Though shipping strategy is just one component out of many in your operation, it’s crucial that your shipping processes are timely, cost-effective, and accurate. Efficient shipping not only bolsters your brand and reputation; it also keeps customer satisfaction and retention high. On the other hand, delayed shipments, bottlenecks in your order fulfillment, stockouts, and mis-shipments all contribute to customer frustration and a poor company image.
To assess your strategies for potential improvement, we’ve outlined the top four shipping challenges businesses face the most, and how you can conquer them.
Shipping Challenge #1: Real-time Visibility
Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C market, knowing where all your orders are at any given time is incredibly valuable information—for both you and your customers. When tracking shipments in real-time, you’ll know at once if they’re slated to arrive at their destination on time, or if they’ve been delayed.
Whether you’re shipping to a business or a consumer, your customers want and appreciate an accurate, timely delivery. Being able to track their order and plan for its delivery makes their experience that much better.
Solution: Mobile Tracking
To address this challenge, mobile tracking software is key. Issues can pop up from the time an order leaves your warehouse until it arrives at the customer’s door, so it’s important to be able to communicate with your drivers to resolve those problems promptly and maintain a high level of coordination across your operation.
Keeping a pulse on the status of your orders with continuous updates will ensure that shipments get where they need to be on time, every time. Another added benefit of mobile tracking is keeping your customer in the know on the status of their order, so they can plan accordingly for delivery.
For one solution that encompasses all of your business’s shipping needs, you need SalesPad by Cavallo® Shipping. With Shipping, you don’t have to hop between multiple systems or spend precious time hunting down tracking information. Rather, each order’s shipping and tracking information is automatically uploaded to the relevant sales documents after an order has been picked, packed, and shipped.
You can also easily set up a workflow to have these shipment details conveniently emailed to the customer for their own peace of mind, and maintain total visibility over every order that goes out.
Shipping Challenge #2: Cost Management
Reducing costs wherever possible in your operation is always beneficial. Your shipping strategy is no different. Careful consideration of what you’re spending on shipping can lead you to uncover wasteful spending and cost-saving opportunities you’re missing out on.
Solution: Evaluate Shipping Carrier Alternatives
Like any other business process, it’s important to research different shipping options to make sure you choose the best fit for your company. Your ideal carrier will vary depending on shipment weight and size, and won’t be the same across every scenario. Therefore, you’ll need to assess carrier offerings and prices on a regular basis.
Though this process sounds tedious, it’s one that can be automated through companies like Pacejet. Their solution automatically compares different compatible carrier rates to find you the cheapest option that suits the needs of your operation.
Going one step further, the Cavallo® Pacejet integration directly links your distribution management software to Pacejet’s platform, so you can cut costs while maintaining order accuracy and lightening your shipping team’s workload.
Learn more about the integration in our demo video.
Shipping Challenge #3: Navigating Complex Orders
The more your company grows, the more likely you are to receive complex orders that may be beyond your budget or your capacity. International orders with costly fulfillment, an increased volume of orders that your warehouse can’t hold, or a lack of staff to fulfill special orders quickly and accurately are all limitations a growing business may face.
Solution: Incorporate a Third Party
If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider handing off some aspects of your shipping strategy to third party experts. This simple change can do a world of good in expediting order fulfillment, while saving you the trouble of researching order logistics. Just make sure your third party is reliable enough to get your orders out accurately and quickly.
Shipping Challenge #4: Bottlenecks and Stockouts
Knowing what inventory you have available is paramount to expedited order fulfillment. Poor inventory forecasting, a disorganized warehouse, and manual inventory management processes can all lead to issues like excessive back-orders and delayed shipments.
Not being able to get the items they need in a timely manner will frustrate your customers, and could cause them to take their business elsewhere in the future. Without a proper inventory management system, your ability to fulfill orders will suffer.
Solution: A Better Inventory Management System
To optimize your shipping strategy, you need to make sure every stage of the order-to-cash cycle is efficient—starting with the moment a customer places an order.
Your inventory management system should be alerting you when an item is out of stock, how often inventory needs to be replenished, and where there are bottlenecks clogging up the order fulfillment process.
If you don’t have full visibility over your inventory, SalesPad Inventory Manager can transform your operation. Ensure accurate picking and packing 100% of the time, track every order easily, avoid mis-picks and costly returns, and save your team time and effort every day.
Instead of reacting to problems as they arise, put your trust in a system that alerts you to take action—before inventory is out of stock or the wrong item is picked.
A lot of factors go into a successful shipping strategy, and it’s important to equip your business with the right tools to make every part of your operation efficient. SalesPad was designed with distributors in mind, and extends the power of Microsoft Dynamics GP to supercharge every component of the order-to-cash cycle.