Teamwork Makes the Shipping Dream Work
What’s the one part of order fulfillment that almost every department has a hand in? You guessed it: shipping. This last step of the fulfillment process can make or break your bottom line and can completely change the customer experience from excellent to unsatisfactory. This makes shipping one of the most important plays in the supply chain, but also the toughest.
With too many players involved, it may seem that shipping can just get tougher. However, the companies placing a priority on their shipping game have come out on top. When all departments are involved in optimizing shipping and have a better understanding of the importance of shipping orders to customers in a fast and efficient manner, new and better strategies are implemented, leading to happier customers. By combining the goals of each department, retailers can create a shipping strategy for success.
The Coach: C-Suite
Like coaches, the C-suite looks at the big picture when it comes to shipping. This group places its priorities on meeting profitability goals. When looking to improve margins, executives should know shipping is a lucrative place to start. High shipping costs chip away at margins, and inaccurate or late deliveries can cost a sale, and often as a result, a lifelong customer.
Team Offense: Supply Chain Professionals
Every team needs an offense, which is where supply chain professionals come in. Besides ensuring there's product on the shelf to keep up with increasing e-commerce orders, supply chain professionals also need to keep shipping costs top of mind. The leading cause of cart abandonment is expensive shipping costs, so this department needs to determine the right shipping prices for their customers.
Now, the quarterback of team offense is the logistics team, and they have a lot on their plate. They're working to get orders out the door as fast as possible while rate shopping every shipping carrier and method to find the lowest cost with the best delivery option. Then they're reviewing each label to ensure it's compliant. That’s a lot of time in just one department!
Team Defense: IT
The best way to ensure quick and accurate order fulfillment lies with IT. This department is always defending the team and ensuring all technology platforms are integrated for a seamless process and no mistakes are made that could lose or create a poor customer experience. IT also ensures the systems are scalable in order to handle peak holiday shipping volume increases.
Special Teams: Customer Service
Customer service, or the special teams of shipping, is there to start the game, keep the order moving, and score extra points with the customer. If anyone knows the importance of shipping to customers, it’s this department. Customer service shares tips on what types of shipping costs and options your customers are interested in because they're receiving the feedback firsthand. This department also handles any shipping complaints and inquiries to ensure every customer is satisfied.
The Fans: E-Commerce Department
Just as there would be no team if there were no fans, online order fulfillment and shipping would be eliminated if it weren’t for the e-commerce department. This team knows customers like the back of their hand, and if a customer’s shipping needs aren’t being met within the cart, then the e-tailer faces the harsh reality of high cart abandonment rates and lost sales.
As you can see, shipping has a lot of moving parts and numerous departments are involved to make sure the ball isn’t dropped. The preferred gear for retail companies? Multicarrier shipping software that provides the real-time data needed to gauge profitability and shipping costs for the C-suite and supply chain professionals. This technology provides complete order tracking visibility into customers to reduce service calls and automatically rate shops hundreds of carriers and services for the best shipping method. It also prints carrier-compliant labels to streamline shipping for the logistics team, and IT can seamlessly integrate shipping software into their existing enterprise technology stack. With multiple departments on board to optimize the shipping strategy, shipping will become a guaranteed touchdown every quarter.
Justin Cramer is global project management director and co-founder at ProShip, Inc, the global provider of today’s No. 1 multicarrier shipping software. Throughout his time at ProShip, Cramer has designed shipping solutions responsible for executing more than 1.1 million labels per day and has worked with many small to global shippers on achieving certified carrier labels.
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Justin Cramer is Global Project Management Director and Co-Founder at ProShip, Inc, the global provider of today’s #1 multi-carrier shipping software. Throughout his time at ProShip, Cramer has designed shipping solutions responsible for executing more than 1.1 million labels per day and has worked with many small to global shippers on achieving certified carrier labels.