Changing Role of Couriers
The recession has brought changes to the Courier industry, some
good some bad. Recessions have always been a challenge
and an opportunity to companies, depending on the attitude
of the company management.
In the Courier industry, over manning by courier companies has largely
not been a problem, with most companies employing their own vehicles
and staff for prestige customers, and the excess workload has traditionally
been covered by smaller self employed couriers. As the industry
has been shrinking, this has hit the small one man courier hardest,
with loss of business through their customers folding, or going
through ‘pre-pack administration’ [ the company goes
bankrupt on Friday, and is bought back by it’s directors on
Monday free of debt], or the bigger courier companies giving less
It isn’t all doom and gloom for the
small courier, with so many going out of business, there
must be customers out there, waiting for you to contact them. The
traditional model for a small business was, to have a maximum of
25% of your turnover from any one source; I have always said that
for a small business this should be 10% at the most. The advantages
to this are obvious, if your biggest customer ceases to trade with
you for whatever reason, you can still survive, secondly if you
get a contract which is higher than your 10% maximum, you have the
incentive to get out and chase more business in order to maintain
your percentage ratio. Couriers tend to fail
to plan, or even produce a business model, and rarely refer
back to it if they do have a plan or business model. The other main
downfall of the small courier is non payment
larger companies will delay payment as long as possible,
and then start using these standard tricks to avoid payment, and
give you the run around. The 1st sign
of this is after you have put in an invoice, you are told the invoice
address has changed. The 2nd sign is
they will change the invoice codes you have to use in order for
accounts to pay you, the 3rd sign is
when they change the job numbers. This is apart from the standard
‘ the system has gone down’
The recession has also forced companies to look at ways of saving
costs; one alternative to cutting costs has been the M1 shuttle.
Another way has been to send more pallets on overnight pallet networks.
The principal objections to this method, has been the need to move
pallets on and off vehicles usually at least 5 times during transit,
resulting in possible loss or damage, and the very low insurance
cover compared to what courier firms offer.
Another way companies are cutting costs is described on our cost
comparison page . We have found that once
companies are made aware of the cost of running their own vehicles,
against that of a courier company, as the vehicles are due for changing,
companies are looking to reduce costs by using couriers.
The main drawback to this is they no longer have their company name
on their vehicles. RFT Express provides a solution by supplying
vehicles for free or a very much reduced cost to customers wanting
a vehicle in their livery ....for more information
van Your Name.
European companies look hard to save costs. RFT Express has seen
an increase in European work fuelled by the fall in the pound against
the euro. British companies tend to rely on staff lay offs to cut
costs, and usually don’t look towards management for cost
saving alternatives, or ways to increase market share.
The recession is a challenge or an opportunity,
the choice is up to the individual person or company.
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