~by Brooke Chaplan~
The shipping process can be completely different for enterprises supplying products across seas than for those just shipping to local suppliers or partners. But one common problem all companies run into is a slowdown of their overall processes. For example, one provider might take half the time to ferry a product to the same destination as another, or you might not realize that your warehouse organization is grinding things to a halt. The culprits that slow down shipping processes are pretty much the same everywhere, and are also very avoidable if equipped with the right knowledge and information.
The first step in improving your delivery time and purchase turnover rates begins with the ordering structure of your business. If your company has a complicated system of processing an order, valuable time is lost for you and the customer. Several unnecessary hours or days can be lost in processing an order and push the delivery process back. Look for ways to combine steps and cut out redundancies in the ordering process.
Communication with Warehouses
The second an order is made and processed, the required product stored in a warehouse should be packaged and transported to a courier service. If the channel of communication between your firm’s sales department and their warehouse is slow or redundant, your shipping process experiences delays. Delays in delivery accumulate into general dissatisfaction in clients. Update your communication channels and make sure your organization in the warehouses are up to speed with the new ways you process orders.
Every product should be easy to locate in your warehouses. Once a product is required, you should be able to find it within minutes, or even seconds. When a firm’s inventory is disorganized and uncoordinated, valuable time is lost tracking items. Time your process and then update technological systems to reflect how items are stored and tracked.
Courier and Freight Services
Shipping companies use different methods to get your products around. Most companies use modernized ships for overseas cargo. They are much slower than the old model ships, but will get more bulk items to the destination at once. Choosing one company to provide all your courier services can be a bad idea. Having various backups allows you the flexibility to work with the best for a given situation. For example, you might choose a better shipping company when you need quick trips done, while relying on your bulk shipping to get big orders overseas.
If you do not use electronic data interchange (EDI), you had better be only shipping one item a month. Otherwise, if you ship in bulk and don’t file your data in EDI, you lose bulk time in handling paperwork. Be sure to update as needed and as you can afford.
Clearing at customs is by far the longest and most annoying process in shipping. Shipping companies spend ample time here, but shrewd businesspeople are able to pass through customs the minute their goods arrive. How? They declare their cargo before it leaves their country. They adequately prepare for clearance even before their goods arrive.
The secret to thriving in the shipping industry is always to protect the relationship between your firm and your clients. Do everything possible to ensure early arrivals. In cases of inevitable delays, communicate with clients to brief them every step of the way. Your customers will know what to expect and will appreciate your honesty.
Meet the Author: Brooke Chaplan
For more information on better shipping options, check out Arrow Truck Sales.
Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.