As a business owner, you are no doubt well aware that every new goal seems to come with a steep learning curve attached. From choosing the right employees and partners to setting up secure and reliable systems, there is always so much to learn.
One example of these great learning curves is finding the absolute best shipping solutions for you and your company. This is definitely something that can be super involved and even be kind of confusing. In this post we will help you be able to overcome your fears of shipping and help you lighten your load.
You Have a Wealth of Shipping Options to Choose From
Today’s shipping industry is more diverse than ever before. There are so many options for you out there such as, The U.S. postal service, specialty carriers such as UPS and FedEx, third-party shipping cost comparison services, self-shipment using an in-house postage meter, or even drop shipping services, such as those offered at Doba.
Before you assume that one service will best fit your needs and those of your customers, go ahead, dig in and do some research to see what is available in your area as well as which one best fits your needs. What you discover could make the difference between running on break-even and making a profit.
Shipping Automation is a Must
Shipping is one of those tasks that you will do over and over and over again. As such, the more automation you can build in to your shipping system, the more efficient and effective you will become and the more you will save cost-wise. In order to help your properly manage everything from sorting to stamping to folding to sealing to printing to pick-up and drop-off services, you want to be sure to establish partner relationships that can remain consistent over time and provide efficiencies of scale. In other words, the faster you can process orders, the more orders you can process!
Don’t Rule Out Electronic Options
As the world moves more and more towards electronic systems, paper-based systems are becoming more expensive to use. For example, you will pay more in time and materials to complete and process paper waybills, but many shippers now waive fees if waybills are completed online instead. The best approach here is to schedule regular audits (at least quarterly or semi-annually) to find out what, if any, costs have changed with the shipping vendors you use. If you find ways to save more on shipping, you can implement those new processes right away.
Take Care With International Shipping Costs
Shipping internationally can be a particularly steep learning curve for new or online businesses to tackle. This is because there is no one uniform standardization for customs fees, taxes and shipping charges. Each country may have a completely different set of fees and forms, and taxes and fees can also vary by the item being shipped. Doing your research thoroughly ensures you will charge international customers enough to cover your own shipping costs and that there will be no surprises when the package arrives.
Don’t Make Shipping Promises Your Carriers Can’t Keep
It is pretty safe to make guarantees on arrival times when shipping domestically. But here again, when shipping internationally, logistics can interfere with arrival times in all sorts of ways. You definitely can never make sure guarantees when you are shipping out of the country. That one huge reasons to not always guarantee a certain arrival date.
In the five situations described here, and especially when it comes to international shipping headaches, it can make good sense to outsource the company’s shipping function to a third-party drop shipment service. Not only will the drop shipper maintain the inventory, but they will also be experts in shipping and logistics. In this way, you can keep your promises and keep your customers happy and loyal.