Optimizing your parcel shipping operations is now more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a domino effect on the supply chain, causing a surge in e-commerce orders, delays in manufacturing equipment, a backlog of supply orders, a lack of carrier capacity, and more. Staying on top of your inventory, order fulfillment, and parcel shipping data is vital to surviving – and thriving – in this landscape.
The right multi-carrier parcel shipping technology will have Business Intelligence to help you optimize your outbound parcel deliveries and returns and provide the visibility into delivery events, carrier performance, carrier capacity utilization, and transportation spend you need. With this technology, you can compare millions of different shipping scenarios simultaneously to ensure you’re executing the right order fulfillment and logistics strategy for your organization.
But with so many software options out there, it can be easy to get lost when deciding which multi-carrier parcel shipping software will best serve you. Let’s look at how the right software will utilize data to drive your growth.
1. Diversify your Parcel Shipping Carrier Network and Order Fulfillment Workflows
With modern day order fulfillment complexities such as high e-commerce shipment volumes and global parcel shipping, relying on a single carrier isn’t wise. You’re running the risk of lacking carrier capacity at crucial times and putting yourself at the mercy of carrier surcharges and rate increases.
Effective multi-carrier parcel shipping software allows you to quickly onboard new carriers – including regional and last-mile carriers – and automatically rate, rate shop, and identify the best carrier service for each parcel shipment given the shipment’s origin, destination, delivery timeframe, delivery cost, and any applicable business rules. From there, the software can consolidate shipments at the time of order to reduce your transportation costs and print carrier compliant labels or other necessary documentation.
And when your parcel shipping software includes Business Intelligence, you’ll quickly understand where carriers perform well (and not). You can evaluate delivery performance and performance cost impacts to create the optimal transportation network based on factors such as service, price, capacity, and quality. Furthermore, Business Intelligence can help you understand how a surcharge or rate increase with one carrier will affect overall spend within your transportation landscape, and you can visualize how and where changes should occur to offset these costs.
Business Intelligence can also help you evaluate the impact of changes in your order fulfillment workflows. For instance, if you’re implementing changes in fulfillment to increase ship-from-store or locate a new DC, understanding how these adjustments impact zone and carrier service-level downgrade options is critical.
2. Ensure On-Time Parcel Delivery
Quickly processing and shipping orders out of your warehouse is only half the delivery journey. To ensure your products reach your customers on time, you need visibility into each delivery milestone along the shipment route.
A sophisticated multi-carrier parcel shipping solution will be equipped with a Control Tower that gives your customer service teams visibility into package deliveries. A Control Tower for parcel is unique because it “reacts” to the data it receives. Much like an airport control tower, which receives signal, GPS, location, and speed data that enables good decision-making, the Control Tower for parcel knows that when an order is placed, the warehouse is stocked and ready to ship the goods to a customer. It also knows the order is ready for parcel carrier pick-up – the point at which it appears on the customer’s radar (usually in the form of a tracking number). In the event of a delivery delay, the Control Tower can flag the event, which gives your customer service teams the opportunity to communicate with the customer and make good. For example, perhaps the product can be sent from a different distribution center to arrive on time. Or perhaps the customer is willing to retrieve the product from a nearby store or locker. Or perhaps you’re willing to offer a discount on the customer’s next order. Customers will pay attention to how you handle mishaps and communicating clearly and openly about any delivery delays will affirm their trust in your brand.
3. Comply with Global Parcel Shipping Standards
Shipping across borders comes with its own set of challenges, for most of which your multi-carrier parcel shipping software can help you prepare. Your technology can automatically prep carrier compliant labels and any cross-border documentation your shipments need, totally alleviating customs anxiety. Additionally, this technology can use your shipping data to help you identify where you have opportunities to save money on cross-border transportation costs by consolidating your shipments.
4. Audit Parcel Shipping Invoices for Accuracy
Inaccurate carrier invoices can lead to higher than necessary transportation spend – throwing your entire budget out of whack. Most of the time, these mistakes are made involuntarily (we are only human, after all), and it takes a keen eye to catch any discrepancies.
Multi-carrier parcel shipping software with audit and analytics tools will streamline the financial management of shipping costs by automatically matching the carrier invoice to the shipping performance data and flagging discrepancies. The software will also enable advanced cost accounting down to the SKU level to help you truly understand your transportation spend and assist in your budget planning.
Get Data-Driven Results
Logistyx’s multi-carrier parcel shipping software is here streamline your parcels’ journeys from point A to B. From assistance in data capture, to data monitoring, to data analysis, our software will give you full visibility into your shipping operations. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.