7 Strategies for Your Plan and Tools to Help
1. Get Visibility Into Your Shipping Choices
The only thing more annoying than running reports is spending time wading through them trying to dig out answers. There are certainly many ways to slice and dice shipping cost data (reports are a great resource - Pacejet provides many shipping reports with our solutions). From a practical perspective, we all get busy and reports have a way of sinking to the bottom of the to-do list. Our suggestion is to identify a set of simple metrics you can have automatically delivered to your inbox so you see them, check them, and file them every single day. We provide that type of scorecard in Pacejet solutions as a feature we call Weekly Shipper Metrics. It's a simple and easy way to just stay on top of the numbers. When you see some basic numbers every single day, it's far easier to spot changes, aberrations, or to catch an upward trend that might have otherwise gone on for far too long.
3. Spend Other Peoples Money More Efficiently
In the shipping world, carrier account numbers are the equivalent of a credit card used to charge shipping expenses directly to customers or third parties. On this strategy, our recommendation is simple --- get better at using them. Every shipping charge you can pass along as a direct charge to someone else is cash you will not have to spend, invoicing and collection time you'll avoid, and reduced risk of getting stuck with the bill.
4. Break Out of Your Carrier Comfort Zone
5. Make Getting Cornered Worth It
In following our previous recommendation of trying new partners, it might seem contrary to even consider getting locked in to a single carrier contract. Some businesses with the right reasons, geography, shipping patterns, and service needs, choosing one carrier to provide all of their shipping services can lead to a better overall service and better cost-management. At Pacejet, we think the way to making a focused or single carrier contract work is to make it worth it by not flying blind. Even if you hand over all of your shipping business to a single carrier, you're going to want multi-carrier quoting visibility and reporting available to you if only so you can periodically bid out to new carriers and put some pressure on a carrier to keep sharpening their pencil. We've seen Pacejet shippers drive down rates by 20%-40% simply by showing that they can easily see what another carrier might charge for a similar service.
6. Sweat the Little Stuff and the Money Hiding There
7. Help Shipping and Accounting Teams Compare Notes
In many businesses with reasonably high levels of shipping, we see that the accounting department and the shipping department might have a good relationship but they often seem to live in different worlds. Shipping is dominated by a need for speed, constant motion, and continuous changes in customer expectations. Accounting is focused on detailed record keeping, precise control, and a desire for process consistency. The different operating modes can let costs fall through the cracks when, , shipping is forced to take actions to meet customer demands which end up increasing shipping costs that don't make it into the billing stream (i.e. service charges mentioned previously being the prime example). This is one area where a better technology strategy can make a difference. For example, if you can introduce better freight reporting, auditing, and payment technologies in order to connect the shipping and accounting processes, you'll find it far easier to automatically detect non-billed shipping charges, track them to specific customer situations, and find ways to alter your process to avoid these in the future.