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 work out.
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 of invoices.
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.
courier role changes