Benefits Of Fulfillment Automation For High Volume Shippers
Summary: Automation is the backbone of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and is driving unprecedented progress, speed, and growth for effective adopters of the technology. Shipping and logistics businesses are prime candidates for automation which conveys benefits in the form of cost savings, time savings, error reduction, inventory awareness, and more, leading to widespread adoption within the sector.
High-Volume Shippers Experience Enhanced Benefits From Automation Technology
There’s a reason for the prevalence of automation among successful high-volume shippers—it works really, really well. In fact, high-volume shippers are a prime candidate to benefit from automation and were among the forerunners to use the technology in a widespread way (I’m looking at you, Amazon Warehouse, with your pretty picking robots.) But all of the technology mumbo-jumbo and hype aside, what can automation really do for your business as a high-volume shipper? Here’s why you should be using automation in your shipping business.
Automation Saves Time For High-Volume Shippers
The more you ship, the more time it will save you. High-volume shippers see scaling and compounding benefits with automations that reduce shipping complexity for human workers by managing many things automatically but condensing and displaying only what is most relevant in other scenarios. Things like one-click imports, bulk shipping label production, batch processing, and similar features remove menial, time-consuming manual tasks while boosting accuracy which means even less time spent going back to fix mistakes.
Automation Is A Big Money-Saver For Shippers
Not only does automation lead to lower labor costs thanks to faster and more efficient processes and boosted accuracy (e.g. you’re not paying customer support to sit on the phone for an hour with an angry customer whose order got shipped two continents away thanks to our dear employee Peggy who clicked the wrong dropdown option), it also helps to reduce the actual cost for shipping by automatically negotiating discounts and comparing options among carriers. For example, ShipWorks multi-carrier shipping software automatically compares rates and services among multiple carriers with a lowest-price guarantee so you can pick what best suits your needs and budget. Plus, customers receive discounts up to 76% with major carriers such as UPS, simply by working with us.
Inventory Awareness Is A Must
In modern high-volume shipping, data is king. If you don’t know what you have and how much of it, you’re already at least three steps behind your digitally-transformed competitors, and we say that with no exaggeration. Between automation and machine learning, many high-volume shippers make decisions based on predictive outputs of their systems so they’re not just at the right place at the right time, they’re there before the time ticks over to “right.”
Warehouse Optimization Is A Slippery Slope To Higher ROI
If you don’t know what’s in your warehouse, how much you have, and how much you need, then you certainly can’t optimize it. This results in wasted space, which means wasted costs on warehouse space, additional space traversed when picking orders, keeping too much or too little product at any given facility resulting in slower shipping times or wasted and defunct product to get rid of, and the list goes on and on. Efficiency should be on the mind of every high-volume shipper, and things as simple to deploy as automation should be a high-priority action step on every roadmap with practically guaranteed high ROI.
Flexibility and Transparency
Flexibility and transparency are more important than ever. It’s hard to pivot and grow when you are mired in manual tasks and barely managing to keep your head above water. Without automations and the data surrounding it, you may not even know where all of the time and money are going, because there’s simply too much data to sift through. However, with scalable and flexible automations and custom reporting, you can both see how and what you’re doing right with the added benefit of more time and money to grow even further.
Error Reduction Is More Important Than You Think
Human error has cost high-volume shippers a lot of cash, from rectifying lost shipments that were routed to the wrong location, to incorrect invoices, packages never shipped, lost tracking numbers, and loss of customer loyalty, errors can have a big and lasting impact on your business’s reputation. Automation is an easy-to-implement solution to reduce human error by using machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, simply transmitting the exact right data where it needs to go (whether that’s sending a tracking number to a customer or sending order data to a carrier for label printing or anything else) without the need for manual processes like copying-and-pasting, exporting and importing data, or manual entry using a keyboard and mouse.
Enhanced Customer Experience (CX)
Happy customers are key to any successful business. When it comes to shipping, especially in the age of Amazon, customers have very high expectations about their experience. They want their correct orders on time (and quickly) and in a pleasing, preferably custom, experience. Everything from professional packing slips to customized shipping update emails impact customer experience. ShipWorks lets you easily print professional labels at scale, batch process for speed, and automatically send updates to your customer’s email address with shipping status information after processing.
Higher and More Efficient Output
As your business grows, the effects of both your good processes and less-than-good processes begin to compound, and these things are often ultimately what makes or breaks a business—the culmination of their habits. With automation, you can achieve higher shipping volumes faster and with less effort. When you start hitting constraints of your current layout, this is all the more important. Only through efficiency boosts can you take a shipping operation that’s running at “full capacity” beyond that limit. Otherwise, you’re looking at buying more space, equipment, and labor to meet demand which will quickly eat into profits and slow you down as compared to automation-using competitors.
Automation can be used widely among high-volume shippers and has very few to no downsides in its modern forms. Many high-volume shippers now see this as a staple technology that has let their business not only grow and survive but thrive in an increasingly shipping-heavy world. At ShipWorks, we specialize in flexible automations and unlimited integrations to make our multi-carrier shipping software a perfect fit for shippers of all sizes and outputs, because we can adapt to your business processes and scale with you to infinity. Alongside our automation and AI, ShipWorks also offers discounts up to 76% with major carriers, One Balance technology to combine multiple invoices under one, unified multi-carrier account, discounted insurance, pre-built integrations, access to service agreements for faster fulfillment and delivery, and more.
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