a customer. Recording what you’ve ordered and when it’s due to arrive will greatly reduce the chances of missed deliveries going unnoticed – and then finding you’ve run sort at the worst possible time.

These problems are even more likely to arise at busy times. By keeping an up-to-date spreadsheet or managing your supplies through a project management platform you can avoid those dreaded delivery difficulties. Logging all the expected parcel deliveries in one place allows you to clearly spot packages that didn’t arrive on time, to ensure you always have the stock you need when demand is higher than normal, and ensure you aren’t losing money on missing deliveries!

Make someone in your team responsible for incoming deliveries

By giving the responsibility to one person in your team you are more likely to enforce a seamless delivery process for your business. Doorbells sounding and gates buzzing all lead to distraction amongst your team, and ultimately this affects productivity and profit. By clearly setting out who is responsible for handling the incoming deliveries you can minimise time wasted by other members of the team.

Business deliveries

An employee who likes detail and processes is best placed to oversee your business deliveries – and keep on top of that deliveries spreadsheet mentioned above!

Select specific days for deliveries

If your small team is struggling to juggle general workload and receiving deliveries, try to limit deliveries to a day or two per week or even month, where possible. This can minimise disruption and allow better time management for your workforce – increasing efficiency and focus. This may not be possible if you have surges in output and demand, but where you can control delivery dates, it may be helpful to discuss with your team which day is best for deliveries so everyone can co-ordinate across the company.

Penn Parcel Box to the rescue

Regardless of the effective steps listed above, taking deliveries will always be an overhead that you would rather not be paying for. It will always be time consuming and un-economical to have your workforce tied up taking receipt of deliveries, but it is also a vital part of many businesses’ day-to-day activities.

With the Penn Parcel Box, all your delivery drivers can deposit supplies, returns and online deliveries securely, without needing to bother your staff. The pioneering, weather-proof Penn Parcel Box has a powder-coated, patented design. This parcel drop box can be fixed to an external wall, gate, or floor to ensure your deliveries are safe and secure until you retrieve the deliveries at a time which is convenient for you or your staff.

penn parcel box
Image: Penn Parcel Box

The Penn Parcel Box comes in a range of sizes, to suit your business needs. It even goes up to the standard Euro pallet size, so there is sure to be a Penn Parcel Box that can house most of your deliveries easily!

There is an option for a front- or rear-facing door, which makes the placement of the Penn Parcel Box easy to determine. It can sit externally from your business premises or be built into your entrance way or an outside wall, with rear access allowing packages to be safely retrieved inside your workplace.

With a secure parcel drop box there’s no need for you or your employees to keep pausing work to take receipt of deliveries, which is bound to save you time, money, energy and resource!

We hope the above information helps you and your team to manage your deliveries in a more efficient way to limit the impact on your bottom line. If you feel your business would benefit from a secure Penn Parcel Box to limit time your staff spend on receiving deliveries, then please contact our friendly team on 01424 429 641.

How to keep your head above water during the Christmas online shopping period in your E-Commerce business

As an e-commerce business owner, you are aware of the demands which the Christmas season brings. But with online shopping increasing year on year, and further boosted by the pandemic, 2021 is set to be your busiest yet! To help you make it through to Christmas Eve without burning the midnight oil too much, we’ve pulled together our top tips to coping with seasonal demand and maximising your profits at this crucial time for your business.

There are few e-commerce businesses for whom Christmas is not the busiest time of year, and even if you have strong summer ranges you have no doubt also developed seasonal lines to take advantage of this bumper consumer period.

Whether you set out as an e-retailer or you diversified last year as a business survival strategy in the face of the pandemic, the evidence suggests that online shopping is going to continue to play a key role in ensuring stockings are full on Christmas morning. In fact, a new report suggests that one in three people expected to shop exclusively online this Christmas!

With widely reported supply chain problems, many shoppers are also placing their orders early to ensure there are no disappointed faces on Christmas Day, so potentially your festive season may be an even longer marathon than usual. To make sure you’re not too tired to enjoy the mince pies and crackers, we’ve pulled together some key strategies to help you keep on top of Christmas demand and improve your bottom line.

  1. Preparation is key for e-commerce success: To guarantee an effective operational flow for your e-commerce business and ensure happy customers regardless of an increase in demand, it is vital to plan. This is particularly important if you are a business who relies on supplies to make your product or imports. Order in good time to avoid those dreaded supply chain issues affecting your ability to reach your full potential this Christmas.

    Having good relations with your suppliers will help here – and it’s never been more important than at a time like the present when there are global supply issues. Picking up the phone occasionally rather than relying solely on emails, carefully-timed thank you presents and taking the time to know them as a person and what’s going on in their lives will all help. After all, if stocks are running low or deliveries being held up, who are you going to give a heads up to place a timely order: the person who treats you like a number or the customer who asked how your daughter’s graduation went?
  2. Be budget aware: Identifying which products you expect to be most successful and ordering your stock accordingly is straight-forward. But ensuring cashflow remains steady and your investment is not too ambitious is key; invoicing swiftly coupled with tight payment terms will help. Also make sure you are budgeting for extra time spent, and that costs such as fast delivery are built in to your prices.
  3. E-commerce helpers needed: Santa couldn’t do it without his elves… if you feel as though you may struggle with the workload and the pressure of the increased sales, consider outsourcing or hiring a temporary worker. Whether it is packing boxes or handling customer service enquiries, think about where your time is best spent and where someone else could do just as good a job – and enable you to get some shut-eye in the process, to make sure driving your e-commerce business doesn’t drive you into the ground.
  4. Perfect packaging for e-commerce order fulfilment: Ordering the materials and supplies needed to make your product and fulfil your e-commerce orders is one thing, but it’s also important to remember what’s needed to post your product to customers. Make sure to stock up on bubble wrap, boxes (especially any bespoke sizes or branded packaging), tape, insert materials and labels prior to the Christmas rush! Hopefully you have a checklist from last year, so you know exactly what you need and how much; if not, make sure you start it this year so you’re not reinventing the wheel next year.
  5. Parcel problems: Whether it’s receiving supplies before Christmas or helping to minimise the disruption with the inevitable returns that come after, you have better things to do when running an efficient e-commerce business than to keep downing tools to take receipt of deliveries. And you definitely have better ways to spend your time than rebooking missed deliveries or driving to the (often not-so-) nearby delivery depot.  A solution to enable you to finish priority tasks, such as order fulfilment, without interruption and use your time more effectively is a parcel delivery box, such as the Penn Parcel Box.

When investing in a parcel delivery box, it’s worth looking for key features to ensure it will meet your needs:

  • Secure – make sure you chose a parcel box with a secure, one-way delivery system and a lockable storage container
  • Size – with lots of deliveries coming into your e-commerce business, make sure you chose a delivery parcel box big enough to accommodate several packages
  • Weather-proof – losing components, supplies or returns to the elements is highly damaging for your e-commerce profit margins

We hope this has helps you to get into gear this Christmas and allows your e-commerce shop to thrive during the fantastic festive period! For more information on how the Penn Parcel Box can allow you to focus fully on your business by taking care of your deliveries, contact our friendly team on 01424 429 641.