Accounting & Finance
Transport Logistics: DIY or Use Third Parties?
Most ‘bricks and mortar‘ organisations need to transport goods (product, or docs) to customers or from one company location to another and the process can be a logistical headache.
There is no ‘one size fits all‘ approach either, as you may not trust a courier with sensitive documents and your courier will not take large, oversized or bulky items, so you need to put a transport logistics plan in action and make sure your staff use it. So there’s one question that needs an answer before you can get your deliveries process worked out.
Do you use your own staff and resources for your deliveries, or do you opt for third parties to manage the process? To arrive at the right answer for you to consider taking this action first.
Group By Type
Make a list of the type of items your business will need to deliver and group them into categories. For example, do you need to send highly sensitive product or documents? If so you’ll need to list these items into their own category as the person or company responsible for their safe and secure delivery will not be the same as for your large or heavy items.
Once you have grouped all your items by type of product, then you need to work out who should be responsible for the safe delivery.
There will be some items, your staff are capable of delivering, so why not consider the ‘DIY’ approach to deliveries as it is likely to save your company the expense of engaging an external provider. However, there is a flip side to using your own staff as it may not be the best use of their time and by taking them off their regular role it may actually cost your business more in lost productivity.
Staff & Resources
When should you use your own staff to as ‘couriers‘ for your low risk easy to transport items?
While using your own workers to move goods around various locations or make deliveries to customers seems cost-effective, it could actually cost your business more in the long run. Will your staff be using their own means of transport?
Think carefully about the implications of engaging staff who were hired for a specific role, i.e. not as couriers and your business’s liability if they have a vehicle accident while making a delivery. You will need to know what insurance covers your worker, their vehicle and your business.
Another option is to purchase or lease a company van for the deliveries,. Then you just need the prerequisite insurance cover and identify which staff can carry out the role of ‘courier’. If you need to hire staff for the driving role, then you are essentially competing with existing transport providers, which more likely to have the economies of scale that make it exercise more economical for you and more profitable for them.
Transporting Sensitive Items
There are many types of sensitive product, and it could include documents, which using your own resources for delivery makes sense for your business reputation and your customers’ satisfaction.
However, for all other types of sensitive items, e.g. prohibited products you’re business will need to engage a third party that specializes in transporting goods including chemicals, flammable, and pharmaceutical products.
Moving Large Loads
If you’ve made the commitment to manage deliveries in-house, then you’ll need to organize your workspace, factory, or warehouse for storage and ease of access to goods via forklifts. Read a guide to pallets to get the ‘101 of pallets’ for the novice, including what they are and do, plus the different types, and how to stack and track them in delivery.
There will be some items you can not stack on pallets nor transport via your own means, and this is when your only recourse is to use specialized transport firms. Hopefully, you won’t need to rely on these providers often, now you’ve got your own setup, but when you do, you can be reassured your product can be tracked and insured, so success is a given.
There will be times when your business uses third parties for deliveries, and when you do it’s because it delivers the best outcome. However, there may also be an opportunity to use your own team and delivery systems and who knows it could become a USP for your business and help it more sales as a one-stop-shop solution.