People are eager to return to life as they knew it before COVID-19, but there are some things that may never be the same again. The delivery space is one of many services and industries adjusting to a new normal.
As people prioritize cleanliness and safety, delivery companies will have to rise to meet those expectations. They will need new equipment and new procedures, all of which cost time and money. Monthly P&L statements are going to reflect those changes in large and small businesses alike, and there will be tough choices ahead. How can you maintain affordable prices for consumers without shifting your bottom line amid challenges like these?
New Safety Trainings
UPS, for example, already spends $175 million every year on safety training. This includes training in proper pushing, pulling, lifting, and lowering as well as managing slips and falls, using powered equipment, setting up the job, and planning for the unexpected. It’s no longer enough.
In addition to training in the use of PPE, OSHA outlines specific training in relation to COVID-19:
“Train all workers with reasonably anticipated occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (as described in this document) about the sources of exposure to the virus, the hazards associated with that exposure, and appropriate workplace protocols in place to prevent or reduce the likelihood of exposure. Training should include information about how to isolate individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, and how to report possible cases. “
Are your employees at risk? OSHA classifies long-distance truck driving as a low exposure risk occupation when it comes to COVID-19, but “those who may have contact with the general public…” are considered medium exposure risk. OSHA acknowledges that specific job duties may shift people to a higher risk category. This includes “transit and delivery drivers, depending on their degree of close contacts with the public…”.
Increased Sanitation Procedures
The CDC outlines procedures for cleaning and disinfecting your facility. Many locations are ramping up cleaning protocols during this time, which may mean cleaning more often and more thoroughly. It could require hiring additional cleaning staff, which means more PPE, as well. In the truck, drivers could spend more time sanitizing their hands or changing gloves and wiping down surfaces.
Some drivers may be expected to answer questions about COVID-19 symptoms or submit to a non-contact temperature check if the customer asks for it — precious time that adds up quickly when you’re trying to maximize deliveries in a day.
From gloves to masks, your company will be spending more on PPE and the training that goes along with it. Even if your local government does not require the use of masks in public, many delivery companies may choose to require them to help protect their customers and their employees. With daily use across a large network, PPE is an ongoing cost that will have to be added to your budget.
As social distancing protocols became necessary, FedEx suspended Signature Required for the majority of shipments. It’s also possible to utilize a drop box or schedule a pick-up from your home to avoid going to a FedEx retail location when you need to send a package.
These types of no-contact delivery protocols may become standard as long as social distancing orders stay in effect, and perhaps long after — as long as it takes for people to feel comfortable interacting again, which may vary from area to area.
Delivery companies are using technology to make new protocols possible and to help them save money over the long term, which may require an investment upfront. An interactive online training program, for example, allows you to train employees more quickly as the need arises, and it gives them ongoing access to the information they need. A pickup and delivery platform like Beans Route can help you reduce time and mileage by more than 20 percent. Using technology like this can help you offset the cost of new cleaning protocols, PPE, social distanced delivery processes, and more.
With live tracking, intelligent vehicle routing, and easy-to-understand analytics, our route management system is designed to help you optimize your routes to become more efficient — and save money. And you can try it for free. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our unique platform.