Banks and financial institutions ship sensitive data — and a lot of it. This means they must ensure shipments are secure, and delivered to the correct recipient. But they must also keep a check on shipping costs. In the latest Precision Report we look at how desktop shipping can help banks achieve this.
Banks are some of the world’s biggest and busiest parcel shippers. What’s more, in the US, the banking and parcel delivery industries grew alongside each other.
Here’s a quick history lesson. In 1850, Henry Wells, William Fargo and John Butterfield founded American Express. At the time, the company was an express mail business based in Buffalo, New York. Like many others, Wells and Fargo saw the California gold rush as a chance to make a fortune — not by digging the gold, but by transporting it coast-to-coast. When the two were unable to convince American Express to expand out West, they formed Wells Fargo in 1852.
Even in these days of 24/7 online banking, financial institutions ship thousands upon thousands of loan documents or credit agreements every year. By law, these and other critical financial documents must be signed on paper. All parties must also receive physical copies. As a result, banks generate a lot of paper that they need to move. Because these documents contain sensitive information, banks need to ensure that only the correct recipient receives them.
In addition, banks ship thousands of documents across regional, national and global locations. This inter-office paperwork often contains confidential data. Therefore, the secure transport and delivery of these documents is paramount.
The aggregate cost of these shipments is high. Banks, therefore, must balance the need for security with the need to control costs.
Six Benefits of Desktop Shipping
Desktop shipping allows banks and financial institutions to accurately track, manage and reduce costs associated with shipping parcels. But it does so much more too. Here we discuss six benefits of desktop shipping.
Banks who do not use desktop shipping will generally choose a trusted carrier for their parcel delivery needs. This is understandable. It would be a drain on staff time to research delivery options for each parcel shipment. However, it also means that banks miss opportunities to get better rates and faster service. Mailroom staff generally follow established procedures to reduce shipping costs, while administrative staff often ship parcels on an ad hoc basis. This adds up — especially for large institutions working across different sites. Poor management of parcel shipments can hike up costs — by at least 20 percent every year.
Desktop shipping streamlines this process. Banks can institute a number of shipping rules depending on the nature of the shipment. These are generally “behind the scenes.”
At desk level, employees move through a number of simple steps to ensure that a parcel is sent with the correct service level and best rate. With desktop shipping all banking employees become self-sufficient in carrier rate and service selection. This reduces shipping spend. In addition, employees can allocate carrier charges to the correct cost center.
INCREASE SHIPMENT VISIBILITY
Secure shipping and chain of custody controls are vital for banks. When you ship sensitive documents or foreign currency, you need to know the status of every package.
Desktop shipping provides this visibility by giving you a centralized portal to track the whereabouts of all shipments with all carriers. In addition, desktop shipping provides exception alerts if something goes wrong. This allows banks to proactively rectify problems if and when they arise.
Furthermore, different branches and locations may have their own procedures, or use local carrier services. As a result, parcel shipping data is often fragmented across a number of carrier systems. With desktop shipping, banks gain a single source of truth across all parcel shipping operations.
BETTER DECISION MAKING
At management level, desktop shipping provide the tools for better decision making around reliability, vendor selection and routing. Managers can see which carriers have the best history of on-time delivery, and can identify routes that are most prone to problems like loss or late delivery. You know before your shipment leaves your possession what the on-time delivery performance is for your carriers. This establishes trust in your carriers, and by extension, trust in your financial organization’s ability to handle shipping challenges.
IMPROVED CUSTOMER RELATIONS
There was a time when customers didn’t expect great service from their bank. “Bankers’ hours” were not designed to make banking convenient for the customer — they were set up for the convenience of the banker. Customers no longer tolerate poor service. Banks are in competition with one another, as well as digital payment technology providers. Banks can combat this threat by placing emphasis on customer satisfaction, convenience and value.
Desktop shipping solutions allow banks and financial services institutions to ensure they offer customers convenient and reliable services. On-time delivery of important documents positively impacts customer satisfaction and retention. If important and confidential documents are delayed, go missing or fall into the wrong hands, customers will no longer trust a bank to manage their financial affairs.
GET ALL YOUR DOCS IN A ROW
One of the ironies of shipping documents is that you need a lot of documentation to do so! Desktop shipping ensures that all the documents needed to execute a shipment are included. Desktop shipping solutions generate and print the correct shipping labels and documentation — including documentation needed for global locations.
Cross-border shipments often have augmented documentation requirements. These vary by country, package contents and other factors. With desktop shipping, banks can create accurate and complete documentation for each shipment. This helps to ensure that shipments are not held at border crossings. Desktop shipping also ensures that banks can track shipments in transit.
A robust desktop shipping solution should include the key capabilities needed for parcel shipping, trade compliance and global documentation. As a result, banking staff become proficient at shipping nationally and internationally.
MITIGATE RISK AND ENSURE COMPLIANCE
Another area of concern for banks is compliance. Customs compliance is critical for getting parcels across borders in a timely manner. Regulatory compliance is necessary to avoid fine and penalties.
Desktop shipping solutions allow institutions to address these concerns. A comprehensive desktop shipping solution allows banks to perform compliance checks, verify recipients have passed denied party screening, validate the country of destination and ensure that any special documentation or actions are included. This allows banks to mitigate compliance risks and perform due diligence as well as create audit-ready electronic reports.
About Precision Software – Trusted Global Trade and Transportation Execution
Precision Software, a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier shipping software solutions from a single, integrated platform. Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world rely on Precision’s global support centers to leverage thousands of carriers and manage millions of shipping transactions every day. Our open architecture easily integrates with Enterprise Resource Planning, Warehouse Management Systems and legacy solutions. An ISO-certified company, Precision Software assists companies to minimize shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, automate free trade agreement compliance, avoid customs delays and mitigate the risks associated with dynamic trading environments to maximize their competitive advantage. Precision Software’s customers span multiple industries including banking and finance, life sciences, high technology, retail, industrial, automotive, higher education and public sector as well as logistics providers. For more information about Precision Software, visit www.precisionsoftware.com.
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