Friday, November 18, 2011
Last week we discussed a feature of the CPS multi-carrier shipping software to fully automate a shipping computer in a large scale enterprise application. This week, let’s cover another end of the spectrum—a small online store, perhaps run by one or two people, looking to connect their order system to a shipping system. This business profile can benefit substantially by using advanced shipping benefits such as rate shopping features, customizable tracking emails (sent directly from the store’s email address, not a carrier’s), and integration with other software necessary to run an online business.
Connecting the shipping software to the order management system (OMS) is a basic challenge faced by many store owners. Connecting the two programs speeds up the order workflow significantly and reduces potential errors when entering data between programs. The Cut’N Ship™ option in the CPS shipping software allows connection to many online order management systems. It is easy to do a quick check to see if your OMS can connect to CPS through Cut’N Ship—can you highlight the shipping data, copy it, and paste it into Notepad? If you can, then Cut’N Ship can move your data into CPS. It’s really that simple!
With an instant connection from the OMS to the shipping software, shipping can be accomplished in seconds. Choose CPS as your shipping solution, and you can feel confident that your company is getting the best possible rates for its shipments. As the business grows, CPS can connect to new order management systems, new accounting systems, etc., all without requiring a complete overhaul of the shipping department. For example, we recently helped a customer change their order management system—they kept one CPS shipping station connected to the old program as they made the transition to their new system with their other CPS shipping station. There was no disruption in shipping orders while accomplishing the transition. No other multi-carrier shipping software solution can grow with a business like CPS does.
A small business that wants to grow will need an effective way to ship, and the choice of shipping software is crucial when it comes to efficiency in getting the packages out the door to the customer. CPS shipping software has the tools to make this easier, faster, and more efficient.
Over the last several weeks, these blog posts have presented a variety of features found specifically in CPS that make it the best multi-carrier shipping software solution available. There are features that save money, features that save time, and features that make shipping with multiple carriers easier. If your business ships even a moderate volume of packages each month, the CPS solution pays for itself with the cost savings it offers. One way to think about it—after CPS pays for itself with the savings, every other CPS feature might as well be free. Harvey Software will be happy to provide you with more information on any of these features by phone (1-800-231-0296) or on our website, www.HarveySoft.com.
Friday, November 11, 2011
If you've been following along with the posts of the last several weeks, you know how many features of CPS shipping software are available to process shipments faster and more efficiently. This week, we touch on a natural arrival point of all of these automation features—The CPS Automator™. By reading a completed data file, CPS can automatically shop rates, optimize carriers and shipping methods, correct an address, give correct rating for a package, print the shipping label and return completed shipping data back to other business software applications. All of this can happen without an operator required to be at the shipping computer.
When the complete data for shipping a large number of carrier-compliant packages can be provided in a data file, CPS can read and ship the contents of the entire file. Since the required name, address, and weight fields import automatically into CPS, manual entry is never required. Then, with predefined RateBots set up, CPS shipping software automatically chooses the best method for every package according to your business rules. The label prints, and the shipping costs and tracking number write back (optional) into the order management system or an accounting program through an ODBC connection. No employee time is required at the shipping computer for this process—in fact, CPS runs completely in the background with no visual functions. After our multiple carrier shipping software completes the shipping labels, the boxes are ready to be staged for carrier pickup. Combined with a picking, packing and conveyor system in a warehouse, CPS can be the last stop of an automated fulfillment line.
Obviously, there are other things going on here other than shipping software. CPS doesn’t pack boxes nor does it control conveyor belts and pick-to-light systems. It DOES work as part of a fulfillment system to provide the most optimal shipping method with the carriers, and it continues to save a business money on shipping every time it is used. If automation of an entire large scale operation is your challenge, your business might consider contacting one of our solutions partners, who specialize in designing complete systems customized for your needs. CPS shipping software integrates easily with many popular systems, and our partners specialize in customizing that integration to meet your business requirements.
One might think that automation features like this come at a premium. On the contrary, this feature is included in every CPS workstation. The same program that saves a small business money when they ship 5 packages a day saves an enterprise money when they ship 5000 packages a day. No other multi-carrier shipping system grows with a business’s shipping needs the way CPS does. When your business is ready to free up hands for other work, call us about putting “The Automator” to work for you! For more information, please visit www.HarveySoft.com.
Friday, November 4, 2011
When you spend time reading shipping forums, you will see the question come up—how can I tell whether a destination address is residential or commercial? In fact, you will see from many posts that the wrong answer to this simple little question can cost a business thousands a year in unexpected shipping charges if they aren’t careful. On one forum, incorrect address status was listed as the number one reason for discrepancies in a carrier statement as compared to expected costs.
Just ask the customer if their address is residential or commercial, right? Sure, you can ask. Of course, some customers are aware of higher charges for residential delivery and will just mark their suburban, white-picket-fenced house as a business thinking they will pay less for shipping. And they will, but you won’t! Or if they run a business out of their home, they might incorrectly assume this makes their address commercial. But unfortunately for shippers, inaccuracy on the customers’ checkout form does not mean you can go back and charge their credit card later for the difference in shipping costs. Plus, not only is there a higher surcharge for residential delivery to begin with, there are potential penalties when addresses are repeatedly classified incorrectly. The result is money lost in the shipping department, which means money lost from your company’s bottom line.
One way to attack this problem is checking the address right when the package is shipped. The CPS multi-carrier shipping system with its Address Verification Module (AVM™) reports the residential/commercial status for every package as soon as the address is entered. The AVM checks addresses against the USPS master database of all addresses, so not only is the commercial/residential status confirmed, the address is checked to make sure it exists and is accurate. When CPS knows the correct status of an address, the surcharges are included in in the rating.
The true power of a multi-carrier shipping system lies in the combination of features like AVM and Smart RateBots (see last week’s post) that let you make quick, smart shipping choices from the major carriers. You get a true comparison of rates between UPS, FedEx, and USPS as soon as an address is entered with a system which can even select that best rate automatically. For more information on the unparalleled flexibility of CPS, visit www.HarveySoft.com.