There are so many specialized elements in a shipping process. The first step is to determine the scope of the project.
In addition to exploring the requirements you believe you have, a specialized company will observe, question and understand your experience with your current setup to determine areas that can be improved.
Understanding the reason why change is required, is an important element in developing a shipping process that can grow with your needs. Optimizing may involve removing parts of the process or replacing manual activities with automation, so your partner must be able to engineer a solution that integrates with your existing equipment, and not just supply components.
To counteract loss of business due to store closures during COVID, retailers invested heavily in e-commerce, developing omni-channel experiences for their customers. Returns on dark stores etc. are yet to be realized, so e-commerce will continue to be in focus.
All age groups appear to have transitioned to online shopping. Consumer goods, such as books, electronics and apparel account for the largest percentage of e-commerce sales.
A fresh report from eMarketer indicates that retail sales will continue to grow at an annual rate of 3%. In 2022 e-commerce is forecast to make up 15.2% of total retail sales and double-digit growth is expected to continue.
In older systems, it was often necessary to pre-sort packages into sizes. This was due to restrictions in the labelling applicator. Nowadays, a good labelling system is able to apply labels to almost any type of shipment, regardless of packaging and height.
Using a wide mix of carriers gives you the opportunity to pick the best carrier for a given package. This may be based on the volume or weight of the package, the speed of delivery required or the destination. Particularly as shipping is a strong differentiator for consumers.
The more packages you ship, and the more carriers involved, the greater the risk of mistakes. Ideally, your labelling system should be able to automatically select the best carrier for a specific package, based on the criteria that are important to you and the individual customer. Advanced labelling systems use algorithms to select the most cost-effective carrier.
Delivery notes, invoices and paperwork for cross country shipments typically follow the package. A time-consuming process when paperwork must be printed, sorted and inserted by hand. Automating document handling not only saves on resources, it means last minute changes to an order can be accurately reflected in the paperwork.
Do you want to replace or extend an out-of-date shipping process?
The ideal partner is a specialist who is large enough to manage the whole project from exploration to installation and small enough to focus on your specific requirements, without enormous overhead costs.