What position do you play?

What’s the one part of order fulfillment that almost every department has a hand in? You guessed it: shipping. This last step of the fulfillment process can make or break your bottom line and can completely change the customer experience from excellent to unsatisfactory. This makes shipping one of the most important plays in the supply chain, but also the toughest.

With too many players involved, it may seem that shipping can just get tougher. However, the companies placing a priority on their shipping game have come out on top. When all departments are involved in optimizing shipping and have a better understanding of the importance of shipping orders to customers in a fast and efficient manner, new and better strategies are implemented, leading to happier customers. By combining the goals of each department, retailers can create a shipping strategy for success.

The Coach: C-Suite

Like coaches, the C-suite looks at the big picture when it comes to shipping. This group places its priorities on meeting profitability goals. When looking to improve margins, executives should know shipping is a lucrative place to start. High shipping costs chip away at margins, and inaccurate or late deliveries can cost a sale, and often as a result, a lifelong customer. [Need a New Shipping Solution? Here’s How To Convince C-Suite]

Team Offense: Supply Chain Professionals

Every team needs an offense, which is where supply chain professionals come in. Besides ensuring there’s product on the shelf to keep up with increasing e-commerce orders, supply chain professionals also need to keep shipping costs top of mind. The leading cause of cart abandonment is expensive shipping costs, so this department needs to determine the right shipping prices for their customers.

Now, the point guard of team offense is the logistics team, and they have a lot on their plate. They’re working to get orders out the door as fast as possible while rate shopping every shipping carrier and service to find the lowest cost with the best delivery option. Then they’re reviewing each label to ensure it is compliant. That’s a lot of time in just one department!

Referees: Customer Service

Customer service, or the referees of shipping, is there to start the game, keep the order moving and keep the customer happy. If anyone knows the importance of shipping to customers, it’s this department. Customer service shares tips on what types of shipping costs and options your customers are interested in because they’re receiving the feedback firsthand. This department also handles any shipping complaints and inquiries to ensure every customer is satisfied.

The Fans: E-Commerce Department

Just as there would be no team if there were no fans, online order fulfillment and shipping would be eliminated if it weren’t for the e-commerce department. This team knows customers like the back of their hand, and if a customer’s shipping needs aren’t being met within the cart, then the e-tailer faces the harsh reality of high cart abandonment rates and lost sales.

As you can see, shipping has a lot of moving parts and numerous departments are involved to make sure the ball isn’t dropped. The preferred gear for retail companies? Multi-carrier shipping software that helps gauge profitability and shipping costs for the c-suite and supply chain professionals. This technology provides complete order tracking visibility into customers to reduce service calls and automatically rate shops hundreds of carriers and services for the best shipping method. It also prints carrier-compliant labels to streamline shipping for the logistics team, and IT can seamlessly integrate shipping software into their existing enterprise technology stack. With multiple departments on board to optimize the shipping strategy, shipping will become a guaranteed WIN every game.

This article was originally posted by Total Retail on March 18th, 2020. View.

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