Customer satisfaction and profitability are two important factors when it comes to your company’s shipping. On one hand, keeping shipping costs as low as possible can help your bottom line. But on the other hand, it may have a consumer end result that is not so great. This is not good, since user experience and customer satisfaction has taken priority in most marketplaces.
How do you balance customer satisfaction with business profits in the space of shipping? Streamline via shipping intelligence, automation, and more. Let’s dive deeper into how your company can make shipping profitable while providing exceptional customer happiness.
1. Redefine your company’s shipping by auditing current processes
The first step in streamlining your company’s shipping is to get to the bottom of what is working, and what is not. This means auditing your entire company’s shipping process. Yes, this may seem pretty time consuming and annoying. However, how can you fix a process if you don’t identify each factor involved, and the worth of those factors.
Begin by making a list of all levels currently in motion for shipping. What is currently making shipping efficient? What practices are making the process more complicated and lengthier? Are there any bottlenecks? Once you clearly define the positives and negatives, you can strategize to improve them, or get rid of them all together.
2. Integrate shipping intelligence into the process
Reducing shipping costs may seem challenging, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. There is plenty of innovative technology available to help streamline your company’s shipping if you know where to look. For instance, you can get shipping contract analysis and negotiation, invoice auditing, and reporting via platforms that provide comprehensive third party shipping solutions.
“Often, carriers promise shippers compensation when they mess up. But they don’t make it easy for shippers to understand how much compensation they’re owed or when refund policies do and don’t apply,” shipping intelligence providers Reveel explained. By knowing more about invoice auditing, companies can save up to five percent on shipping.
3. Make communication with your warehouse a priority
Order fulfillment and warehouse management systems are of great importance when it comes to streamlining your company’s shipping. And simply having them in place will not serve as the profitable and customer centric solution you need. To utilize your warehouse management system (WMS) and fulfillment capabilities to the fullest, you need to make communicating with your warehouse a priority.
For example, the faster you communicate with your warehouse, the faster an order is picked, packed, and shipped. This can be achieved by using WMS solutions that are scalable and fit your company’s unique shipping and fulfillment needs. Discuss how to make communication better and tweak the current process for best results.
4. How long does it take to pick an item?
While we are on the topic of warehouse management, let’s touch on the time it takes to pick an item. This is often the bottleneck in most facilities, since locating a single item, especially if small, can be like finding a needle in a haystack if the warehouse is not a well oiled pick, pack, and ship machine.
If your pick time is slow, it is time to fix it, and fast. This begins with the actual warehousing of the item. To streamline the process, the product should have a defined home the moment the product is checked-in to the warehouse. This will ensure it is in your warehouse management system correctly prior to an order even being placed. Thus decreasing total fulfillment time.
5. Ensure you are using the correct shipping service
Some shipping issues are simply not in your control in some ways. For instance, the type of shipping service you use. But you can fire your current shipping service and hire a new one if profitability and end consumer satisfaction is beginning to slip. If you want faster delivery at a lower cost, it’s time to consider courier cost, reliability, speed of delivery, ease of use, and transparency when shipping issues arise for refunds.
Wrapping up . . .
There are definitely a lot of ways to get control over your company’s shipping. From employing better warehouse communication to integrating shipping intelligence, the above ways to streamline shipping processes can serve as helpful. However, they are not the end-all solutions.
The real answer to decreasing shipping costs and providing a better end user experience lies within your current issues. Every company’s shipping needs are unique, and an area that is of issue for one company may be the best process of others. The goal is to streamline the process so it works for you.