Learn about how shipping technology can help your logistics team gain more control of their supply chain decisions.
In a perfect world, every shipping carrier comes on time and picks up when you’ve completed all your shipments. Carriers always have the capacity for your shipments and never charge you accessorial surcharges. After a pandemic that reinforced how quickly things can change, we all know that being able to adapt and make changes is one of the most important features in a shipping system. The technology that enterprise brands include in their supply chain tech stack, can make or break this flexibility. In addition, if your Enterprise Software Stack (ESS) isn’t fully integrated with the other software (OMS, WMS, ERP, Ecom Suite, etc.) you will see limits to your shipment execution and in turn, limited control over your data.
To understand the importance of agility in your shipping solution, let’s work through the day of a Logistics Manager – we’ll call him Larry – at an enterprise retailer.
A Day in the Life of a Logistics Shot Caller
8:00am: First cup of coffee and computer fired up. Based on the availability of Larry’s carriers, he will adjust trailer pickup times for the day to maximize the use of low-cost delivery time solutions while continuing to meet delivery promises.
Larry was able to go in and make changes to the pickup times without reaching out to his shipping software’s Services team or even his internal IT team. He didn’t have to write an email to request this change or make a call. Larry is in control.
9:30am: Larry gets a call from one of his shipping carriers – Carrier A – about his Chicago warehouse. The carrier has an extra trailer available but needs to cut back one trailer in his Las Vegas warehouse. Larry swiftly and efficiently goes into his shipping solution to change his last trailer pull time and Carrier Volume Balancing quota and adjust fulfillment to another approved carrier in the Las Vegas warehouse.
Another bonus efficiency point for the shipping solution! Larry was able to make this configuration change within the system, without the help of any outside team member.
10:00am: Larry heads to the floor – they’ve got a failed stepper motor on the conveyor. Engineering is already working on it. He’s pounded his second cup of coffee.
11:00am: Back at his desk, Larry just received the new carrier rate files for Carrier B, one of their most used carriers. Rather than put this off, Larry uploads the rate files himself so he can ensure that they are correct for all of his shipping locations. The rest of his carriers upload rates automatically.
Timely and accurate rate file maintenance is the key to enforcing rate compliance and ensures carrier compliance to avoid wasted transportation spend on surcharges and fees.
12:30pm: After a quick lunch, Larry heads to the floor to check efficiency on his physical picking and packing teams. Tray 27 keeps sticking and he gets his top engineer on it.
1:45pm: Larry gets a panicked email from one of his colleagues. Carrier C has been hitting them with a ridiculous number of shipping surcharges over the last 2 months. His colleague informs him that they want to remove Carrier C from their Best Way Group that they utilize in Rate Shopping for all their warehouse and store locations. After making this change, Larry needs to go in and update Carrier Volume Balancing numbers again.
Best Way Group and Rate Shopping save both time and money for the customer, and the shipper. But when you can manage these groups yourself to add and remove carrier services at will – these benefits are multiplied tenfold. Larry didn’t need to reach out to his IT team to make this change who would have had a delay for several days due to a current urgent problem. The fact that these other priorities have taken up their time emphasize the importance of Larry being able to make these adjustments on his own.
3:00pm: Quitting time is on the horizon but not quite here. Larry gets a call from his New York store that one of his national carriers can’t pickup any shipments today. Luckily, he still has a couple hours to trailer pull for his backup secondary carrier, so he can shift fulfillment of these shipments to that carrier.
Larry could make these changes himself in his shipping solution. The ramifications of not being able to do that include having to boomerang the order to a completely different warehouse or ship at a more costly service.
4:30pm: The engineer has finally solved that conveyor issue and life is good. Larry does a final check of all of his trailer times (on both coasts) to make sure he has optimized his shipping budget and not overspent unnecessarily.
The Parcel Shipping Technology That Makes It Work
This story only works because of an advanced and flexible multi-carrier shipping solution that allows Larry’s logistics operations to be nimble and responsive. When you combine an industry-leading multi-carrier shipping solution with a flexible, browser based server management tool, like the add-on Parcel Configuration App, shippers can remotely perform a wide variety of maintenance tasks – without relying on IT And Professional Services resources. Because ProShip’s shipping solution enables customers to securely self-serve when suitable, they are provided additional adaptability, efficiencies, and quicker reaction times. This solution’s connection to the Enterprise Software Stack enables a system that works together to deliver on shipment execution needs while reducing costs in the supply chain. This reason and more is why the ProShip solution is trusted by 30% of the NRF Top 100 retailers as well as other manufacturers and 3PL leaders around the world. ProShip’s continued focus on our core parcel competencies, and ways to enhance them, ensure that this parcel shipping solution will stay an industry-leader for many years to come.