We’ve all received one of those through the door haven’t we? Yep, those annoying postcards popped through the letterbox, informing you that they tried to deliver your parcel but unfortunately you were out at the time. Grrr it makes me cross even thinking about it. Thousands of these little cards get posted each day in the UK and it really is any wonder whether any of the parcels ever actually make it to their destination without some form of hold up.
As more and more people choose to shop online, it goes without saying that courier firms are at their busiest, but unfortunately it is to the detriment of their customers. I have lost track of the number of times I have had problems with some of the larger couriers. Whether it be from the dreaded ‘sorry we missed you cards’ when actually I’ve been in all along, parcels labelled ‘fragile’ being lobbed over my back gate or parcels that have been left in a safe place that has been so safe I have no idea where they have put them! My patience and faith in these companies has been repeatedly tested, to the point that whenever I order something for home delivery now, I always assume that there will be a problem of some description.
I occasionally need to use couriers for work; to send off important documents or when ordering in stationary etc, and because of my own personal experiences with certain large courier firms I have chosen to use smaller, local and quite often family run delivery companies instead. And what a completely different experience that is, I can tell you. The beauty of using smaller businesses is that they care about you. Your business is important to them and they are incredibly grateful to you for choosing and trusting them with your delivery. In my experience, the politics and bureaucracy involved in a large scale company results in the level of service that the customer can expect to achieve in going down. This doesn’t just happen in the delivery industry, no, this is true of a lot of the big corporations in many other industry sectors. So, why are these large companies still managing to be so successful and the smaller ones struggling to compete?
Bear with me because I’m about to get all technical, but for a very good reason and one that may just answer this question. Most large companies have certain standards and practices set in place that allow them to keep to an optimum level of quality, reliability and efficiency that ultimately makes them successful. For many, this is achieved via an ISO 9001 accreditation. What’s that? I hear you cry, well the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international, non-governmental membership organisation, which sets out specifications for products, services and systems to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. Consisting of 163 member countries and having published more than 19,500 International Standards to date, they cover almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare. Now, this accreditation is all well and good, but there are ongoing changes and improvements made to it which businesses have to keep on top of and this is where we are at, at the moment. The forthcoming ISO 9001 revision for 2015 has sent some companies into a tailspin, concerned about what those changes will actually mean and the impact it will have on their day to day business. On reflection, maybe it’s no surprise that using smaller companies comes with less hassle. They certainly don’t need to deal with half as much bureaucracy, paperwork and regulations, however that does not excuse them and I still very much have my gripes with them.
I read one article recently in the Daily Star about a Yodel delivery guy who left a somewhat different delivery for a couple in London. The package delivery company has long had a bad reputation for its bad service and has been voted the worst delivery service in the UK for the last two years in a row by customers. For what can only be described as the worst delivery ever, the delivery man decided to excrete on the couple’s front lawn, using the ‘sorry you weren’t in’ card as toilet paper. Absolutely disgusting and certainly not the kind of ‘special delivery’ the couple were expecting. Surprisingly though, Yodel are used by such massive companies as Amazon, Tesco and Littlewoods. which just goes to prove that big isn’t always best.