Onfleet is providing its delivery software free of charge to organizations responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and onboarding nonprofits, NGOs and other organizations transporting lab samples, medications, food donations and other critical supplies with the highest priority.
Co-Founder and CEO Khaled Naim offers some advice for retailers and small businesses across all industries when it comes to their delivery strategies during this time:
Leverage your existing workforce.
We’re finding that many small business owners want to keep their existing workforce busy, and many people are willing to take on temporary roles such as delivery drivers. Consider offering store employees (waitresses, hosts, shopkeepers and others) delivery roles temporarily to meet the new demands. If you keep your staff engaged, they’ll stick with you when all of this is over. Be generous with paid sick leave and equip your workforce with the right tools and sanitation processes to keep them safe and healthy and limit the spread of the virus.
Follow CDC guidelines with respect to sanitization and contactless delivery.
Offer your customers a no-contact delivery option. If you require signatures, consider waiving this requirement for now. Some delivery software platforms are starting to offer the ability for the signature to be completed on the recipient’s device.
Invest in some inexpensive infrastructure, including last-mile delivery software to help manage the process.
There are software-as-a-service options that are inexpensive and easy to set up. Google Maps may work when you have a few deliveries a day, but the approach doesn’t scale and you may be surprised at your delivery volume in this environment. Route planning software can help you optimize your delivery routes by factoring in traffic as well as constraints like vehicle capacity, delivery windows, driver schedules, etc.
Overcommunicate with customers.
Clearly communicate the steps you’re taking in light of the ongoing pandemic. Set up text or email alerts to let customers know when their orders are on the way, and when they’ve been delivered to a porch or door. Support the customer’s community and consider waiving or at least postponing delivery fees and offer discounts if you can afford them for local businesses.