Three Things That Turn Shipping into a Profit Center
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
In today’s “I need it now” world, shipping is key. It’s natural to focus on the sale, then the making or sourcing of the product and move on to the next sale once it’s at the shipping door. Getting the package to the customer on-time, correct and not costing an arm and a leg can be the difference between winning and losing. Let’s look at three ways that shipping can be a profit center.
1. It’s going to cost how much?
You work hard to source materials at the best price and quality. You removed unneeded steps in the order processing. You mastered lean manufacturing or as close as you can get. You improved quality to the right price point for your products. But, if you spend all or most of your profit on shipping, all of those improvements would be wasted. You need to know what is going out, what type of container and how much it will cost.
Rate shopping is common and a good step in controlling costs. But if you need to jump between your ERP and multiple carriers (Parcel, LTL, TL, others) and then manually capture and re-enter the information; then this is an opportunity to save. Just as you have removed the unneeded steps in other parts of the business; you need to apply that same thinking here. This may be just a couple hours a day – which will add up to thousands of hours a year. Thousands of hours in savings turn into 10 times that in hidden costs.
2. Be compliant or pay the price.
It used to be that just a couple of industries demanded compliance. Now, most customers have some expectation if not specific demands that must be met. Being able to meet your customers’ needs for labeling and tracking, while also including serialization is key to being compliant. It is very common to need FDA approval, meet transport requirements, and provide specific documentation for various foreign governments. If you don’t adhere to these obligations, you may have to pay penalties or worse yet, lose the business altogether. You can often meet the compliance requirements by doing them off-line or manually, but that increases costs. If you have multiple customers that also have requirements, you will need to find a way to simplify that process even if it might mean paying for integration work.
3. Happy self-sufficient customers can save you money.
If you can answer your customers question before they pick up the phone and call you – you are both going to be happier. If you are like me, you’ve ordered some cool new gizmo and depending on how cool that gizmo is, you check the tracking maybe once a day or more until the item arrives. Everything we buy isn’t always a cool new gizmo. For example, a needed item in an organization’s production or supply chain. Knowing when that item is going to arrive is even more important. Imagine all your customers calling you every day asking where each order is. You’d probably have to hire a few more people to just answer the calls. If those customers had the tracking number for their shipment, that would significantly reduce the number of calls. You could manually send out those tracking numbers, which would help, but if you could automatically send them out once the shipment is made; you would reduce that cost even further.
How do you do all three?
So how do you remove unneeded steps in your shipping department, stay compliant with customers shipping needs and automatically keep your customers up to date with tracking information? If you are using Infor’s CSI (CloudSuite Industrial/SyteLine) look no further then SureShip by AIT Business Services. SureShip is built using the same tools as SyteLine and is fully integrated to multiple carriers. It automatically captures tracking information and sends it to your customers, integrates to BarTender label software and supports numerous types of export documentation.
There are many ways that SureShip can help streamline your organization and help save costs. Visit our website to learn more and feel free to reach out! We are happy to answer any questions you have and can set you up with a discovery call and/or demo.