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The MOST Efficient Shipping Workflow for Your Business

Author Ron Lee on 2/10/15 6:53 PM
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What's the most efficient shipping workflow for your business? The answer depends on the types of shipments you send out the door each day, your shipping volume, average containers in a shipment, and many other factors. It's also key to know whether your goals are to reduce shipping rates, improve warehouse efficiency, improve customer service, or balance all three key outcomes.

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For many businesses, one shipping workflow might represent 50-60% of your shipping transactions but having flexible shipping workflows to adapt to all of your shipping needs will help you maximize efficiency and cost savings.

 

Walk Through Your Process Backward

One way to identify the most important shipping workflows for your business is to walk through your shipping process from back to front. If most of the 400 boxes you ship out on any given day, for example, contain 1 item for an ecommerce order and are shipped via a parcel carrier then fast processing of batches may be important to you. If you pay a lot of your own freight or your customers are sensitive to the price of shipping, then rate-shopping or multiple carrier options should probably be an active part of your shipping process. If your orders involve multiple items packed into multiple boxes or pallets, then a packing process and capture of actual shipping container dimensions and weight almost certainly needs to be part of your process. If your shipping mix combines multiple order types with competing priorities (or you see this in your future), then you need shipping workflow flexibility to balance efficiency with cost savings.
 

Balancing Automation with Flexibility

How has Pacejet tackled the balancing act around shipping workflows? Our solution was to provide high levels of automation with decision points where users can intervene and redirect the process to follow a new agenda. For example, small or large batches of shipments can be processed with no user intervention with just a few clicks. When multiple packages are shipped and container dimensions and weights need to be recorded, a pick-pack-ship workflow helps users capture the appropriate details. If scanning devices are available or a WMS/scanning solution is in use, Pacejet supports multiple scan-and-ship workflows to reduce data entry and allow mixed high-volume and lower-volume workflows.
 

Example 1: Ship in Batches with a Click

One popular workflow used with NetSuite and Pacejet is a combination of batch item fulfillment and batch shipment processing. Users can identify a set of sales orders in NetSuite and automatically perform "picking" in a batch to create item fulfillment records. When the batch of item fulfillment records are created, they are automatically staged on the Pacejet shipping workbench where users can submit batches for fully automated shipping.

 

Example 2: Pick, Pack, Rate-Shop, Ship

For businesses with mixed types of shipments, the Pacejet solution for NetSuite allows users to leverage complete pick, pack, rate-shop, ship steps or use part of the discrete processing steps and automate the rest. For example, users might use packing to record the dimensions and weight of multiple shipping containers but then skip the rate-shop display and just use a predefined carrier or automatically choose the lowest cost option. Another variation can use the setup of an "auto packing" process to inspect items in a shipment and calculate required packages to help improve quoting accuracy or simplify shipping data entry tasks.

 

Example 3: Multiple Ways to Scan and Ship

Scanning provides an entirely new set of options for speeding up shipment processing and Pacejet again provides multiple choices. One of the most popular workflows is to use an inexpensive blue-tooth wedge scanner (less than $100 per device) on shipping stations to quickly scan order numbers to process shipments. More sophisticated workflows might use Pacejet alongside warehouse scanning or Warehouse Management (WMS) solutions to move picking steps to mobile devices while retaining the flexibility and speed of Pacejet packing, rate-shopping, and shipping.
 

Video Demo

If you're a visual learner (like me) then the words make sense but pictures would make the options a whole lot clearer. We couldn't show every workflow variation but the short video demo here chains together a few batch, pick-pack-ship, and scan-ship examples to get you thinking. Please contact our team if we can help you sort out the best shipping workflows for your business.
 Video Demo of Shipping Workflows

 

 

Learn More

Interested in learning more about how Paceject can help your shipping process? Contact us today at 877-722-3538 or email us at info@pacejet.com.
 
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Topics: ERP, Videos, Tips and Tricks, Articles, NetSuite Channel, Strategy

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