Hear from ProShip shipping experts on clues that you have outgrown your small-scale shipping solution.
Shipping software definitely does not seem like the flashy and glamorous core of a retail enterprise. While the marketing and sales departments are the vaulted ceilings and killer custom cabinetry, the supply chain and logistics departments are closer to the plumbing and electrical that typically go unnoticed. However, it’s important to remember that much like how the plumbing and electrical are essential to actually live in a home, efficient and effective shipping software is key for a retail business to flourish. But how do you know if you shipping software is truly efficient and effective?
With the industry experience to back it up, ProShip shipping experts are sharing some clues that your shipping software needs an upgrade and what this may mean for your retail empire.
You’ve run out of room, AKA your software isn’t scaling with your business.
With Amazon and other big box retailers setting the baseline for customer shipping expectations, your need for additional fulfillment locations or channels has likely grown with your business. Furthermore, the growth of shipping volume due to the pandemic has made it glaringly obvious that omnichannel fulfillment strategies are a near necessity in the current landscape. In your company’s early days, order volumes were lower, and fulfillment could be done directly from your warehouse. During this time, manual shipment processes of data consolidation or carrier specification was possible. But as your business grows to hundreds and thousands (and even millions) of orders across multiple fulfillment channels, manually managing this inventory data or carrier information has compounded to a nearly impossible task, risking money lost to unproductive processes and inaccurate data. This is not just for the now either – when your fulfillment strategy is dispersed through multiple channels, you reduce your risk and exposure. In turn, building scalable capacity for the long-term. [Find out more: Single-Carrier Parcel Shipping Strategies Are Dead. Here’s Why.]
You are already looking into the cost of new countertops or a basement remodel, AKA you have new IT or integration needs and partners.
Hopefully, you already have an elite Warehouse Management Software (WMS) vendor that has expanded your shipping capabilities. For the next evolution of continuous improvement, parcel shippers should be looking to marry an order management system (OMS) with a multi-carrier shipping software. When partnered, these technologies can not only expand visibility of inventory locations, but also improve delivery times with a diversified carrier mix. [Read on: Top 2 Most In-Demand Parcel Shipping Technologies In 2021]
It’s key to take a closer look at the technological capabilities of your current Enterprise Software Stack (ESS) to see how closely they align with your new needs. Will the future bring additional services such as returns handling or hazardous material shipments or new functionality like implementing transportation business intelligence (BI) analytics? If your current partner doesn’t have the infrastructure to support these solutions, you should be looking at options that are more comprehensive.
You’ve started researching new homes and neighborhoods, AKA you have new or are planning new fulfillment partners and/or channels.
Shipping Direct-to-Consumer may make sense as a new fulfillment for your business. If logistics isn't your strong suit, you should seriously be considering partnering with a 3PL provider. A 3PL can outsource numerous logistics activities from product sourcing, warehousing, and distribution to freight management, order fulfillment, freight consolidation and more. However, if your new strategy includes a 3PL partnership to help manage fulfillment and distribution after drowning your own supply chain operation, you need to recognize the inherent associated risks. This should come as a red flag that your current shipping software may not be able to keep up. A quality 3PL partner will provide transparency and control over your outsourced shipments but a shipping software solution that can look at the grand scheme of inventory and its shipping journey is also crucial. With both in play, your new initiative can move forward to improve shipping cost and time efficiency and boost the customer experience. [Learn more: The Key to True Omnichannel Integration]
Your neighbors don’t like the changes you’re making to your property, AKA your complaint box is filled with missed or late deliveries.
No one likes dealing with negative reviews but besides damage to your reputation, these complaints are a red flag to your shipping software. Once one or more of your supply chain effectiveness processes starts to crumble, the resulting problems are a clear sign that your current technology isn’t the best option for you or your customers.
Speed and reliability are a major deciding factor for customer expectations and brand loyalty. With additional capabilities for fulfilment strategies like zone skipping, shipments can be delivered by local carrier hubs and avoid unnecessary shipping time and costs associated with unnecessary local sorting facilities. [Discover Why: How Zone Skipping Can Transform Your Parcel Fulfillment Strategy] These kind of unique shipping experiences are only possible with the right software – a multi-carrier shipping solution that can allow for additional cost savings and shorten delivery times.
You’re jealous of the neighbor’s yard, AKA you wonder how your competition is managing their supply chain so effectively.
There’s no question that successful, top retailers are utilizing an ESS to maximize their software to fit their business needs. So how are top brands balancing the post-pandemic influx of capacity with carrier minimums and volume thresholds? Modern, high-growth brands are seeing supply chain success through a mix of innovative logistics strategies (Think: Rate Shopping, Carrier Diversification, and Complex Business Rules) and by utilizing a top-tier parcel shipping software that can leverage your data to make automated decisions for shipments. That’s why modern brands like Kohl’s, Petco, Trek, and more trust ProShip as their partner for multi-carrier shipping software.
If you are a business that is outgrowing your parcel shipping software and looking for a partner that can meet your needs, ProShip is here to help. Through our partnerships with industry-recognized carriers and elite technology providers, we can help you elevate your business to ship at lightning speeds, stay carrier compliant and generate strong revenue streams.
Ready to learn more now? Speak to one of our shipping experts for a discussion of your business and how ProShip can take you to your dream home AKA an efficient and effective supply chain solution!