Courier Software: Discover Cost-Efficient and Scalable Delivery

Discover how courier software can give you total control of delivery operations, reduce costs, and scale your business. Learn about the benefits and ease of use for courier businesses.

Courier Software: Discover Cost-Efficient and Scalable Delivery

If you have recently found yourself struggling with the everyday tasks of running a courier business, or if you have begun to outgrow the capabilities of your current courier software, this guide is for you!

Even if you’re just about to set out on your journey as a new business owner, there's going to be some useful guidance here.

In today's world, technology is the foundation on which efficient and viable businesses are built. Courier businesses are no different, and in fact, are more reliant on having a reliable technology solution underpinning them than most other businesses. Given the laser-focus on efficiency and the tight profit margins on parcel deliveries, maintaining control over every aspect of the logisirts of a delivery process is key to thriving in the courier industry.

Courier Management Software is the bedrock of these efficiencies and having a solution that you can rely on should be top of the priority list, no matter the size or scale of the operation. With this guide, we’ll dig a little deeper to understand what exactly courier software is and does, what the key benefits and features of it are for your business, as well as addressing the misconception that it can be difficult to learn and use.

What is Courier Software?

Courier Software is Built to Make Everything Easier

5 Key Benefits of Using Courier Software

Should I Invest in Courier Software as a Small Business?

Case Study

What is Courier Software?

Courier software is a technology solution that streamlines and automates processes in the last mile logistics and delivery industry. It offers a comprehensive suite of features for tasks such as managing deliveries, tracking packages, optimizing routes, and ensuring timely communication between dispatchers, drivers, and customers.

With features like real-time tracking, electronic proof of delivery, and automated dispatching, courier delivery software enhances efficiency, reduces operational costs, and improves the delivery experience and customer satisfaction. Whether you operate a small local courier business or a large logistics company, implementing courier software can significantly improve your delivery operations and help you remain competitive in a fast-paced market. Furthermore, it allows you to scale your delivery operations without the burden of increased admin, and in some cases, extra staff.

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Delivery man arriving at location after using SmartRoutes delivery driver app

Courier Software is Built to Make Everything Easier

One of the biggest misconceptions we see here at SmartRoutes is that getting to grips with the software itself is going to be challenging and take up valuable time. Sure, there will be some time investment in figuring it out, but I usually ask one simple question to put it in perspective:

  • Can you use Google Maps, Facebook, and Email?

If the answer is ‘Yes’, a courier software solution really isn’t going to challenge you any more.

The reality is that modern technology solutions have designers and developers behind them that make using them as intuitive as tying your laces or using the correct pedals when you’re driving.

It really doesn’t task the mind too much to log onto Facebook, check your email, and check a route on Google Maps on your computer. And when you think about it, it’s pretty impressive how you can do those 3 tasks in less than a minute, and without really having to think about how to do it!

Well, the same is true for the courier software of today. Orders and stops can be uploaded in seconds (even without human input in many scenarios), and routes optimized for multiple drivers and vans back in seconds. Another click of a button, and those individual routes are sent directly to drivers, ready on their phone for when they start their route.

This is really on scratching the surface on the capabilities of delivery software. There are efficiencies and optimizations enabled at every single step in the typical courier process from order management, to dispatch, to post-delivery adminand support.

5 Key Benefits of Using Courier Software

1. Streamlining Operations

The whole courier delivery model is based around moving goods and parcels around as quickly as possible while maintaining a high standard of service to customers. In fact, as mighty as giants like FedEx and UPS have become, the main advantage that independent delivery companies have secured is the extra attention to detail that gets lost at the scale of the delivery giants. When you see Amazon having issues with their ‘Teamsters’ unionizing, and the launch of their grocery delivery efforts falling flat, it further highlights how difficult it can be to get a handle on delivery operations once they have scaled beyond control.

For small and medium-sized courier businesses, this represents a big opportunity to provide a superior service to the likes of Amazon. While delivery is just one part of the puzzle at these corporations, for people like us here at SmartRoutes, last mile delivery delivers everything and we’ve focused on helping courier businesses to streamline every single touchpoint in the last mile.

Of course, working directly with some of the best run courier businesses in the world has taught us a thing or two about how we can help courier businesses make real impact. Seeing the processes, taking best practices, and then building solutions has resulted in a technology solution that can solve almost every delivery problem you can think of.

What started out as helping to optimize routes for fleets of vehicles, has now evolved to make every tiny detail in the last mile delivery process more efficient. Whether it's order management, warehouse dispatch, or on-the-road navigation between stops, modern software solutions now make every part of the delivery process more predictable, more efficient, and more profitable.

2. Reducing Costs

We mentioned it in the opening of this guide, but it’s always worth reemphasizing just how important the bottom line is to any courier business. The one inescapable reality for independent couriers, is that there is always going to be someone willing to undercut you on price.

We hate it too, but facts are facts in this game.

The other side of this is that you get what you pay for in this industry in terms of service. But the fact remains, you need to keep costs low to maintain the long-term health and viability of tour business. With overheads like warehouses and depots, vehicle maintenance, fuel bills, and even packaging ever-increasing, it can make a world of difference to get right into the small line items and cut any excess spending, and make real, measurable savings where you can.

While you simply need a diligent approach to bookkeeping for some of this, courier software allows you to get even more granular with your analysis. For example, route optimization is proven to reduce distances traveled by up to 33%, so it should be easy to get an estimate of how much your return on investment is there.

Similarly, the time taken to plan routes, optimize them, and schedule drivers is eliminated using software and reduces admin time by up to 90%. Again, it is very easy to ask your staff to record how long this is taking, and then use courier software for a pilot period to measure the difference.

Of course, there are other areas where courier management solutions result in cost savings:

  • 90% reduction in to time spent handling customer queries
  • 80% reduction in driver-to-depot support requests
  • 85% reduction in post-delivery customer disputes
  • 15% reductions in deliveries to wrong addresses

There are countless other examples of where savings can be made by using the right software. While it’s best to talk to an expert to understand what’s possible, you can get a quick sense of what immediate can be achieved by checking out the Monthly Savings Calculator on our pricing page.

3. Enhancing Scalability

Growing as a courier business requires a little bit more than just buying more vans and hiring more drivers to deal with more capacity.

In fact, unless you’ve been the one to grow such a business it can be hard to foresee the increased workload and challenges that a bigger fleet can entail.

For me, this is where your software can make the greatest impact on delivery operations. When I talk about scaling, I always highlight the following 3 areas:

i. Automation of Logistics Processes

  • Order Management: Automates the order entry (from eCommerce, existing OMS solutions, etc.) tracking (for both customer and customer support), and management processes, reducing manual workload and errors.
  • Route Optimization: Uses algorithms to determine the most efficient routes, simply by taking order information like the customers address and the order details (parcel volume, etc.) and determining the most efficient routes for multiple vehicles in seconds.

ii. Real-Time Tracking and Updates

  • Live Tracking: Provides real-time tracking for both the company and customers, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Automatic Notifications: Sends automatic updates to customers about the status of their deliveries, improving customer communication and reducing time spent serving queries.

iii. Data Analytics and Reporting

  • Performance Metrics: Offers detailed analytics and reporting tools to monitor delivery performance, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions.
  • Customer Feedback: Gathers and analyzes customer feedback to improve service quality and address issues promptly.

While small businesses may be able to handle all of these manually, once operations begin to scale, it becomes impossible without a solution to take care of these aspects. The flip side of that, is once you have a solution in place it allows you to scale to any imaginable size without any additional hassle or stress.

10 new vehicles and drivers?

It’s not going to increase the workload for you or your logistics team if everything from routing to proof of delivery is automated and optimized.

Should I Invest in Courier Software as a Small Business?

As the old saying goes, the best time to start something was yesterday, the second best time is today!

If you’re starting a new courier business, the opportunity to set yourself up for success has never been bigger. While established companies can become stuck in their ways, new delivery businesses don’t have the same legacy problems and bad habits.

One of the best examples of this is how proof-of-delivery is recorded. There are still many businesses using pen and paper to capture consignees' signatures at the doorstep. This is a process fraught with inefficiency; customers not being present at delivery, paper getting wet, torn, and lost. Those of you in the industry will also be aware of common occurrences of disputed signatures.

And all this before it ever gets to the hands of the admin clerk that is supposed to file it for record.

Electronic proof of delivery is really simple from a technology perspective, but transformational in how the process works:

  • Driver see note attached to delivery with instructions on where to leave parcel
  • Driver safely drops parcel as requested
  • Driver captures a quick photo of the parcel in situ
  • The indisputable evidence that it has been delivered (the photo) is automatically sent directly to the customer

While this makes complete sense, it can sometimes require a bit of tough love to get drivers to switch from the old way to the new way. Sure, snapping a picture with the device you're carrying anyway makes logical sense, but old habits can die hard.

Transvalair is Bringing their Furniture Delivery Experience to New Heights

Transvalair is a leading freight forwarding & global logistics business that operates out of both the U.K and Dubai. One of the bespoke services that they offer is Duo Delivers Service, that handles heavier goods with a two-man team.

Of course, when it comes to heavier goods, it also means that they are often more expensive purchases like home and garden furniture, and white goods (fridges, washing machines, etc.)

Unlike regular parcel delivery, communications to customers about estimated delivery times, offering flexible delivery time windows, and ensuring that drivers know where to leave deliveries or access safe storage is critical to the success of the service.

Using SmartRoutes Courier Software, they were able to achieve the following:

  1. Achieve full oversight of delivery operations.
  2. Fully automated route planning through SAP integrations.
  3. Allow customers to confirm/update booking slots via SMS notifications.
  4. Implement an organized label system for warehouses
  5. Provide customers with tracking portal access to see where their delivery is in real-time..
  6. Ensure easily accessible support through a customer portal

Getting Started with your Search for the Best Courier Software

I know it can be daunting thinking about how much work is involved in getting courier software implemented for your own business. You’re probably thinking it’s going to require a lot of work to get it all set up, and even more time to get everyone on your team onboard and comfortable with it.

The reality, however, is that most modern delivery manager solutions are cloud-based, meaning that there really is very little work in getting set up. For the most part, it just requires you to identify what your requirements are. For example; how many vehicles and drivers you have, the territory or zones you want them to serve, and any specifics you need like integrations with existing technologies.

Here at SmartRoutes, we’ve spent the past decade working directly with some of the biggest and most progressive courier businesses in the world to help transform their logistics operations. Feel free to try SmartRoutes for yourself (for free!) for the next 7 days and get a sense of the true capabilities of our solutions and how they can work for you.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is courier management software?


Courier Management Software is a specialized technology solution designed to streamline and optimize the entire logistics and delivery process for courier and delivery businesses. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools that facilitate various tasks, including managing deliveries, tracking packages, optimizing routes, and ensuring efficient communication between dispatchers, drivers, and customers.

2. How difficult is it to implement courier software in my business?


Implementing courier software is generally straightforward, especially with modern cloud-based solutions. Most systems require minimal setup and can be integrated with existing processes quickly. The intuitive interfaces make them easy to use, similar to everyday applications like Google Maps or email.

3. How does courier software help in reducing costs?


Courier software reduces costs by optimizing routes to save fuel, automating tasks to reduce administrative workload, and minimizing errors in deliveries. It also helps cut down on customer queries and disputes through better tracking and proof of delivery systems.

4. What should I consider when choosing courier software?


Consider factors like the size of your fleet, the volume of deliveries, the need for integrations with existing systems, and specific features like route optimization and real-time tracking. Evaluate the software's scalability and ease of use to ensure it meets your current and future needs.

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Managing a courier business is not easy so why not use the best courier management software to help? We’ve taken the time to research and assess the possible options for you.