Well-organized and optimized shipping departments are essential for a good company. If you’re running a small business, the probability is high that you’re experiencing little to no issues with shipping your products. The thing is, as a company grows, shipping can get really complicated really fast. If you aren’t careful, it can easily happen that, due to many orders and a non-optimized shipping department, an order hasn’t shipped correctly. You surely want to avoid this since shipping quality plays an important role in how your company is perceived. So, even if your products are really good, a lousy shipping process might lead to your ratings dropping.
All of that being said, if you want to improve your company’s shipping department, this is the article for you. Let’s take a look at both the practical and the organizational ways in which you can improve your shipping exponentially.
1. Good equipment doesn’t need to be pricey
Good equipment, both in the warehouse and in the logistics department, is crucial for good shipping practice. Now, many people tend to compromise the quality of their equipment to ensure that they spend less money. The truth is if you know what equipment works, buying such used equipment might be a better option than a cheaper, unused alternative. When it comes to forklifts, finding a brand new hyster forklift for sale can be a huge investment. But, since these forklifts are incredibly sturdy and efficient, opting for a used one will still ensure that your overall warehouse performance is improved.
2. Improve communication with your warehouse
Communication with your warehouse is incredibly important when it comes to efficiency. This is why it is important that you find a platform that is going to help you do so. Emailing might be the most common way in which people communicate in such processes, but opting for an app like Slack can make everything way easier. This app can easily integrate other tools such as sheets, making it easier to navigate through a variety of forms in which information is transferred from the logistics to the warehouse and vice versa.
3. Barcode and wireless scanners are a must
One of the most common problems when it comes to shipping and working in the warehouse is locating the right package. Companies have different systems for labeling their packages and organizing warehouses to tackle this issue. Now, the easiest way for you to do so is to ensure that your packages have a barcode. By combining that with appropriate scanners, you will easily be able to identify the package that you need at the moment.
4. Prepare for customs clearance in advance
Customs clearance is something that every company that ships abroad has to have in mind and prepare for. Shipping abroad can be complex, but customs clearance is oftentimes the biggest reason why. This is, of course, due to safety, and, depending on the country, the overall process, as well as its length, may vary. This process is long, it can be quite frustrating, and yet you can’t avoid it in any way. Having all that in mind, the best way in which you can make the process easier and plan your shipments properly is to prepare in advance.
So, how can you ensure that customs clearance is conducted as fast as possible? The answer is quite simple, and yet many people forget about doing this – declaring the goods online. This way, you provide the customs personnel with all the important data about your packages even before they get there.
5. Ensure good communication with customers
It is important that you make sure that each shipment is communicated to the customer in question properly. Tracking orders is something that every customer appreciates. If, however, for any reason, you can’t ensure tracking, at least make sure that your customers know when all the significant steps of the shipment take place.
6. Always prioritize speed, but be careful
There’s no arguing with the fact that speed increases overall efficiency heavily. This is exactly why focusing on increasing the speed of each and every step in your shipping process is significant. That being said, never compromise the quality of your shipping process just to increase speed. Make sure that you minimize the possibility of a mistake occurring, as it is much worse for a shipment not to be delivered due to a mistake than for it to be a few days late.
Finally, the key to a good shipping department lies in understanding how well your system works in the first place. Analytics and organization are the first steps to actually making changes to how your shipping department operates. Once you’re able to figure out your weaknesses, you can easily address them with an appropriate solution. It’s even better that, instead of fixing the issues retroactively, you constantly work on all the things that you can improve – even if there are no major issues. Good luck!