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Out with the Old: SMBs and the Era of Agile Shipping Tech

Learn why outdated shipping technology could be holding your business back from its full shipping potential

Why is technology important for businesses in the shipping industry? While this seems like a simple question, there are so many ways to answer it. Technology can enhance efficiency, improve decision-making, drive collaboration and boost customer service (just to name a few). However, as important as technology is, it is quick to become outdated with the amount of constant technological innovation taking place in our rapidly evolving world. A study analyzing the trends and challenges effecting warehousing operations found that 80% of organizations plan to invest in new technologies to remain competitive in 2024.

Shipping technology is arguably even more crucial for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as they compete against industry giants. While balancing this Goliath opponent on one side, mid-sized businesses grapple with another formidable challenge – the risk of outdated technology. We live in an era where innovation consistently reshapes our competitive environment, making staying up to date with new technologies tough. For small to medium-sized shippers with a smaller budget and compact workforce, this presents a multifaceted challenge for their daily warehouse and shipping activities.

The Dynamic Shipping Landscape of SMBs

No day is the same when it comes to the world of shipping. Whether it's adapting to fluctuating and unpredictable market demands, addressing complexities in the supply chain, or managing logistics intricacies, SMBs are faced with new hurdles everywhere they look. Managing multiple suppliers and distribution channels, especially when it comes to coordinating shipments and deliveries, can be difficult for businesses smaller in size. Not to mention, controlling shipping costs amidst volatile fuel prices and carrier rate changes isn’t easy when these businesses have fewer resources.

To effectively address these challenges, SMBs require technological tools that can evolve with them as their business grows and their needs change. However, it can be a daunting task finding technology that stands the test of time in today’s volatile shipping environment. Advanced multi-carrier shipping software (MCSS) has emerged as a game-changing solution, providing SMBs a way to stay competitive and agile, allowing them to ditch their legacy systems for good and save money on frequent system upgrades. Shipping solutions that have a browser-based modernized user interface (UI) offer robust functionality to scale as a business grows, without the fear of their solution being acquired by a competitor.

The Pitfalls of Holding on to Outdated Solutions

Parting ways with something we’ve used for a while and grown attached to can be difficult. However, when it comes to outdated technology, it’s necessary. It is important for SMBs to understand the implications of sticking with legacy systems. These systems tend to lack the capabilities to streamline warehouse processes, causing increased labor costs, lagging order fulfillment and many other supply chain hiccups.

Many mid-sized shippers are still dealing with in-house legacy shipping technology made up of a cobbled solution of homegrown shipping systems. When adaptability and efficiency are absent in these systems, it makes it nearly impossible for SMBs to stay up-to-pace with their competition. Imagine a business that’s been relying on a homegrown shipping system for years. As the industry evolves and customer expectations shift, they struggle to accommodate new shipping strategies or meet consumer delivery demands. This failure to remain agile technologically leaves these businesses vulnerable to disruptions and inefficiencies in the supply chain landscape, while hindering their competitiveness. [Learn more about how your homegrown solution may be out-of-date!]

One of the most significant consequences of staying with your legacy system is the negative impact on warehouse downtime and throughput. Operational bottlenecks, when tasks are slowed down or come to a stop due to outdated systems, can cause slower order processing. A business with a legacy system during peak season might fail to effectively manage the spike in orders coming through, leading to shipping delays and dissatisfied customers. On the financial side, outdated technology can miscalculate shipping rates or record an inaccurate measurement, leading to overcharges and incorrect inventory records. These system errors can significantly cost your SMB financially.

As SMBs grow, they may also find it difficult to scale their warehousing operations and adapt to increased inventory management necessities. If a small online retailer began to thrive, diversifying their product offering and carrying a larger inventory, they could run into difficulty scaling their warehouse operations using legacy systems. These systems, designed to be used at a smaller capacity, may struggle to adapt, resulting in inefficient order fulfillment, delayed order processing, and other inventory management challenges. Unfortunately, this can not only affect your business’s operational success, but can jeopardize your competitive edge and negatively affect your customers’ satisfaction. How do you avoid a disaster like this? SMBs must explore modern, adaptable shipping solutions to surpass these pitfalls effectively.

Finding the Right Solution

While there are many options for any SMB looking at a new shipping solution, there are several crucial considerations that should be examined before moving forward. Industry leading multi-carrier shipping software solutions stand apart for their minimal update requirements, reducing the need for frequent and costly updates and avoiding threats of sunsetting solutions. This brings shippers security, stability, and continuous operation with minimal downtime and an efficient workflow. Furthermore, these shipping software solutions are designed to evolve and grow with SMBs, offering ample scalability to accommodate increased shipping volumes and warehouse management needs.

These top-tier MCSS solutions allow for continuous updates to ensure carrier compliance. This means the software has a seamless integration and strong connectivity to carrier compliant engines that facilitate carrier updates and software enhancement to make available the latest and greatest features for all users, without the inconvenience of costly manual upgrades and in a quick turnaround.

The Solution You've Been Looking For: WorldLink's Multi-Carrier Shipping Software

Are you now realizing that you might be the victim of the outdated shipping technology we warned you about? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In a rapidly changing technologically driven world, finding the right software solution can be a frustrating and costly experience. WorldLink’s industry leading multi-carrier shipping software offers you a flexible yet complete solution that includes the write-back of all your resultant shipping data, so that it can be easily controlled by you – a necessity for shippers who want to remain agile in today’s competitive landscape. Additionally, WorldLink’s cost effective solution offers a modern UI so you can execute a workflow the way you need to, with unmatched speed, compliance, flexibility, and support from a team of seasoned shipping experts.

Your multi-carrier shipping software solution should be an integral part of your business's long-term strategy and investment, paid off with increased revenue, efficiency, and satisfied customers. To learn more about how WorldLink’s shipping solution can transform and streamline your supply chain operations, schedule a demo and check out the brochure to the right!

WorldLink Product Brochure