Tips to Improve Shipping

With the increase of online sales and the preference of consumers to have goods delivered directly to them instead of having to go to a store, the shipping process is becoming more important than ever to maintain good customer relations and retention. Here are some tips to optimize shipping processes and ensure that all shipping boxes arrive at their destination accurately, on time and within budget.

Streamline the Process

The first step to improving shipping is to identify the process. Make a list of the things that work well and the issues with the current shipping process. Next find steps to help fix the issues while maintaining the pieces that are working well. Finally create a formal document with the shipping process and deploy it so that everyone in the organizations knows the process and their role.

Warehouse Communications

One key to efficient shipping is timely and accurate communication with the warehouse. Often a phone call can be more effective in communicating accurate information in a timely fashion. Utilizing new messaging apps can also be a productive way to communicate with warehouse managers and staff.

Use Scanning Devices to Locate Items

Knowing the location of everything in the warehouse is a key component to locating items to be shipped in a timely manner. Using scanning devices helps keep track of all items coming into and going out of the warehouse and help locate them quickly. This helps reduce human error, which in turn minimizes risk saving time and money.

Choosing a Courier Service

Choosing the right courier service can make or break the shipping process. Once products are handed over to the courier service the remainder of the process is largely in their hands. That's why it is imperative to choose the right service that will meet specific business needs. Making a spreadsheet to breakdown each courier service can be helpful to see which one is right for specific business needs. Some things to consider when picking a courier service:

  • Service Type
  • Speed of Delivery
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Cost
  • Ability for Special Deliveries
  • Professional Appearance
  • Overall Customer Experience, for the business and the end customer

Use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

The use of EDI eliminates the need for paper invoices and purchase orders by creating a direct line between buyers and suppliers. This can lead to improved productivity and minimize errors.

Shipping Networking

Making shipping connections can be just as useful and imperative as making business connections. Having the right shipping connections can help identify what couriers to use and which ones to stay away from in a local area. Also, with the right personal connections discounts, deals and good will are never out of the question.

Customs Clearance

When shipping anything internationally clearing customs will always be a necessary hurdle. Declaring goods online in advance can help minimize issues ensuring that items get through customs and on the way to customers quickly.

Keep the Customer Informed

Making sure the customer is aware of where their goods are at all times goes a long way in creating a good customer relationship. With the new advent of tracking systems it is easy to give customers up to the minute updates on where their package is in the process.