Friday, July 29, 2011
Reason 10 to Use a Multi-Carrier Shipping System – You Have Options If Suddenly a Carrier You Use Cannot Perform Its Services
It’s been a while since the last carrier strike really stopped package pickup and delivery. But if you experienced the strike and your only carrier was on strike, you might remember some panic related to being unable to ship your packages. A strike is the extreme case, but there are other examples when being able to easily use multiple carriers is a smart business strategy. Today, carriers use on-line services extensively. If a carrier’s on-line service goes down or even slows down, it can cripple or even stop your shipping software and package processing. As another example, an event at the carrier’s package facility could occur that puts a carrier out of commission for a while. Fires, storms or even building integrity issues can render their building useless, which can absolutely disrupt your outgoing shipping. It’s bad for the carrier, but you still need to get your orders shipped to your customers.
Maybe it’s the service itself that seems to change. I recently ordered two floor lamps with glass shades, but had to go through six lamps to finally get two whose shades were not shattered during shipping. Just the return shipping cost (that the company paid, not me) on four boxes weighing over 20 pounds each was significant. If a company suddenly sees excess damage or other loss, it might be time for that company to look at its carrier choices. Another change that could send a company shopping for a new carrier is if policies or surcharges change that increases their shipping charges. Unless a multi-carrier shipping system like our CPS shipping software is being used, you can almost be held prisoner by a carrier until you are able to make changes that give you shipping choices that benefit your organization the most.
Using a multiple carrier shipping system is a great way to counteract shipping disruptions like these. Carrier issues can affect the entire economy. While you may not be able to rescue the economy, you can certainly make the right choice to keep your business delivering its goods to your customers no matter the conditions or circumstances. For more information about our CPS shipping software, visit www.HarveySoft.com.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Reason 9 To Use A Multiple Carrier Shipping System – One Word - AbandondedShoppingCarts (And How to Stop Them)
Ready for more orders in your online store? Of course you are! Shopping cart abandonment is up to 25% higher than previous years - now estimated as high as 59%. With the year's biggest order season coming, right now is the time to get your strategy in place to keep the most orders possible. Using a multiple carrier shipping system can help. Use a multiple carrier shipping system with your company’s carrier rates and you can make sure every package is shipped by the best choice for carrier and service, plus you have historical shipping data to help you develop shipping charge strategies.
What causes abandoned carts? There are several reasons, but the top reasons always include surprise charges, such as an unexpected handling charge or a shipping charge too high, at the end of the transaction. Studies show these definitely cause buyers to abandon the cart. A number of experts and Internet entrepreneurs find that displaying shipping charges before checking out avoids shopping cart abandonment. A strategic mix of flat rate shipping with "free" shipping offers combats this problem. Now, how to actually implement this?
Free shipping is very easy to calculate. Figuring out the right amount for flat-rate shipping takes a little more effort. Our CPS shipping software includes an easily accessed report showing average shipping cost per package and average shipping cost per pound. With just a few mouse clicks you can keep tabs on your shipping costs for any period of time by carrier and service to accurately manage a flat rate shipping offer.
Monitor your costs monthly and make adjustments as your average charges change. Then use this valuable data for your shipping charge strategy for flat rate or even free shipping offers. You need to be on your best game, especially at special times of the year like holidays when everyone is competing for consumer dollars.
A number of experts and Internet entrepreneurs say it is very important to display shipping charges before checking out. Remember - no surprises! Use Flat Rate shipping offers and your shoppers know the shipping cost before they have to disclose any information about themselves, which combats abandoned carts, simplifies their shopping experience and gives you the best chance at a successful order. Make the process easy and your customers will click "Buy" instead of "Bye". For more information about CPS, visit www.HarveySoft.com, and look for the link to our “Free Guide for Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment” report, right on the home page.
Posted by Harvey Software Inc. at 3:16 PM
Friday, July 15, 2011
Reason 8 to Use a Multiple Carrier Shipping System - One interface to your ‘backend’ system versus two or three
We touched on this earlier but it’s time to expand on what can be the key link in the chain for the shipping system process to work as efficiently as possible – the interface between the shipping system and the “backend” accounting system.
Using multiple carriers brings great advantages to a company. Some companies use separate shipping systems so they can ship with multiple carriers, such as the two major US carriers and the Post Office. That can work, but it’s quick to see that using multiple shipping systems that all work differently from each other can create complications from the very start, especially when data needs to be exchanged and updated between the accounting and shipping systems.
These issues surface when interfacing to a “backend” system, whether accounting, order management, ERP or some other:
1) At the start, separate research and work are needed to setup each shipping process to integrate with the accounting system, which can double or triple your installation time.
2) Mandatory carrier and/or accounting system updates, with their possible effects on the interface, must be evaluated for every system when they occur, meaning more work to keep the shipping systems current.
3) Since there are two or more separate shipping processes, if errors occur when returning data to the accounting system, tracking down the issue becomes a multi-step process. First, discovery must be made as to which system is not interfacing correctly and only then can correcting steps be completed.
Each of these mean more IT time spent, whether it’s in-house IT resources or an outside company hired to do the work. All of these translate to higher implementation costs, higher on-going expenses, plus the loss of IT resources for other parts of the business. The result is that using different shipping systems for multiple carriers complicates every step between the shipping system and the accounting system as well as affecting other parts of the company.
To take the best advantage of the benefits of using multiple carriers, it’s a given that the shipping system must reliably and easily exchange data with the “backend” system. The elegant, smart solution comes down to using a single, multiple carrier shipping system - not separate shipping systems for each carrier. A multi-carrier shipping system streamlines each process – setup, updates and potential troubleshooting. This adds tremendous efficiency to the entire shipping process from the very start. Our CPS shipping software easily handles shipping with the three major US package carriers, putting all of these multiple carrier shipping system advantages at your fingertips.
When a single system handles all the shipping, it un-complicates every step from initial setup to end of day processing. For more information about CPS, visit www.HarveySoft.com.
Posted by Harvey Software Inc. at 10:45 AM
Friday, July 8, 2011
Reason 7 to Use a Multiple Carrier Shipping System - Are You Making Installment Payments on Your Shipping System But Don’t Know It?
Here is an aspect of the ‘free’, carrier provided shipping systems that might not be obvious. When a carrier gives out a shipping system, it’s not out of the goodness of their heart. There is a cost attached to developing and providing the ‘free’ shipping system and this cost must be recouped. The ‘free’ shipping system’s cost is not just written off as a cost of doing business. The carriers expect to make money from your shipping and to make enough additional income to pay for the shipping software being used. Each of these is reasonable, but if you are paying for shipping software, why not buy a shipping system that gives you shipping choices and power when negotiating your rate contract?
Companies that have changed from the ‘free’ carrier software to our CPS shipping software tell us they are better able to negotiate their rate contracts when using CPS. Part of this is due to the carrier knowing they can easily make shipping choices since they are not “locked in” by software to a specific carrier. In addition, the carrier does not need to cover the cost of providing software in the rate contract. Each of these works to the good of the shipper.
This additional savings when using a multiple carrier shipping system may not be immediately obvious, but it’s another way a multi-carrier system can put money on the bottom line. For more information about CPS, visit www.HarveySoft.com.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Reason 6 to Use a Multiple Carrier Shipping System – Provide More Accurate Financial Data Back to Your Accounting Systems
A multiple carrier shipping system can help with many operational issues in the shipping department. But what about helping the bean counters? Let’s look at the accounting side of shipping for a minute. Using a multiple carrier shipping system, one system controls all the shipping choices, carriers and processes. If you ship with multiple carriers and use different shipping systems for each, your shipping processes become spread out and the data integration to the accounting system substantially more complicated. The combination of complicating both package processing and data integration means that data returned to accounting may not be completely accurate, causing widespread problems from customer billing to sales forecasts. And who wants accounting data that always needs adjusting?
Here is a “real life” example that just occurred. This company discovered that one of their carriers was the better choice for their entire day’s shipping. Unfortunately, they had already shipped everything (120 packages) with another carrier and they used separate systems for each carrier. To fix this, they had to delete each package in the first system, then ship each package again in the second system. In addition to the delete/re-ship procedure, they also had to back out the now doubled shipping charges from their accounting system. Finally, they also needed to monitor the original carrier’s bill to be sure they were not billed for the packages that were actually shipped with the other carrier. To correct all of this took hours, but made them focus on their entire shipping procedure. They called us the day after this happened, saying they never wanted to be in that situation again. They are solving this by purchasing our multi-carrier CPS shipping software.
It is always easier to work with just one system, especially when integrating data with an accounting or order system. To get the most accurate data possible from your shipping system, using a multiple carrier shipping system simplifies the integration between shipping and accounting, greatly reducing the opportunities for error. For more information about CPS, visit www.HarveySoft.com.