Shipping errors can lead to reduced profits and result in delayed or inaccurate deliveries, which can drive customers to opt for competitors. Integrating your ERP software with your shipping or carrier systems streamlines manual tasks and prevents errors in documentation and labeling that can affect delivery schedules and expenses. Through system integration and automated processes, you can ensure the accurate selection and packing of products for each shipment, enhancing customer loyalty and increasing profitability.
Common Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Common shipping mistakes can disrupt the smooth flow of your supply chain, lead to customer dissatisfaction, and incur unnecessary costs. Here are some of the most common shipping errors and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Incorrect Addresses
Entering incorrect shipping addresses is a frequent mistake. It can result in undeliverable packages, returns, and added shipping costs.
To avoid this pitfall: Implement address validation software. Address validation software helps ensure that the addresses provided by customers are accurate and complete. This accuracy is essential for successful and on-time deliveries. It helps prevent shipments from being sent to the wrong location or getting lost in transit due to incorrect or incomplete addresses.
2. Inadequate Packaging
Insufficient or improper packaging can lead to damaged goods during transit, which can be costly in terms of refunds and replacements.
To avoid this pitfall: Invest in appropriate packaging materials, provide training on proper packing techniques, and use sturdy boxes and padding for fragile items.
3. Wrong Shipping Method
Choosing the wrong shipping method can lead to longer delivery times or higher costs than necessary.
To avoid this pitfall: Evaluate shipping options carefully and choose the most appropriate one for each shipment. Consider factors like speed and cost.
4. Missing or Incorrect Documentation
Incomplete or inaccurate shipping documentation can cause customs delays, fines, and lost shipments.
To avoid this pitfall: Stay updated on shipping regulations, train staff on compliance, and use software that flags potential issues.
5. Overlooking Shipping Regulations
Failure to comply with shipping regulations, especially for hazardous materials, can result in legal issues and safety hazards.
To avoid this pitfall: This is another place where it pays to use software that knows how to identify potential issues so you can rectify problems before they occur.
6. Poor Inventory Management
Selling items that are out of stock can lead to backorders, delays, and frustrated customers.
To avoid this pitfall: Implement robust inventory management systems that update in real time to prevent the sale of items that aren’t actually in stock.
7. Lack of Tracking and Communication
Not providing customers with shipment tracking information or failing to communicate delays can lead to frustration and complaints.
To avoid this pitfall: Use a tracking system and notify customers of their tracking numbers. Be proactive in communicating delays and expected delivery dates.
Distributors, retailers, and manufacturers who prioritize inventory management have diverse shipping procedures and unique business demands. For instance, certain industry sectors such as food, beverage, and chemicals, must effectively handle lot recalls. Simultaneously, distributors of consumer goods contend with continually evolving order and shipping guidelines set by major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart. Furthermore, industry-specific customer packaging, labeling, and documentation standards differ across various segments.
Due to these factors, companies require shipping solutions that are adjustable and offer versatile configuration choices.
Distributors frequently engage in the global sourcing and transportation of products, encountering complex import and export procedures and documentation. The surge in eCommerce sales adds to the demands placed on distributors, as they’re expected to offer warehousing and dropshipping services to customers who order products but anticipate the distributor to handle order fulfillment on their behalf.
Wholesalers often engage in bulk purchase and rely more on Less Than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) shipping methods, rather than smaller parcel shipments. Connections with both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce platforms and marketplaces are prevalent in this industry. Additionally, there is a common occurrence of specific labeling requirements.
Retail and commerce enterprises depend on precise and punctual shipping information. When customers make online orders, they anticipate receiving information about shipping expenses and estimated delivery times, coupled with the ability to track their orders in real time through carrier systems for comprehensive shipping updates.
Effortless data integration is essential, connecting the ERP system with online storefronts, marketplaces, customer self-service portals, and third-party warehouse and logistics providers. This integration reduces the need for manual data input, ensuring smooth communication with both customers and fulfillment partners.
Numerous manufacturing components, such as electronics, specialty food ingredients, rare metals, and various raw materials, are procured from overseas sources. This necessitates companies to effectively handle extended lead times for their products. Likewise, many finished goods are shipped internationally to reach global customers, requiring meticulous coordination in the shipping process.
For bulky items like industrial equipment, machinery, automobiles, and liquid products, LTL and FTL shipping methods are typically required. Manufacturers face additional challenges, such as customized labeling and various specifications, which demand more advanced shipping functionalities than what basic or outdated systems can offer.
Various industries have their own unique shipping requirements. For instance, a construction company may need to transport materials from centralized warehouses to distant construction sites, while agricultural enterprises may ship crops or livestock to processing facilities. Forestry and mining firms are involved in the shipment of natural resources to manufacturing facilities, and other businesses may distribute products to external locations for consumption, use in projects, jobs, or daily operations. These industries exhibit a wide range of shipping needs, often demanding the use of specialize shipping solutions like 3G Pacejet.
Why You Need to Implement Shipping Automation Solutions
Implementing shipping automation solutions offers several compelling advantages for businesses of all sizes and industries. Here are some key reasons why you should consider adopting shipping automation:
- Efficiency and Time Savings: Shipping automation streamlines the shipping process by reducing manual tasks. This leads to faster order fulfillment, reduced labor costs, and increased overall efficiency. With automation, you can process a higher volume of orders in less time.
- Error Reduction: Manual data entry and processing are prone to human errors, such as incorrect shipping addresses or order details. Shipping automation minimizes these errors, resulting in fewer shipping mistakes and reduced costs associated with returns and reshipments.
- Cost Savings: By optimizing shipping processes, automation helps you minimize shipping costs. It allows you to compare shipping rates from different carriers, select the most cost-effective options, and avoid unnecessary surcharges.
- Improved Customer Experience: Automation enables real-time tracking and notifications, allowing customers to track their orders and receive shipping updates. This transparency enhances the customer experience and builds trust.
- Scalability: As your business grows, shipping automation can easily scale with your needs. It accommodates higher order volumes without a proportional increase in manual effort.
- Multi-Carrier Support: Shipping automation solutions often support multiple carriers, giving you the flexibility to choose the best shipping options based on cost, delivery speed, and destination.
- Customization: Many automation tools allow for customization of shipping rules and workflows. This means you can tailor the shipping process to meet your specific business requirements.
- Inventory Management: Some automation solutions integrate with inventory management systems, ensuring that you only ship products that are in stock. This helps prevent backorders and customer dissatisfaction.
- Compliance: Automation can help you stay compliant with shipping regulations and documentation requirements, particularly in international shipping.
- Data Analytics: Automation solutions often provide valuable data and insights into your shipping operations. You can analyze shipping costs, delivery times, and customer behavior to make data-driven decisions and optimize your processes further.
- Competitive Advantage: Businesses that implement shipping automation can offer faster, more reliable, and cost-effective shipping options, which can give them a competitive edge in the market.
- Adaptation to Industry Changes: As shipping and eCommerce trends evolve, automation solutions can adapt to new technologies and requirements, helping you stay competitive and relevant in your industry.
Get the Full eBook to Learn More: Streamlining Shipments for Today’s Distributors, Retailers, and Manufacturers
Our Streamlining Shipments eBook identifies common shipping mistakes and highlights how to correct them all (hint: it involves implementing the right cloud ERP software that can seamlessly integrate with crucial shipping systems).
You will get:
- A detailed look at the 6 common shipping mistakes.
- Explanations of each industry’s specific shipping processes and business requirements and the challenges they’re facing.
- A review of the many benefits of shipping automation.
- A consolidated ERP feature checklist for distributors, retailers, and manufacturers wanting to compare Acumatica with other ERP options.
Click here to download the eBook now.
Let MIBAR and Acumatica Solve Your Shipping Challenges
Connect your systems for streamlined shipping processes and enhanced order fulfillment with Acumatica Cloud ERP software. Say goodbye to manual data entry, delayed information, and shipping errors. Acumatica offers a modern and robust platform to automate order processing, warehouse management, and shipping, allowing you to control costs, increase profits, and gain insights for future growth.
With advanced supply chain features, Acumatica ensures product quality through compliant labeling, shipping documentation, and EDI integration. You can also improve the customer experience through transparent shipping connectivity with storefronts and portals.
Take your business to the next level with Acumatica’s comprehensive cloud ERP suite, featuring financials, CRM, order management, warehouse management, and industry-specific solutions.
Ready to get started? Contact MIBAR to explore Acumatica integration and elevate your business operations today. Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can streamline your shipments!