Shipping is one of those interesting areas where two large business expenses, labor and carrier costs, interact with one another at high-speed and in very complicated ways.
Because physically handling inventory to pick-pack-ship is very labor intensive and shippers are purchasing thousands or millions of dollars in carrier services each year, there are dozens of opportunities for both labor efficiency and financial improvements that can form the basis of a solid return on investment (ROI) for implementing an integrated shipping solution.
However, many business leaders will simply not believe in an ROI model unless they take a very personal hand in identifying the variables, making the estimates, and doing the calculations based on their own personal experiences. To help out, Pacejet developed a free, downloadable ROI calculator that shippers can use to plug in their own numbers, add their own variables, and end up with a simple Excel spreadsheet that points the way --- should we invest or not?
Download the Pacejet ROI Calculator
After you download and open the calculator, you will see one tab labeled "Pacejet ROI" and another tab labeled "Parameters" as shown below. The parameters tab controls the details of the before and after changes (e.g. a task moves from 2 minutes to 5 seconds to complete) we expect for each variable in the model and also has a basic assumptions section at the top of the page with settings like your average cost of an LTL shipment or the average hourly cost of your warehouse workers . The Pacejet ROI tab summarizes the result into a financial impact statement by area and then a high-level summary of the overall impact at the very top of the page.
To create your custom ROI model, all you need to do is change the variables in in the column under each of the three tables "Improved Efficiency", "Reduced Costs", and "Better Service", enter a transaction count in the "Per Day" column, and the model will recalculate a total result and display it at the top of the page. To take it a level deeper, you can change the individual variable deltas and add your own variables to each section of the model.
Closer Look at Improved Efficiency
What this means is that the selected variable "Integrate ERP for Freight Quotes" with an assumption of 75 transactions per day will cause the ROI spreadsheet to use the following key information:
- Current Processing Activity = Manually Entering Data in Apps and Sites
- Before = 5
- After = 0.5
- Unit = Min
- Change = -90%
- Daily = $113 (Cost Savings $)
- Monthly = $2,475 (Cost Savings $)
- Yearly = $29,700 (Cost Savings $)
So if your team is processing 75 freight quotes per day by manually entering information onto multiple websites or applications and it's taking them 5 minutes per quote, the new solution will reduce that time by 90% to 30 seconds per quote and the resulting savings in labor time will be $115 per day, or $2,475 per month, or $29,700 per year. This particular line doesn't try to take any credit for finding lower cost shipping services during the quoting process, it only takes into account the labor efficiency savings of speeding up the process from 5 minutes to 1/2 a minute.
This is where using the ROI model gets interesting and personal. Don't believe the time will drop by 90%? Don't believe in the per-minute cost savings? The counter-argument is that the change is not zero, so your internal discussions can focus on what level of reasonable changes you believe can be supported by the new integrated shipping solution in your business context. If you prefer a "bottom up" or "minimalist" model, then create one or if you prefer a "best case" versus "worst case" profile then create both versions.