Choosing a logistics partner for your business

There are many types of businesses for whom delivery of products to customers is a key part of their service.

For example bakeries, flooring companies, printers, promotional merchandise, builders merchants, wholesalers, eBay sellers and machinery manufacturers all have road transportation requirements.

Some businesses have their own van fleets, but many outsource the delivery of goods to third parties because they don’t want to worry about licences, fuel costs, regulations, driver training and tax.

The choice of outsourced logistics supplier may seem a relatively unimportant decision – until it goes wrong! Every customer interaction influences your business reputation, and an unprofessional or unreliable customer delivery will do untold damage.

So choosing the right company to manage your delivery and freight needs is crucial if you want your business to be perceived as reliable and professional.

But how do you pick the best delivery service from the numerous couriers, road hauliers and major national parcel delivery services available?

Here are the 10 key points you need to consider when choosing an outsourced logistics partner for your business…

1. Speed. If same-day delivery is critical, then ensure your logistics partner can guarantee express delivery. If you are happy to work to a next day delivery schedule, then the costs will be lower.

2. Coverage. If you only need to have goods delivered within the UK, there’s no need to go for a company that also provides overseas transport. Even small courier companies will usually provide full UK coverage.

3. Care. If your items are fragile or high value, you will want to minimise the number of transfers from one vehicle to another. The best option is a dedicated service, where your items stay on the same vehicle throughout the journey.

4. Experience. Check how long the haulier has been trading and what level of experience they have. Ideally they will already be working with businesses similar to yours and be able to demonstrate positive customer feedback.

5. Reliability naturel viagra. Ensure that you pick a courier service that comes across as professional (their website will give you plenty of clues). Reputable companies will provide you with proof of delivery on request.

6. Professional appearance. Your customers will form an impression of your business based on the appearance of your delivery driver and vehicle. Choose a courier service whose vans are regularly cleaned and whose drivers are uniformed, smart and courteous.

7. Customer service. Choose a logistics partner that you can easily get hold of on the phone and are pleasant to deal with. One advantage of smaller companies is a single point of contact – you can often speak directly to the owner. It’s also good to know if the drivers are helpful when it comes to loading / unloading by hand.

8. Flexibility. Will they work in partnership with you, rather than acting as just an impersonal supplier? If you have special requirements, be sure to discuss them in detail to ensure the company listens, understands what you need and can deliver to your requirements.

9. Peace of mind. Check that your delivery company is insured (e.g. Goods in Transit policies) and that they can increase the level of cover if required. Ideally pick one that is a member of haulage specific trade associations such as the RHA (Road Haulage Association).

10. Price. This is deliberately last on the list – don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option, as you will be compromising on quality. Look out for hidden surcharges – make sure the price you are quoted is what you will pay.

If you follow these guidelines, you can be confident that you’ll make a wise choice of road haulage and transport service for your business.

And of course, here at Matthew Clark Logistics we’re confident enough to say we score 10/10 on these points! If you have any questions, we’re happy to chat – you can call Matthew on 01932 450 162.