Today's courier and parcel delivery businesses must effectively leverage technology to achieve business success. Customers expect to track the status of their packages; drivers expect in-route GPS tracking providing them the quickest way to get from delivery to delivery; and managers need to track and analyze performance data to optimize their operations.
Courier software enables businesses to achieve success by providing excellent customer experiences while optimizing operations to limit setbacks and make more deliveries in a day.
But there are lots of courier software options out there. And not all systems will be a fit for your business. For example, some systems might be heavy on the customer portal and delivery tracking features, which isn't a fit for many courier businesses. Read on to learn about the options out there for your courier software.
In this guide, we'll cover:
What Is Courier Software?
Courier software is the backbone of parcel delivery businesses. These systems assist with the delivery of parcels across every stage of the journey. This includes receiving the parcels to ship, loading parcels into the appropriate vehicle(s) for delivery, tracking the vehicles once the delivery is out and completing the delivery within the parameters requested.
Many courier systems provide a wide array of tools and capabilities for managing the entire delivery process as well as delivery fleets. Some courier software systems are specialized for specific stops along the life cycle of a delivery. It's important to do your due diligence when selecting the right software for your business.
Regardless of what you choose, your new courier software should enable you to:
- Better track delivery vehicles
- Pinpoint the location of specific parcels
- Improve the customer experience by achieving delivery times
Common Features of Courier Software
Courier software and other delivery management systems provide users with the tools necessary to manage the key components of a parcel delivery operation. Key features include:
|Scheduling and dispatch||Schedule one-off and recurring deliveries. Optimize delivery drivers' schedules relative to the location between consecutive delivery locations. House them in a shared calendar so that management can get a snapshot of the business.|
|Routing||Strategically route delivery drivers on the most efficient route for the job at hand and reduce fuel costs in the process.|
|Mobile communication||Connect with drivers in the field throughout the day. Communicate any changes in delivery details.|
|GPS tracking||Track the status of delivery vehicles. Leverage driver location to assign emergency jobs to those located closest. Monitor safe driving practices.|
|Reporting and analytics||Track routes, vehicle usage and other key metrics to optimize workflows, deliveries and other operational processes.|
|Customer management||Leverage valuable customer information to optimize marketing and retention strategies.|
|Electronic signature||Enable drivers to capture customer signatures confirming proof of delivery.|
|Parcel management||Maintain a database of parcels in possession for delivery. Assign barcodes to the items being delivered so they can easily be identified with a barcode scanner.|
|Customer portal||Offer customers the ability to build out a detailed login/landing page where they can schedule and set details for deliveries, check the status on current deliveries, view quotes and pay balances, and look at their request history.|
Let's take a closer look at the five must-have features for your new courier software:
Scheduling and dispatch
Scheduling and dispatch capabilities are the backbone of your courier and delivery management system. As you can see in the example below, your scheduling process and tools not only get the delivery on the books—these features enable you to store critical details regarding the customer and the delivery.
Example of scheduling and dispatch capabilities via OnTime360
Accurate routing tools help your deliverers get where they need to go as fast as possible. Real-time routing provided directly to drivers' mobile devices is a must-have for your new system.
Example of a mobile routing capability via getswift
Courier operations must remain agile throughout the day. That's why mobile communication is such a key component of delivery management software. And we're not just talking about calling and texting. The ability to send important information via a shared platform is vital for dispatching deliverers and meeting customer needs.
Example of mobile communications via FleetComplete
GPS tracking enables dispatchers see a big picture view of all their assets in the field. This allows them to make smarter decisions in case of emergency deliveries, since they have the exact location of everyone in their fleet.
Example of GPS tracking via CTX Software
Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics tools provide the information necessary for back offices to make informed business decision that benefit the operation. This could be on a delivery-by-delivery basis or in terms of a total process or operational change.
Example of courier reporting and analytics via Onfleet
What Type of Buyer Are You?
There are different considerations to keep in mind when selecting your courier software based on the unique components of your delivery business. Some of these distinctions include:
Small business. These buyers work for small businesses moving beyond manual calendars and paper-based delivery orders. They want to add delivery management capabilities to automate tedious manual processes and remove human error from their operation.
Direct business. These buyers work for delivery organizations that have in-house couriers. They are looking to switch to a new system to achieve greater operational efficiency and stay ahead of the competition.
Contract business. These buyers work for delivery organizations that contract out couriers. They need specialized courier software for contract workers to easily get onboard their system and access delivery requests and other critical information.
Enterprise business. These buyers work for large organizations. They may have multiple fleets of drivers across various areas. The integration of systems and data is most important so that they can have a big picture and drill-down view of the business.
Benefits of Adopting Courier Software
Regardless of which type of buyer you are, the benefits that these system bring your organization are similar across the board. These benefits include:
Increased transparency. Courier reporting tools give operators, deliverers and customers unparalleled transparency into their organization. GPS-enabled dashboards provide operators with an accurate view of the location of deliverers and status of their deliveries. This transparency also applies to customers—who are able to see real-time status of their deliveries—and includes business analytics to give operators what they need to make better informed business decisions.
Newfound organization. Many smaller delivery organizations adopt courier software to replace their previously used and inefficient manual methods. These include manually updating spreadsheets and sharing vital information with couriers via call and text. Courier software will provide newfound organizational benefits that allow manager and everyone else in the organization to spend more time working to improve the business rather than working to keep their heads above water.
Improved customer experiences. By operating more efficiently and enabling accurate transparency into the status of deliveries, courier businesses are able to provide great customer experiences. Many systems also offer customer portals and online scheduling so that repeat customers can save time with their deliveries by drawing on previously stored details.
Market Trends to Understand in Courier Management
Mobile apps. Many courier software systems on the market provide mobile apps for both workers in the field as well as senders and recipients. Leveraging GPS-tracking capabilities enables courier operations as well as package senders and receivers to view real-time updates on the status of deliveries. Customer-enabled apps often support the ability for users to schedule deliveries from the app as well as make payments and change delivery details. Delivery-focused apps offer one centralized place to view detailed information about all their deliveries scheduled for that day.
Internet of things (IoT). The underlying mobility of courier operations makes these businesses a prime candidate for adoption of IoT capabilities. This technology helps connect organizations and gathers valuable data in an organized and effective manner. Data is gathered from mobile devices used by couriers as well as any sensors on the vehicles they use. The data gathered by these IoT capabilities can unlock newfound operational efficiencies for businesses to cut operational costs and better serve customers.