Innovation starts with the analysis of industry pain points. Figuring out the proper balance between inventory, support, speed, compliance and a variety of other challenges can hold back a company in the shipping industry today.
To properly brainstorm a solution, we need to analyze the most common pain points organizations in our industry are facing right now.
1. Manual Entry
Many companies have employees who manually enter shipping information, and this may lead to errors and inaccuracy. Additionally, there may be too much manual entry to produce shipping documents and labels on time.
What you’re looking for: To streamline and automate business rules specific to your company as well as your shipping and manifesting processes. With automation, you want to optimize all your transportation processes and decisions while lowering costs, increasing visibility, reducing errors, and in turn, increasing customer happiness.
Problems can also arise when companies are using multiple systems that don’t talk to one another. A disconnected supply chain hinders your inventory control, visibility and creates inefficiencies.
What you’re looking for: An integrated “turnkey” asset in your data management arsenal. Whether you have an Order Management System (OMS), Warehouse Management System (WMS), ERP solution or e-commerce store, integrating these systems with your transportation processes is crucial to understanding your inventory and gaining a detailed picture of your entire fulfillment infrastructure.
3. Speed & Scalability
Companies often times feel imprisoned by their current shipping system. They fear that if they grow too big or too soon, their shipping platform won’t keep up.
What you’re looking for: A fast shipping solution that won’t slow down as your business grows – whether you are adding locations, stores, e-commerce sites or international shipping destinations. You also need a solution designed with a modular architecture, allowing you to install, pay for, and maintain only those modules that your business actually needs, saving both time and money.
4. Vendor Support
Sometimes certain shipping systems have too much downtime. Even if you don’t need 24/7/365 support, you need a process to assist you when your system is down.
What you’re looking for: Support that comes from a team of engineers familiar with your environment, who because of their certified status have access to carrier support. During any downtime that may occur, you want someone to be available for you to contact so you don’t lose any time and/or money.
Another challenge companies are facing is how to handle carrier compliance and keeping up-to-date with ongoing rules and requirements for labeling and manifest reporting. Carriers are constantly updating zip codes, rates or other data, and if a carrier does not receive the right document in the right format, it may hold a shipment preventing on-time delivery.
What you’re looking for: A system that takes carrier compliance seriously. One that is certified by all major carriers and complies with those ongoing rules and regulations. You also might want to collaborate with software partners that offer the proper applications to produce international documentation such as commercial invoices or certificates of origin.
Better Transport and Logistics
Consumer expectations today are shifting to instant satisfaction. Fulfilling their orders involves choosing the best inventory source, carrier and service level, and the software you use should be able to manage this.
Ready to make the leap to multi-carrier shipping software? Check out our Mulit-Carrier Shipping Software Competitive Guide for an in-depth look at features and benefits of common parcel shipping software vendors.