Friday, January 13, 2012

Who Works for Who? Is Your Shipping System Working for You, or Are You Working For Your Shipping System?

Who Works for Who? Is Your Shipping System Working For You, or Are You Working For Your Shipping System
In the movie Cast Away, the opening sequence times a package from Seattle, WA. to St. Petersburg, Russia. Tom Hanks’ character Chuck travels to Russia to analyze the package in which he placed a stopwatch before sending it to himself. He shows the FedEx employees in Russia the timer. Thirty-two hours from Seattle to St. Petersburg – 9000 miles. Forty-one hours from the warehouse to the destination – 4 miles. He certainly found the source of the problem. And then he begins working every job in the facility in order to improve efficiency. Though the audience never sees the results of his efforts, it’s easy to assume that things got better soon after Chuck’s visit.

How many shipping systems out there are “good enough?” How many employees are doing what’s basically a workaround solution but needs improving? Make sure that your shipping software is not a bottleneck to your shipping process. If it takes more than a minute to go from reference number to label printing, there are likely ways to improve upon that process. Make sure that data entry and write-backs are happening automatically. Make sure that your employees are aware of procedures for international packages, packages that need insurance, and packages that require return labels. And definitely make sure that you are getting the best rates possible from the carriers, for every package you send.

I spoke with one of our current customers who recently switched over to using our CPS multi-carrier shipping software, and I was surprised to hear that he was doing his own rate shopping between carriers before he began using our software. He did have shipping software hooked up to his order management system to pull data from, but that shipping system only showed rates for one carrier. He is smart enough to know that the carriers were already competing with one another, and he would systematically check another carrier’s website for their rates, for each package he sent. His determination to save money for his business is admirable. At the same time, he was spending an incredible amount of time looking up rates by hand, a process that can be completely automated. We were able to set him up with a shipping system to compare FedEx, UPS, and USPS rates simultaneously, and he was even able to set up custom business rules that allowed the system to select the lowest rate automatically for the services he prefers.

Harvey Software’s CPS shipping software can do all that’s spoken about above and more. With the flexibility of this multi-carrier shipping software, the application possibilities are endless. Contact us today at 1-800-231-0296 or visit for more information.

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