The parcel shipping industry is growing at about 9% per year and should reach $343 billion by 2020, according to a recent study by Accenture. Driven by the growth of e-commerce and increased cross-border shipping, the growth of the parcel industry has brought an influx of global, national, and regional carriers, each offering different service levels, cost structures, and delivery options, to support more parcels being shipped to more places.
Today, organizations that ship by parcel need tools to manage what has become a far more complex and challenging task. Effectively managing this aspect of logistics is becoming a critical driver of profitability and customer satisfaction for many organizations, driving demand for enterprise shipping solutions.
If your organization is evaluating enterprise shipping solutions, here are some questions you should be asking.
Component or End to End Solution?
How complex are your needs? Do you need to print labels, or do you need more?
There is more to parcel shipping than printing a label and sending it out the door. Organizations that want to optimize cost and service need to research rates, routes, and service levels for their shipments. To meet customer expectations, shippers need access to real time tracking data so that they can identify and resolve issues in transit. For cross-border shipments, preparing customs documentation, researching tariffs, and verifying that the shipment is in compliance with any applicable regulations are also crucial tasks for parcel shippers.
Many organizations handle these steps separately, using stand alone applications provided by their carrier, or even manual processes. This makes parcel shipping labor-intensive and limits the organization’s visibility into their entire logistics operations. As parcel shipping becomes more complex, organizations review how parcel shipping is really being used in their organization, to ensure that the solution they choose meets their requirements.
PRECISION Multi Carrier Shipping software is a complete, end-to-end solution for parcel shipping. It supports carrier selection and document preparation in the warehouse or from the desktop. It enables package tracking so you can identify and manage problems in transit, auditing past freight billing to eliminate overbilling and delivers reporting and intelligence to support smarter decision making about your shipping operations.
Does the Solution Scale?
How many parcels are you handling today? How many do you think you’ll be handling next year, or three years from now?
Parcel shipping is growing for a number of reasons. The shift in B2B and B2C toward e-commerce means a higher volume of small shipments being sent to more customers in more locations. Parcel is also becoming increasingly competitive with other modes such as LTL. In the past, shippers preferred LTL over parcel for larger shipments. That’s changing as parcel carriers have expanded the definition of what qualifies as a parcel beyond the old 150 pound rule of thumb. They have also improved their package handling to lower risk and changed their pricing structure to be more directly competitive with LTL carriers.
These factors mean parcel shipping as a portion of your logistics is likely to grow over the next few years. With PRECISION Multi Carrier Shipping, you can scale up your shipping parcel shipping to handle higher volumes while streamlining workflow and gathering meaningful data about your shipping operations. PRECISION’s cloud-based solution grows with your business—whether you’re adding employees in a single location or across the globe. The solution standardizes your logistics operations so you get the best service at the best price, whether you’re shipping from an office in New York or a warehouse in Shanghai.
Is the Solution Future Proof?
Are you prepared to handle a changing technology and business landscape?
Technology is changing the expectations of customers and shareholders. Organizations must incorporate new technologies and processes if they want to stay competitive with the leaders in their industries. Today, integration between WMS, ERP and shipping applications, mobile devices and applications, smart printers, scanners, and scales are providing more accurate data and streamlining pick-pack-ship workflows. Tomorrow, wearables and personal peripherals could transform how your organization processes and handles paperwork.
PRECISION helps organizations adjust to these changes in their shipping business. PRECISION Multi Carrier Shipping integrates with a wide range of mobile devices and applications to deliver anytime, anywhere visibility into your shipping operations. Our solutions integrate tightly with core business applications and systems such as Oracle, SAP, web shops/e-commerce stores and leading WMS/TMS systems, delivering flexibility to your technology strategy.
PRECISION also positions you to manage risk and diversify your shipping operations. With visibility into rates, routes, and service options from hundreds of carriers, you can reduce your dependence on a single carrier. Real time access to published guidance and documentation from regulatory and customs agencies across the globe means you’re positioned to adapt to political and regulatory change with less disruption to your business.
Can the Solution Lower Costs and Optimize Performance?
Are you spending too much on parcel shipping? How can you reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction with each delivery?
Unlike freight shipments, where shopping on price and service for each shipment is a common practice, many organizations identify a single, trusted carrier to handle their parcel shipping needs. Given high parcel volumes, it makes sense that organizations wouldn’t want to spend time manually researching options for each shipment, but it also means that organizations are missing opportunities to get better rates and faster service. PRECISION Multi Carrier and Enterprise Shipping allows shippers to reduce the cost of each parcel shipment by comparing rates and service options across multiple carriers, so they can select the best one.
Non-production parcel shipping is often another missed opportunity. Unlike production shipping environments where workers follow established procedures to reduce shipping costs, workers outside the warehouse are less experienced with shipping and likely to comply with rules about carrier and delivery selection. PRECISION Multi Carrier and Enterprise Shipping includes Desktop Shipping, so that workers outside the warehouse can access rates, routes, and service options for multiple carriers, to satisfy customer delivery requirements without excess cost.
What Else Can It Help Us Do?
What’s the real business benefit of an enterprise shipping solution to your business?
Perhaps the most important questions to ask when evaluating enterprise shipping solutions have to do with your own business goals. Where is your business headed in the next few years and how can an enterprise shipping solution support those goals?
A few of the questions to ask are:
- Do we need access to new carriers in new markets? Expanding into new markets is a challenge, especially when you don’t have an established relationship with the carriers that will be handling your shipments. With PRECISION, you can access multi-modal carrier networks in nearly every major region of the globe.
- Is globalization a concern? Handling multiple currencies and languages, and dealing with new regulations and forms are a few of the issues that organizations face when they expand globally. PRECISION Multi Carrier and Enterprise Software is a multi-lingual, multi-currency solution that supports global growth.
- Do we need insight and analytics to support logistics decision making? PRECISION Business Intelligence integrates data from Enterprise Shipping and Package Exception Management to deliver visibility into what your organization does well and where it needs to improve.
- How can we future proof our delivery strategy? By choosing a solution you should not only consider your current requirements that you have today, but try to cater for future requirements as much as possible. This could be implementing omni-channel shipping strategies or returns, to name but a few.
These are just a few of the questions to consider when selecting an enterprise shipping solution. Contact PRECISION today to learn more about how PRECISION Multi Carrier Shipping can help your organization reduce shipping costs, improve customer satisfaction, adapt to change, and meet your organization’s business goals.