Who wants to receive a package four days later than it was supposed to arrive? Certainly not your customers. They pay for the type of delivery they need, whether it is Standard Delivery, the cheapest Next Day Delivery or even Same Day Delivery. Your customers expect their order to arrive on time, safe and in perfect condition.
More than ever people are shopping online and would rather receive their items through the post instead of walking into a store waiting in line to pay for it at a register. The need for trustworthy parcel delivery is only increasing, and it is unlikely that this will settle any time soon.
In order to make sure your customers are always pleased with your businesses delivery service, as well as save yourself money and invaluable time, consider the following tips for improving your shipping processes:
Streamline your process with documentation
In order to achieve the most proficient delivery performance, it is recommended that you simplify your internal shipping processes. It is common to see companies use countless advanced systems and apps to complete one internal process; however it only complicates the matter and turns what should be a quick and easy task into one that is long and tedious.
It is a good idea to identify which aspects of your current shipping process work well, and which ones complicate the shipping process. From there, outline the steps required to overcome the issues you previously identified, resulting in a more successful shipping process.
Improve communication with your warehouse
Communication is key, and is essential within your warehouse to maintain efficient delivery. In actuality, it should only take a matter of minutes for an order to be processed at your warehouse, or by your supplier.
Clear communication can help manage stock and also it ensures that an influx of orders doesn’t come out of nowhere. Your warehouse must be able to arrange for additional members of staff to be on hand to ensure all your parcels are sent out fast and efficiently. During this busy time, it may be beneficial speak to your warehouse manager over the telephone, instead of via email.
While the convenience of sending an email will never dissipate, physically speaking to someone can prevent possible miscommunications and encourages a clearer understanding of what is being asked. Additionally, sending fewer emails might mean that when you do send the occasional email, it is more likely to be opened and read rather than ignored as it will seem more important.
Use the right technology locate your items quicker
To enhance your businesses shipping processes, it is important that you are able to identify the exact location of each item in your warehouse. If you can’t, it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The best way to locate your items, maximize efficiency and check stock levels is to use scanning devices.
Barcode scanners and wireless scanners are huge time savers and can reduce the risk of human error, which in turn will save your company money. With the use of scanning devices, businesses can save hours of work every year to keep track of the items being shipped from the warehouse, or returned to the warehouse.
Some businesses may continue to be anti-technology, and it is certain that physical work will always be an invaluable part of the shipping process. However, automating some jobs that can be completed by human beings, but without the risk of human error, will improve efficiency. The time and money saved by your company will show unquestionable improvement.
Choosing a courier service
To further develop your business shipping process, create a list of applicable courier services. This list will completely depend on how quickly you plan to deliver your products, and the destination. If your business intends to deliver fast, a courier services that cannot guarantee quick delivery may not be the best choice.
Include in your list the price it will cost to ship your product depending on destination and weight. By doing this, you can simply reference your list and use the most efficient service for your shipping requirements.
While it may sound simple, there are a number of things you should consider when choosing a courier. These include the type of service, shipment speed as well as the professional appearance of the courier service. Some other things to consider are:
- The reliability of the delivery service
- The ability to accommodate special deliveries, ie oversized packages.
- Cost – make sure there are no hidden fees
- Convenience – is it easy to arrange your shipments?
- Overall customer experience
Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners. This is the ideal solution for people who are likely to leave important paperwork lying around. Basically, EDI is already being used by multiple companies around the globe, as it efficiently replaces paperwork with electronic data.
The proper use of EDI can make the shipping process quicker from start to finish, and it is obviously more convenient than lugging around countless pieces of paperwork. It can also provide significant cost savings. Additionally, Electronic Data Interchange can minimize errors and improve productivity. This can allow your business to take on additional corporate operations without needing several human resources.
Make local and international shipping connections
In the business community, who you know can be just as important as what you know. If your company is shipping to destinations outside of where your business is based, it is helpful to make connections in other locations your products are being sent to.
This may not seem helpful right away, however these new connections can provide insight into which services to use, and which ones to avoid. This will allow you to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure your product is delivered safely, and most importantly, on time. As a result, your customers will be satisfied, which in turn improves customer retention, as well as enhance your entire shipping process.
Prepare for customs clearance
Preparing for customs clearance in advance is one of the best ways to enhance your shipping process. This can be a long and frustrating part of the shipping process; however it is unavoidable as customs checks are used to control the import and export of goods. On top of this, if the value of the product is more than the minimum value for gifts and commercial items in the destination country, it must be inspected by a customs authority. This further delays the shipping process. It is suggested that you declare the goods online in order to ensure your package is delivered on time. Making the declaration online will ensure that package will make it through customs without any issues.
Keep your customers informed
While we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the products we’ve ordered online, time seems to slowdown, days tend to feel like weeks. When you keep your customers informed and updated on the status of their delivery, it can help them feel as though time is going much faster.
Rather than waiting for a knock at their door, your customers can continue with their day to day lives with a better idea of when their awaited package will arrive. Keeping your customers updated about their delivery has gotten increasingly easier with today’s advancements in technology. If you give your customer a tracking number, their packages can be tracked directly from their cell phone at any time. You could also give them the option to sign up for delivery status updates via text message or email.
Creating an efficient shipping process is essential for your business as well as the customer. From using straightforward internal processes and selecting the best courier service for your business, to utilizing new technologies for organization and information, optimizing your businesses shipping practices is crucial to ensuring you can compete within your industry, as well as decreasing costs.