Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Success Story - From Start Up to Leader

Alibris has announced that it grew sales for its sellers in the 2008 winter-holiday season by more than 8%, even as online book sales shrank 1% during that same period, according to reports. No surprise here.

From startup just over 10 years, today Alibris lists over 100 million volumes from over 15,000 book sellers participating in the Alibris network, with almost 1 million volumes stocked in their warehouse.

Early on, Alibris identified a need for the advanced technology required for low-cost logistics capabilities and a smooth, consistent order flow. Alibris chose Harvey Software's Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) to act as the heart of their shipping operation, including shipping with UPS.

"CPS provides robust technology as a solution to these issues."
VP of Operations

Read more here about Alibris and how CPS helps with their shipping issues.

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Look for these advanced benefits in a shipping system to save money and optimize the daily shipping process:

  • Domestic and International shipping services supported

  • Automatically resolution of residential and commercial address status

  • Easy integration with in-house data and existing systems

  • Automatic determination of least cost way to ship using shipper created rate comparison codes

  • Easy to use cost monitoring reporting so users can offer flat rate or free shipping without worry

Getting the Best Rate for Every Package You Ship

Getting the best rate for each package involves several factors. One carrier may be best for lighter packages, another for heavier packages, still another for residential deliveries - plus you might get special incentives for your ground or air packages. Master these variables and you will control shipping costs like never before.

Satisfied with your current shipping system or could it use an update? Here are three things to look for so that you get the best for every shipment.

First, your shipping system needs to show you your company's actual shipping rates and have them available as each package is shipped. Make sure your shipping software company can work with the rates your company negotiated with the carrier. For the USPS, be sure your shipping system supports the Retail/Commercial Base/Commercial Plus rates from the USPS.

Next, you need accurate addresses. In addition, when you are shipping to residences and businesses, you avoid unexpected charges if you can determine the address classification as well check the accuracy of the address. Shipping systems with address checking modules can help with this right at the time the package is shipped.

Finally, you need a quick way to accurately compare between your company's actual or contracted rates with the carriers. You are not getting the whole job done if you are just comparing the carriers' published rates. Let's use our CPS shipping software with its RateBot™ feature as an example of how this can work for you. RateBots are automatic rate comparison codes to let you easily control price shopping. For example, set up a RateBot to get the best price for ground delivery service, then use that RateBot to price shop all of your ground packages. CPS even optionally determines if the address is commercial and residential, so the entire "best rate" process is hands-off, automatic and takes many factors into account. You can set up as many RateBots as you need, such as one for ground service, another for the best price on next day service, etc.

Harvey Software's CPS™ shipping software helps with each of these three "must have" shipping system items. Look for these features like these in your shipping system and start putting each carrier’s rates to work the best for you.