How can I determine whether my carriers are living up to their service guarantees?
One thing’s for sure: You shouldn’t wait until you’ve received a lot of complaints about late or lost shipments. Nor should you rely solely on delivery information that your carriers provide, because that’s a recipe for subpar service and/or fewer refunds.
Your best option is to leverage the carriers’ tracking tools or invest in your own automated tracking technologies – and to use those technologies as frequently and consistently as possible. In addition to providing alerts when shipments arrive later than promised, many of these systems can flag packages or shipments that are at risk for being delivered late based on your key business rules. (For example, one of our prompts is “Has this shipment or package been sitting in one place for longer than it should have?”) That way you can immediately identify non-compliant shipments – and all the service refunds you’re entitled to.
It’s also wise to consider conducting a delivery service audit. This detailed exercise will provide you with a valuable, big-picture view of just how well each of your carriers are performing while also uncovering any shipments that you can still file a claim for.
I’m not sure my company has enough funding or personnel to do that. Are there any other options?
Absolutely! Many 3PLs already have these systems and the dedicated personnel to monitor them in place. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss the specifics of AFS’s expertise.
Either way, it sounds like a lot of trouble. Is it really worth it?
Based on our experience? Yes, especially for customers who use a lot of premium services, because chances are good that you’ve been leaving a lot of well-deserved refunds in your parcel carriers’ pockets.