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5 Steps to Choosing Desktop Shipping Software for Banks

Desktop shipping solutions help banks balance the opposing demands of delivering great customer service and controlling logistics costs. In this QAD Precision Report, we offer tips for choosing the right solution.

We live in a world where you can pay for your groceries using an app on your phone or smartwatch. Our money may be digitized, but our banks and financial institutions run on paperwork. There is a good reason for this. In many parts of the world, the law requires customers to physically sign important financial documents, such as credit contracts and loan applications. Consequently, banks generate a lot of documentation, and parcel shipping plays a key role in the financial services industry. 

Moving packages efficiently has always been a high priority for banks and financial services firms. They have a mission-critical need to move contracts, agreements and other documents between branches, to customers and to third parties. The cost of sending out millions of documents from hundreds — or thousands — of locations can quickly add up. For a large financial services firm, these types of shipments might cost millions of dollars over the course of a year.  

Banking staff are not professional shippers. Desktop shipping software addresses this by providing staff with needed for multi carrier parcel shipping, export execution, global trade compliance and global documentation. Using a simple walk-up interface, desktop shipping allows users to become self-sufficient in carrier rate and service selection, generating carrier compliant labeling, managing restricted party screening, and generating the necessary shipping documents for international shipments. 

Selecting Desktop Shipping Software

Selecting software to transform a business process is like using a map — you need to know where you are starting from and where you want to go. Therefore, you need a solid understanding of current processes as well as a clear picture of what you want those to be in the future.

There is much to consider when selecting any software intended to transform a complex business process like shipping. The following five steps can help you obtain the best results.

STEP 1: REVIEW CURRENT PROCESS

Start with a review of current processes to identify what your organization does well when it comes to parcel shipping, and where there is room for improvement. Ordinarily, the larger an organization is, the more likely it is that there isn’t a single clear-cut process for shipping documents — particularly if the bank has locations across many different countries. Some locations may rely mainly on one carrier, while others prefer a different one. Similarly, some locations may overnight shipments as standard, while others send mainly by ground. 

Knowing how different locations manage parcel shipping will help you to determine where you have room to streamline and improve. In addition, you may find that you’re spending more on parcel shipping than you first thought. Furthermore, you may uncover that some locations use processes that are not always in accordance with organizational and regulatory policy.

STEP 2: DETERMINE DESIRED END STATE

Once you know what is happening with your shipping operations, you’ll need to determine what you’d like those processes to look like in the future. What are the goals for implementing a desktop shipping solution? What problems do you need to address? Are you looking to reduce costs? Streamline operations? Do you need a better handle on your international shipping and bring your organization into compliance with local and international regulations?  

STEP 3: EVALUATE YOUR INFRASTRUCTURE

Implementing any type of software requires infrastructure to support that software. Does the software need to integrate with other systems? How will upgrades and maintenance be handled? One advantage of implementing a cloud-based shipping solution is that the overall technical footprint of the implementation itself is much smaller, and ongoing maintenance is much easier because the vendor manages updates and pushes them out to the users.

STEP 4: CONSIDER PROJECT PLANNING AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT 

Any software implementation requires a significant planning effort. Accordingly, you should develop a rough estimate of the human effort and cost required to implement before making a decision in order to reduce surprises. The preliminary project plan will depend on what type of implementation you’re doing, whether cloud-based or in-house. A cloud-based implementation is usually fairly straightforward. As a result, you can have your shipping software ready for roll-out very quickly. 

A bigger challenge typically exists around change management. The fewer policies and processes you had prior to implementing the solution, the more you’ll need to educate and inform your users about the new system and the benefits it will bring. Therefore, you may want to consider these during the selection process, as they may impact your decision.

STEP 5: IDENTIFY AND TRACK KPIS

The success of any software project depends on delivering the business results that you identified for improvement during the selection process. As part of the selection process, you’ll want to develop a matrix of the hoped-for business improvements and use that to compare your options across all the selection criteria. After implementation, you can use KPIs to track these hoped-for improvements. This will demonstrate how well your organization is meeting the key business objectives you’ve laid out. 

What to Look for in Desktop Shipping Software

Desktop shipping software can provide significant benefits. Here we discuss some of the most compelling.

LOGISTICS VISIBILITY

A comprehensive desktop shipping solution provides visibility into the cost and efficiency of your parcel shipping operations. For banks and financial institutions, this allows you to control spending and improve performance of shipping operations. With multi carrier desktop shipping, users can easily determine which carriers can move a parcel or batch of parcels to a particular destination at the lowest cost. Furthermore, managers can determine which carrier offers the best pricing for each shipment or the best on-time delivery performance, or lowest risk of loss or theft, and develop policies that will lower transportation and logistics costs at the branch, corporate and global level.  

RESTRICTED PARTY SCREENING

Banks and financial institutions must demonstrate that they aren’t doing business with governments, organizations and individuals that are under governmental or international  sanctions. This includes those who are connected with terrorism or drug trafficking, and sanctioned government. Your desktop shipping solution should ideally include restricted party screening. This will ensure that parcels and packages aren’t delivered to anyone whose name appears on these lists.

TRADE COMPLIANCE AND IMPORT REGULATIONS

Every nation has its own import and export requirements; for global banks and financial institutions working internationally, it can be challenging to ensure that every shipment that crosses borders is in compliance with these regulations. Desktop shipping software for banks and financial institutions should help to enable these cross border shipments and reduce the likelihood of loss or delays by monitoring changes to these regulations and lists to ensure that each shipment meets requirements.

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