Everyone inside and outside of logistics knows about the industry-wide driver shortage.
It’s a critical issue that’s on the national news regularly, threatening business growth and your company’s ability to deliver first-rate customer service. But what’s the solution? How can your business – one that relies so heavily on drivers – be successful in an industry with a pervasive problem?
As the primary face of your organization to customers, drivers are the key players in your last-mile operation. Despite this, drivers are often left out of conversations that affect their work, exacerbating a high-risk situation and dissatisfaction. After studying the best practices to increase job satisfaction and productivity, we put together a list of four ways for you to best support your drivers.
1. Give drivers a voice
A recent Harvard Business Review study reports that, for a productive and supportive work environment, employees “expect their employers to respect their time and knowledge”. Drivers are no exception. Encourage your drivers to communicate their concerns and ideas, and establish a streamlined process for sharing feedback. Increased driver participation will result in a stronger work ethic and pride, which mutually benefit both drivers and your organization.
2. Capitalize on driver knowledge
Your drivers hold tremendous amounts of information about routes, accounts, customer-specific preferences, and much more. Drivers gather these insights throughout their delivery day, but unless that knowledge is shared, it’s challenging for managers and dispatchers to operationalize. One of the easiest and most effective ways to capitalize on this information is to provide your drivers with a platform that enables them to share their knowledge and make it useful across the enterprise. If your operation runs on dynamic routing, this information can be used to automatically optimize your daily deliveries. It also insulates your operation against knowledge loss in case of driver turnover.
3. Give drivers the tools to succeed
Along with the ability to share knowledge, drivers require powerful and interactive tools to support their work that provide easy access to daily routes, intuitive features to indicate the status of a delivery (in-progress, on-time, delayed), and the ability to modify recommended route sequences. Drivers also need a modern and convenient mobile solution that supports inventory management, such as the ability to scan barcodes and capture photos, as well as to easily record other key information associated with each stop. The Driver App from Wise Systems gives your team everything they need to manage their delivery day. In fact, the Driver app serves as their driver command center, equipping them with exactly what they need, right at their fingertips.
4. Measure and reward their progress
It can be difficult for drivers to measure their progress and success. However, with metrics such as on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction, the Driver app lets you visualize your drivers’ performance, enable them to assess their own progress, and analyze performance against goals. It also provides the data you need to align incentive programs with driver output, supporting the success of both your drivers and your entire operation.
With the proper platform and tools to support your drivers and capitalize on their knowledge, you open the floodgates to new levels of efficiency — one that will ultimately transform the performance and success of your operations. In fact, in an MIT study conducted in 2021, research scientist David Correll found that extending every existing driver’s delivery day by even 18 minutes would be the equivalent of adding 80,000 new drivers worldwide. 80,000 drivers! If your drivers have what they need, this could be your fleet.