Universities and public institutions ship high volumes of parcels,
and need to contain and control transportation costs. In the latest
QAD Precision Report we look at how universities and public sector
bodies can leverage desktop shipping solutions to track and and
manage parcel spend.
As the old business cliché puts it: if you can’t measure it, you
can’t manage it. That’s not always true — but it certainly is when it
comes to your shipping costs.
Universities and public bodies spend a huge amount on parcel
shipping. Despite this, many institutions have no way of measuring —
let alone managing — this. As a result, they have a poor understanding
of their shipping costs.
There are a number of reasons for this. When your organization has
different schools, departments, administrative units and so forth, it
can be difficult to ensure that all staff follow the same shipping
rules. Different schools and administrative units may have their own
procedures. Parcel shipping data is generally fragmented across a
number of carrier systems. Furthermore, many institutions do not track
inter-campus or inter-office shipping costs. They simply pay invoices
as they arrive.
The Importance of Controlling Maverick Spending
Academics and admin staff generally ship on an ad hoc basis as
needed. Known as “non-production” or “desktop” shipping, the costs of
this ad hoc shipping mount up. A study by the Aberdeen Group found
that desktop shipping is the biggest source of “maverick spend”
associated with an organization’s transportation activities.
Maverick spend refers to the cost for goods or services that is not
managed or controlled. That’s unsurprising — academics and admin staff
are not professional shippers. They are unlikely to take dimensional
pricing and surcharges into account. Nor may they be aware of
alternate services — even from the same carrier — that will ensure
on-time delivery, but at a lower cost. Furthermore, if every campus,
school or office location has their own relationship with a carrier,
there is no opportunity to negotiate for volume discounts.
Controlling Costs with Desktop Shipping Software
One way universities and public sector bodies can control costs is
Shipping software. With Desktop Shipping software, organizations
can put standardized procedures in place to ensure all staff follow
the same shipping rules. It automates internal procedures, such as
carrier and service level selection. Desktop Shipping software takes
the user through a number of easy-to-follow steps before a parcel can
be shipped. It also gives the institution access to a multi
carrier network of parcel shippers, domestically and globally.
Best of all, it does this seamlessly.
Manually switching between carriers looking for the best rates,
transit times and service levels is a time-consuming drain on
resources. In addition, you must ensure that each parcel is compliant
with that carrier’s specific requirements. Not doing so leads to
delays and lost packages. This is distinct worry for universities —
their parcels are often time-sensitive, require special handling or
contain hazardous materials. Carriers also penalize you with
additional costs for non-compliant packages or labels.
Furthermore, with Desktop Shipping software staff will be able to
allocate shipments to the correct cost center, grant, research group
or college as needed. Instead of staff shipping on an ad hoc basis,
Desktop Shipping ensure all parcels are shipped using the
institution’s rules for rates, transit times and service levels. In
this way, the university or public body can minimize shipping spend
and avoid unnecessary charges.
Five (More) Benefits of Desktop Shipping Software
Desktop Shipping software is not only about controlling costs — as
important as that is! Universities and public sector institutions
leveraging Desktop Shipping software are also able to standardize
procedures and gain efficiencies across departments, administrative
units, laboratories and so forth. Here are five further benefits of
Desktop Shipping software.
MITIGATE EXPORT COMPLIANCE EXPOSURE
Research samples — and even research papers — may be subject to
export controls or require special documentation. When you ship on an
ad hoc basis, it is easy to miss a crucial compliance check. A
comprehensive Desktop Shipping solution gives you the tools to
maintain an effective compliance program for any type of shipment.
This includes domestic, international, import or export. Universities
and public institutions are able to automate and audit processes and
business rules. This ensure due diligence with in-country regulatory
programs and cross-border customs requirements.
SIMPLIFIED GLOBAL SHIPPING
Universities who send international shipments must comply with a
variety of ever changing shipping requirements. This means you need
knowledge of import tariffs, packaging specifications, customs rules
and compliance regulations. Desktop Shipping software with
standardized procedures help universities mitigate these risks. This
allows you to seamlessly switch between carriers, automating carrier
compliant labeling, generating the appropriate shipping documents for
global destinations and managing denied party screening — all while
adhering to your specific shipping rules.
It is not enough to set standardized procedures. Simplifying the
individual user experience is also crucial. A comprehensive Desktop
Shipping solution will provide an intuitive “walk-up” user interface.
This ensures department- and campus-wide adoption and allows you to
successfully implement controls across your institution. As a result,
users become self-sufficient in carrier rate and service selection,
generating carrier compliant labeling, managing denied party screening
and compliance checks and generating appropriate shipping documents.
IMPROVED RESEARCH CHAIN EFFICIENCY
Universities, like life sciences companies, move an array of highly
diverse contents such as living cells, common or experimental drugs
and solvents, test specimens and data. As global trade becomes more
and more controlled and restricted, universities must constantly
improve their shipping processes and have greater visibility into the
movements of goods across their research chains. This allows them to
ensure compliance against an ocean of changing regulations.
When you send or receive biologics, hazardous goods or high value
research materials, shipment visibility and tracking is crucial.
Desktop Shipping software with delivery
exception management allows you to harmonizing shipping statuses
and provides visibility as your packages travel across the carrier
network. It also alerts you to exceptions so that you can proactively
Further Reading: UC Davis Case Study
Learn how UC Davis leverages QAD Precision to centralize hundreds of
department carrier accounts, control shipping costs, increase
visibility and simplify ongoing compliance. To download the case
study, please click here.
About QAD Precision – Trusted Global Trade and Transportation Execution
QAD Precision, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global
trade compliance, and multi carrier transportation
execution solutions from a single, integrated platform. An
ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to streamline
and transportation operations, optimize deliveries, and increase
logistics ROI. QAD Precision’s scalable and extensible solution easily
integrates with existing ERP and WMS solutions. Industry leaders in
every region of the world rely on QAD Precision’s global support
centers to leverage thousands of carrier services and manage millions
of global trade and shipping transactions every day. For more
information about QAD Precision, visit www.qadprecision.com.
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