November 3, 2015
When consumers review an online store, one major factor in how they rate that retailer is how quickly they received their order. The sales price of the product, the cost of shipping, the ease of doing business, and customer service are all important topics of conversation, but in the end the client wants to receive what they have already paid for in the shortest time possible.
Some larger corporations have the money to open and run several warehouses, but when you’re running a smaller operation this isn’t practical or realistic. Without a streamlined process, getting the merchandise ready for shipment can take hours out of your day. Here are some tips to speed up your processes so you can spend time on developing new products and attracting new business.
Try Using a Special Shipment Entry Mode for Multi-Piece Shipments
It can be very time consuming to enter each and every product code and weight when you have a multi-piece shipment. Luckily, many of the larger carriers have special tools and processing modes that will allow the company to speed up their shipment process. If you are in B2B and you have orders where several packages are going to a single address or warehouse, learning how to set a shipping preference in the system and how to apply handling instructions to every piece in the shipment can save you loads of time.
Use Advanced Fulfillment Technologies
Picking inventory, packing it, printing labels and even prioritizing your orders in different piles can take a lot of time when you have a manual warehouse routing desk. You may need staff for fulfillment, but one way to improve your process is to invest in fulfillment technology that staffers who handle the shipments can use. With a bar code scanner and the right program, you can use a logical logistics tool that is tailored to sort, prioritize, and sequence all of your packages in the most efficient way possible. You can even get programs that show if the item has been reduced in price, been used with a discountrue coupon, or fast delivery with tools that record every bar code as it passes. This helps you address where you can speed up the process and what is threatening accuracy and efficiency.
Try Doing Business with Drop Shipping Specialists
If you have a smaller business and don’t want to physically hold your inventory, another solution to consider is drop shipping. This retail fulfillment method is great when you don’t want to store or handle the product, but you do want to work in the business of selling. The drop shipper will not only store the items, it will ship them for you. You simply pay the third-party for the product and it handles the rest while helping you build your online reputation.
Quick shipping is all about adopting the right procedures. You will need to consider how you want to handle your logistics and if you want to be hands on. Once you decide this, you can streamline the process or leave the shipping to professionals while you focus on service and marketing.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.