5 Simple Tips For Ecommerce Shipping

Written by Paul Forand
     

ecommerce-shipping-optionsAre you making the most of technology to optimize your shipping processes?

It's a wired world, and we’re becoming increasingly connected every day. Companies who are still handling their shipping procedures on paper are putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.  Customers and carriers are progressively using and even expecting electronic processes for their transactions.

With a centralized electronic database full of information, you can quickly create a robust system that will reduce your overhead and bring significant benefits to your customers as well.  

Five Things That Help Guarantee Better Shipping Processes

1 - Knowing Your Customers And Carriers

The more information you can collect on your customers and the carriers you're using, the easier it becomes to provide everything needed for a successful shipment ahead of time.  You should have a good idea of what equipment your customers have at their end, such as whether or not they have a cargo dock or unloading machinery, so that the carrier can be prepared for their needs beforehand.

It’s almost always more cost-effective to pre-plan for the situation at your customer's business rather than having to pay for unexpected incidents at the time of delivery.

2 - An Accurate Product Catalog

You should have an accurate product database full of information on all your products, including their physical attributes as well as any special requirements or equipment needed for shipping them. (Are they perishable?  Refrigerated?  Hazardous?)  

When an accurate product database is linked to freight rating web services through a TMS, ecommerce shopping cart or POS, it greatly helps to guarantee every rate quote is accurate the first time.

accurate-freight-quote3 – Centralized Access & Storage of Shipment Document Images 

Having scanned shipment document images available and in a centralized location assists in optimizing the financial end of your shipping processes.

If there's ever a question about whether a bill was paid, or if an estimate matched the final charges, it will be far easier to find the original documentation.

4 - Estimate Reference Numbers

Reference numbers that tie rate quotes and estimates to actual freight bills and shipments can help you easily spot discrepancies. When your estimates are concretely tied to all the operations that follow, it becomes extremely easy to track down any inconsistencies.  

5 - Leverage Your Database

The payoff for maintaining an accurate product database can be immeasurable. Being able to pull product information to auto populate forms such as a bill of lading can save your staff time and reduce the likelihood of error.

Ideally, integrated Transportation Management and Customer Information systems save time, increase the speed of information flow, and reduce costs and errors.

Overhauling your shipping processes can be hugely beneficial, but it can also be a daunting task.  For a simple solution to all your transportation needs, just call Re-Trans Freight!   Contact us today for a free cost-savings analysis