Five secrets of smart shipping for your office
Do you ever wonder how other businesses can make the shipping and sending process look so painless? Packages look professional and are delivered on time. Customers are satisfied. How do others manage, when you’re frantically juggling carriers, requirements, schedules, costs and more?
01. Keep calm and carrier on
You know the carrier drill. You know the three major carriers for package shipping and expedited delivery are the USPS, FedEx and UPS, and most organizations typically have a contract with a preferred carrier. Smart shippers know how to optimize the services of each of these carriers. Rather than defaulting to a preferred provider or making hasty decisions to avoid hassle, the smart shipper can often improve delivery times and save costs by obtaining a deeper view of each carrier’s options, including discounts and hidden charges.
02. Handle it phase by phase
Nearly every process imaginable can benefit from being parsed into component phases. While they don’t often seem very distinct, three phases comprise the office shipping process: preparation, tracking and payment. Preparation, which includes the carrier selection step, also requires considering logistics and gathering supplies. Tracking entails monitoring where your package is and keeping yourself and the customer informed. And payment requires managing invoices and receipts. All benefit from precision and accuracy.
Of course it’s never that simple. You may be in the billing phase of last week’s shipping, but meanwhile another shipment has gone out and you’re also tracking — and most likely preparing for the next! The smart shipper organizes all the components for every shipment, standardizing as much as possible, but at the same time…
03. Keep an open mind
Although organizing, compartmentalizing and standardizing are definite pluses in the office shipping process, don’t paint yourself into a corner. Sending decisions can seem routine because most people and organizations establish patterns and processes to be efficient and avoid the hassle and stress often associated with the office shipping responsibility. Seemingly inconsequential human factors, such as preferring a certain carrier because you like the driver or their drop-off facilities are near-by, can result in less-informed decisions and added costs. A previous bad experience with another carrier might cause the sender to automatically exclude that carrier from all future deliveries, again potentially a costly mistake. The smart office shipper, despite the added churn it may cause, is continually on the alert for the best deals and the smoothest, least costly deliveries.
04. Know the needs — from your door to your customer’s
Balancing your company’s needs and operational processes with your customer’s requirements can be tricky. You need to look at all the factors, beginning on your own turf. Are you a single-person shipper, or does your organization have multiple shippers or even a central mailroom? Is everyone on the same page? Do you know what your customers really want? Do they always want everything shipped overnight, or will two-day, three-day, maybe even a slow ship delivery via China suffice? Not everyone is always in a frantic rush, which can save your company and the client higher costs. Of course, requirements can change with the breeze, but the smart office shipper knows the basic environment and takes steps to adjust, significantly improving the process and maintaining costs.
05. Explore the value of a streamlined shipping solution
The major shared secret of smart office shippers is that they are sharp, on top of the shipping game at all times. And that’s a huge challenge. Another secret? The smartest shippers look for ways to make the process easier. And that’s where SendPro® can help even the most beleaguered shipper transform into a smart shipper.
SendPro, the all-in-one, online shipping solution from Pitney Bowes, simplifies and streamlines shipping through the USPS, FedEx and UPS, enabling you to use just one login, one shipping form and one address book for the multiple carriers. SendPro simplifies the decisions you make and the number of steps you have to take throughout each of the three shipping phases:
Before you send, you can easily check each carrier’s options and rates by logging into a single site. When you send, you can track all your shipments from a centralized source, keeping you and your clients fully informed every step. When the time comes for payment, SendPro consolidates all your bills and uploads them to your accounts, making it quicker and easier to pay and to manage your overall spend.
The solution, which works with your existing process and can be custom-tailored to your organization’s needs, is scalable and can handle shipping from a single sender’s desktop or a central mail area, permitting one or multiple user access across the office.
Learn more about how SendPro can help you ship smarter from your office.