Let’s face it. Shipping is complex for even the smallest business. When your business expands into a high volume operation shipping dozens, or even hundreds, of parcels a week or more, the complex becomes nightmarish. At that point, you need some help. This is where automated shipping processes come in.
Virtually every portion of shipping – from order processing to final reporting – becomes automated and requires very little oversight. Automation can accept orders, select carrier services, pick and pack inventory, label parcels, provide tracking, handle returns, and even upload bookkeeping. All of this adds up to savings in time, labor, and cost. Let’s look at how.
Reducing Package Surcharges
A few years ago, several of the carriers started implementing surcharges in a complicated formula comparing package size to package weight. An automated system will use software that selects the most economically sized packaging for each product. This reduces the incidence of these surcharges, saving your company money.
Improve Labor Management
Automated picking and packaging allow employees to move to tasks automation cannot replace. This will ultimately increase productivity, streamline management duties, and reduce costs.
Even if your operation can’t benefit from an automated picking and packing system, it can still reap the rewards of automation.
Reducing Shipping Rates
Automated shipping software will reduce your shipping fees in general by scouring the carriers for the best deal based on your parcel’s size and weight. It takes the guesswork, and the time spent researching, out of shipping. You will not need to compare services on the computer yourself when the computer is doing it for you!
Streamline Multiple Tasks
Using shipping management software, weighing, labeling, sorting, tracking, and arrival notification are all in one central location. Your order information is all it takes to let the software automatically multi-task for you. Once the information is in the system, the software will print your labels (including customs forms for international shipments), and provide both you and the customer with tracking information. Updated tracking is automatically provided, right up until delivery notification. Adding an integrated scale for exact weights will save you even more because there is a tendency to guess upward rather than downward on weight.
If a customer needs to return a shipment, the automated software will do everything again, in reverse. Your customer will be able to print a return label, and all the tracking from shipment to arrival will be provided to you both.
All information – product cost, shipping cost, packaging costs, quantities sold (and remaining in inventory) – will be automatically uploaded to your bookkeeping and inventory management software. Even if the customer returned some items, your inventory and accounting will be accurate. By having these integrated, you will always know where your bottom line is with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
Shipping management software is one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can use to improve and update your business operations. By reducing the overall costs of business operations every month, it more than pays for itself. So if you haven’t already, now is the time to bring the shipping portion of your business into the 21st century!