Guest Author – Sponsored Content – The cost of shipping is one of the biggest expenses for many companies. Here’s a few tips to help understand where the money goes, and find ways to trim for a better bottom line now!
1. Get it where it needs to go
While it may seem like common sense, one of most important steps in shipping is making sure the correct products go to the correct shipping address on the first attempt. Costs quickly add up every time an item shows up at an incorrect location and requires a reroute. Additionally, these type of errors could result in the loss of repeat business.
Thus, it really pays to make sure you have the correct procedures in place so you do not incur the shipping error expense. If you cannot afford a real-time wireless warehouse management system and bar-coding solution in your operations, at minimum you should not only double-check each shipment but have specific individuals “checkers” bless any shipment before it goes out. Compare it to the original order and make sure the address is validated. Feel free to check out our blog post, What Dreaded Shipping Errors Can Cost You.
2. Remember to negotiate
Any good business person knows that you shouldn’t just settle on a price. The cost of shipping should not be excluded from the concept of the best deal. Once every six months, take a look at your shipping history and the performance of the carrier (or carriers) you use. It is absolutely worth the time and effort to negotiate your shipping costs with your carriers. Before you begin, do you homework. Arm yourself with information such as the number of shipments you handle on average, types of shipments and services you offer your clients as well as other and vital data. You will be surprised at the difference in pricing offered by multiple carriers based on your location, shipping volume, ship-to locations and other important factors. In some cases (although unusual), we’ve found up to a 37% difference between the lowest rate shopped and highest. Remember, you are the client and you have options. Plus, carriers know that once a company gets a good deal, they will likely keep them on for a long time. That is why they often provide incentives to switch to them. Negotiate shipping rates with your chosen carriers, but be open to switching, and, if necessary, welcome another carrier to the party.
3. Shop around
Here again, taking some time to research can greatly benefit your bottom line. By using a rate shopping tool such as the solution we offer, your customer service or warehousing team members can spot check your rates for a specific shipment in real-time. With our automated system, a salesperson can select a specific shipping method for a specific order and be able to follow the process all the way through fulfillment. Think of the peace of mind you and your busy warehouse personnel will gain when the guesswork is taken out of the process. Our shipping process prints the appropriate shipping labels, pack lists, bills of lading, advanced shipping notifications and important customer specific documentation and populates the correct data. This saves you time and money because you no longer have to write information by hand, or use several systems or shipping stations based on carriers.
4. What ‘free’ really means
Offering free shipping seems to be a part of modern life. It goes without saying that if you offer free shipping, you shouldn’t… Read the rest of this blog post on the DCSC, Inc. blog
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