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As your business grows, it can become difficult to maintain the same level of dependability. It takes time to hand-deliver products to a post office or shipping carrier and packing can get expensive, when purchased at retail.

 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to streamline the process. Here are 7 ways to improve your company’s shipping process.

 

 1.) Improved Communication

 

It should not take more than a few minutes to process an order. In order to achieve this, you must establish instantaneous communication with your warehouse. Speaking with your warehouse manager by phone can help you better manage stock, keeping you informed during busy times when you may need to import more. It makes it easier to arrange for additional staff at a moment’s notice, so you won’t be overwhelmed by sudden influxes of orders.


2.) Scanning Devices

The more inventory you keep, the harder it can get to locate specific items in your warehouse. One of the best ways to maximize your efficiency is to use scanning devices. Barcode scanners and print apply labelers can help save time and reduce the likelihood of costly errors when sending items to and from the warehouse. Note that while there will always be a place for physical work in the shipping process, efficiency can be improved by automating these types of tasks.

3.) Courier Services

Keeping a list of courier services handy is another great way to enhance your shipping process. Look for services that can guarantee quick delivery. Create a spreadsheet of all relevant courier services, along with their prices, so you can check it quickly and match the best one with your needs at the time. Keep in mind that there are different types of delivery services, some of which may be more appropriate for certain occasions than others.

4.) Use the Right Carrier

Make sure your shipping carrier’s offerings are a good fit for your company’s needs. They should provide you some way to optimize your freight charges and enough flexibility to properly serve your customers. Compare their time-in-transit capabilities with those of other carriers to help you decide between options like ground shipping and air freight. Provide your customers with at least two options, so they can decide for themselves whether they would rather get their items faster or save some money. Keep in mind that not everyone’s priorities will be the same.

5.) Electronic Data Interchange

Reducing paper clutter will go a long way toward speeding up your shipping process. Also known as EDI, Electronic Data Interchange can save you from what might otherwise become a mountain of paperwork. It basically replaces paper with electronic data, allowing you to process a larger volume at the same time. This is not only more convenient, but also more cost-effective. EDI can improve your company’s productivity, while reducing errors and minimizing the need for human resources.

6.) Customs Preparation

If you routinely ship items to other countries, you’re probably familiar with the complexities involved in clearing customs. The process is notoriously frustrating and lengthy, but safety concerns ensure that it can’t be avoided. As if this wasn’t enough, items that are worth more than the minimum value for commercial items will have to be inspected by the Customs Authority of the destination country. While you can’t circumvent the process, declaring your goods online can help shorten it somewhat.

7.) Keep Customers Informed

To even the most patient waiting customer, hours can feel like days and days can feel like weeks. Sometimes the most important thing you can do to help relieve their anxiety is to keep them up to date on the status of their delivery. Knowing when their package will arrive can save them countless hours spent waiting at the door, when they could have be going about their daily lives. Fortunately, this is easier today, due to advanced technology. Always provide your customers with tracking numbers or information on how to get status updates from the carrier.

Each of the tips above can help you improve your delivery process, but they’re more effective when used together. No one likes getting packages late, especially when they’re paying so much for shipping. Your company’s success depends on being able to deliver as promised, with as few inconveniences as possible.

James Ponds graduated with a MBA with an emphasis in marketing. In his freetime, he continues to study the current marketing/business trends, and enjoys golfing or boating on the weekend with his wife and kids. 

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