Important Considerations to Have When Choosing Your Next Multi-Carrier Enterprise Shipping Software

Global enterprises understand the importance of meeting and exceeding customer expectations every time. In the shipping industry, delivering products on time and in a cost-effective manner while adhering to local and international regulations is crucial. And an effective global shipping solution that is quick and easy to implement will help your business meet the demands of your customers and grow on an international scale.

There are several factors to consider before you select and implement any shipping solution into your organization. Your ideal solution will highly depend on what industry you work in, what types of product you ship and where the customers you’re shipping to are located. As you shop around for a solution, begin by drawing up a blueprint of your business with a list of shipping requirements based on your company’s unique needs. Start with the documents in your existing shipping software; ask your operations team to map out any existing and future workflows for everyone to see. This will help you identify the specific deliverables you’ll need to prioritize and come to expect from a new software.

Here are some important things to consider as you choose a new shipping solution to implement:

  • Deployment Options – Your new shipping solution must be able to support a variety of deployment options, especially if you work on an international scale. Ask if a new provider will be able to support both on-premise and software-as-a-service (SaaS) option, in addition to hybrid options. An effective solution should also span centralized and distributed architecture; as a global enterprise, you’ll have different operations and geographies to cover.
  • Integration with Certified Carriers and Services – All software should have the ability to support service oriented architecture and other industry standard connectivity options. As you shop around for a solution, look for systems that can support all major parcel, TL and LTL certified carriers, especially if your business ships on the international level.
  • Must Support International Business and Regulations – Global enterprises will want a shipping solution that provides certified, integrated and automated customs clearing in order to meet any regulatory and legal requirements. In addition to supporting international business, your system should also work with all types of currency and should be able to partner with key international and regional carriers for new services certification and support.
  • Support and Ease of Personalization – A non-intrusive framework should enable future changes to reporting, trade documents, labels, regulatory changes and more. Look for a software solution with ongoing 24/7, global and multi-lingual support to help you with any problems that might pop up during your operations. A shipping solution should also be flexible enough to incorporate any new changes in standard product functionality, given how the global trade regulations are always changing. You’ll want to be able to update your systems seamlessly and with little to no trouble.

Selecting a shipping software to implement into your business requires a thorough vetting process to ensure you’re choosing an appropriate solution that will add significant value to your organization. A properly functioning shipping software solution can help streamline global trade processes and save time and money for your business. The key is to select the right software that meets all of your functional requirements, but also satisfies any deliverables that were missing with your existing or previous software.

Thoroughly vet all potential providers and check to see if the features on a new software meet all of your requirements. If you’re not satisfied with your current solution, you want to ensure whichever solution you incorporate into your organization will benefit your organization for several years and isn’t just a temporary fix.

The Growth of Global E-Commerce Leads to Heavy Emphasis on Multi-Carrier Compliance

As e-commerce continues to grow globally, customers will demand greater variety of transportation methods and more convenient ways of receiving their goods. Businesses were once able to get away with having a partnership with a single carrier but in today’s digitally connected world, companies run a huge risk if they put all their eggs in one basket. Carriers and services are continually changing; leveraging multiple carriers can give businesses an advantage in the marketplace, providing more shipping options and competitive shipping rates for customers. In order to keep up with growing customer demands, enterprises need to consider implementing a shipping solution with multi-carrier compliance.

E-commerce has shown tremendous growth in the past few years, with the combined revenues of U.S. carriers amounting to over $150 billion in 2015. Thanks to the power of the Internet, customers from all parts of the globe can purchase and ship goods from virtually anywhere to their homes. And the U.S. market continues to remain the largest market in value terms for shipping carriers. Currently, the strongest domestic players in the parcel shipping industry include UPS and FedEx while integrators UPS, FedEx, DHL and TNT dominate the international express segment.

The amount of parcels shipped both internationally and domestically depend on the time of year but the number of shipments appears to be increasing annually. In 2015, UPS projected a 10% growth in holiday shipping volume to 630 million packages, while FedEx expected about a 12.4% increase from their previous year. As expected, the holiday seasons see the greatest amount of growth in shipping.

The sheer volume of shipments predicted last year emphasizes the importance of multi-carrier certification programs to provide consistent service to customers. As shippers, the number one goal should be to deliver packages in a timely manner and without any damage, no matter where your customer may be located. The problem many shippers face is they often have to adhere to multiple carrier requirements. Not following rules can lead to delays, lost packages, additional costs and the inability to use particular shipping services. Retailers often find themselves handling different carriers at separate geographical locations and the key to success for companies working the international market is understanding every shipping requirement. This means companies need knowledge of import tariffs, packaging specifications, customs rules and compliance regulations. 

Often times enterprises will utilize Direct Injection, Zone Skipping or Hub Induction as one possible solution to their shipping needs. These options all provide better service to customers while reducing freight spend. When multiple customers place an order, Direct Injection consolidates these orders for the first leg of their journey and then puts the goods directly into a parcel carrier network for the final delivery. It’s particularly advantageous when you need to ship items across borders. Solutions like Direct Injection or Zone Skipping can reduce customs clearance related costs and simplify the overall shipping process.

One downside with Direct Injection to consider is it can increase the number of carriers and services an organization must do business with. You may encounter several growing pains as your business figures out how to manage multiple shipping partners, but with clear organization and communication a Direct Injection solution can help your organization.

The end goal of any shipper is to deliver products to customers on time, without damage, at minimal cost and in the most efficient manner possible. As customers continue to purchase goods online and customize their shipping options, businesses must be able to accommodate increased delivery personalization. Shipping solutions with multi-carrier compliance can impact entire processes in highly automated or high volume environments. This makes it easier for businesses to meet expectations and deliver high-quality service every time while complying with the appropriate shipping laws and regulations. If your business handles a high volume of shipments year over year and especially if you conduct business overseas, implementing a software solution with multi-carrier compliance is crucial for your business success.

Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Solutions Transform the Business of E-commerce

E-commerce has seen tremendous growth year over year since the worldwide adoption of the Internet. With just a click of a button, consumers can purchase goods from anywhere in the world and have them shipped directly to their doorstep. A recent study found over 40% of worldwide Internet users have purchased items online, and in 2013 worldwide B2C e-commerce sales reached more than 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars. In other words, e-commerce is growing at a rapid pace and isn’t going away anytime soon.

The rise of e-commerce has led to an increased demand from customers for greater shipping options, expedited delivery and on-demand availability. Nowadays, when customers order items online, they expect to be able to choose between free shipping and next-day delivery; they want to be able to personalize their delivery options and not have to wait for warehouses to restock their shelves. And for businesses, meeting customer expectations often requires the use of flexible shipping software that has an extensive list of features and functions. Ever since Amazon began offering Prime two-day shipping, other e-commerce shops have been forced to modify their shipping offerings if they wish to maintain a competitive advantage.

Adding extra shipping options to compete with the Amazon’s of the world means retailers need to account for new transportation costs. Particularly for small companies, an increase in shipping costs poses a challenge as they struggle to balance their profit margins with more expensive transportation options. With a multi-carrier shipping software solution, companies can rate shop for different calculations that impact costs while uncovering the best price among different carriers. And a flexible solution can help retailers maintain their competitive advantage while meeting the fluctuating needs of their customers.

Multi-carrier shipping software solutions, in particular, must be able to seamlessly integrate with an e-commerce business’s current software and support multiple carrier options. As retailers move from a more traditional supply chain to an interconnected, digital landscape, they seek software that adapts to changing consumer demands. Customers could be ordering from any number of locations around the globe, so it’s important for multi-carrier shipping solutions to support both regional and international shipments. A solution like PRECISION Multi-Carrier and Enterprise Shipping Software provides businesses with the ability to control all aspects of their e-commerce international shipping needs while adding carriers and countries to their network to accommodate their global customers.  

Because customers are ordering from all parts of the world, it’s necessary for a multi-carrier shipping solution to calculate a shipment’s true landed cost so customers understand exactly how much they are paying for their order. The cost of your online order is much more than just the retail price of the object itself; the amount you pay also includes the cost of tariffs and any fulfillment costs that are associated with your order. And consumers are increasingly on the move. With the help of mobile technology and social media, customers are shopping on-the-go and across multiple channels, forcing e-commerce sites to implement a more Omni-channel shipping solution.

Precision Software offers both multi-carrier software and trade compliance software, making them the only company to provide global shipment execution, trade management, shipment visibility and execution management and trade compliance capabilities on a unified platform. As an international e-commerce business, having these features can help you calculate a shipment’s true landed cost including carrier surcharges, handling fees and duties. While traditional high volume multi-carrier solutions can print compliance labels for more than 50 parcels, Precision Software solutions go beyond simple carrier labeling requirements. Multi-carrier shipping capabilities geared towards the global e-commerce sector provide businesses with the ability to regulate error-free, international trade compliance documents and manifests.

As retailers begin to move away from physical brick-and-mortar stores, the need to meet the demands of online customers has forced companies to adopt flexible shipping solutions. The growth of e-commerce has provided customers with more options for purchasing and shipping goods, and companies need to transform their fulfillment processes to match these new demands. With a flexible multi-carrier shipping software solution, retailers can seamlessly integrate their business online, maintain their competitive edge and meet customer expectations.

Precision Software is Featured in Forbes Article

Precision Software is featured in the Forbes article “Grow Your Business By Consistently Upgrading These Three Competencies Over Time” by Larry Myler, CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU and author of Indispensable By MondayThis article discusses three critical parts of your business that can always use upgrades in order to grow and evolve. Precision Software, is mentioned due to our ability to creating value, solve problems and continually develop differentiating assets. In his article, Miller writes “Since its establishment in 1984, it [Precision Software] has constantly evolved, pivoted and bolstered its offerings in order to become indispensable to customers and stay ahead of the competition.” Click here to read the full article.

The Importance of Implementing a Flexible Multi-Carrier, Enterprise Shipping Software Solution

As a global enterprise, the ability to deliver products to customers in a cost-effective and timely manner is a critical factor of business success. In order to operate at prime efficiency, you need to implement a flexible shipping software solution that is both simple to implement and adaptable based on current and future needs. A flexible multi-carrier software solution provides businesses with the ability scale upwards globally and to work with a variety of local carriers on a more regional level.

Flexibility is important to maintain efficiency and accuracy in any shipping process, and increased demand from customers has led to the need for more personalized solutions. For example, customers expect greater transparency and control over their shipping options. In addition, customers expect the ability to track their packages in real-time and be able to contact customer service in the case that a package is damaged or missing.

A solution like PRECISION Shipment Execution allows shippers to make the necessary adjustments to meet the growing demand for greater international compliance and visibility between parties. It also helps organizations handle more personalized deliveries that may be taking place on a regional level. A multi-carrier shipping solution allows you meet international demands, while giving companies greater access to regional carriers that offer a more meaningful customer service experience that you won’t find with your big international shippers.

In addition to meeting customer expectations, companies must also account for unpredictable issues that will inevitably arise during the shipping process. Supply and demand for a product can change rapidly overnight and shippers need to meet fluctuating demand while navigating multiple carriers. A customer could change his or her mind about how they want their order delivered, or shippers might be faced with delayed arrival times that are out of their control. A flexible shipping solution can help mitigate the negative impact of a delayed order and, in some cases, resolve an issue before it occurs.

Today’s flexible multi-carrier shipping software must meet a number of requirements due to the fast-paced nature of the shipping industry. Not only do software solutions need to meet and adjust to fluctuating expectation, they also need to utilize data analytics to identify where shipping problems arise and how to find a solution. Enterprise shipping software must be able to streamline data to help make the overall process more efficient and accurate to all parties involved.

When it comes to determining the right multi-carrier shipping solution for your business, you’ll want to consider the following in addition to how flexible the solution appears to be. Look for providers who support hybrid deployment options in addition to traditional on-premise and SaaS options. A flexible multi-carrier shipping solution should also come with certified integration with leading carrier options and ERP software vendors. Easy to personalize and on-going support and maintenance are added bonuses that should make your software implementation process even smoother.

Precision Software’s multi-carrier shipping solutions offer businesses a flexible and inclusive solution that provides the support, knowledge and resources necessary to grow your shipping operation on an international scale. Our shipping solutions give you access to both regional and international carriers while simplifying the process of tracking shipments, managing unforeseen errors and cutting costs. We offer increased access to hundreds of shipping carrier options without the additional cost. And even if your business doesn’t ship on an international scale today, assuming you won’t be growing globally down the road can hurt your bottom line if you choose an inflexible shipping solution.

A flexible solution like PRECISION makes it easy for you to make the best decisions for your business and customers, wherever they may be in the world. Businesses need a system that can grow with them, and restricting your shipping options to a single carrier limits your ability to respond to evolving market trends. For your enterprise to succeed on the global level, you need a solution that adapts to the changing industry demands and won’t lock you into using a more expensive, rigid system.