Three signs you need to upgrade your shipping processes

Shipping API’s are, in 2021, more accessible to a broader range of retailers and carriers. However, many remain faithful to manual systems and processes. Whilst those considering automation are concerned about the perceived risk of making the switch towards full automation.

But what is a Shipping API? And how do you know you need one.

At the core of a Shipping API is the capability to integrate all shipping functionality in one place. The API is the bridge that connects businesses with shippers and customer’s: a process that requires inbound and outbound logistics management in equal measures. This article highlights the three signs that might indicate it is time to level up your shipping processes.

  1. Batch Syncing

Frequently missing cut-off times can take its toll on the bottom-line. Some of the most common challenges businesses face are typically related to real-time syncing of orders and efficient data processing.

In most cases, orders that require fulfilment within a shorter delivery window are impeded by manual processes such as CSV file transfers.  These files rely on dropping off and picking up data on servers, which takes time and cannot be synced instantly to process orders. Furthermore, anomalies in batch files have to be fixed manually, and with large amounts of data to review, these actions carry an additional risk of human error. 

Shipping API’s allow for instant syncing of orders for batch processing, they are more reliable, more secure and faster. The most advanced, like SmartConsign, accurately identify and filter anomalies in the data for immediate correction.

  1. Shipment Tracking

Escalating customer service queries relating to shipping is another sign of inefficiencies in order fulfilment.

Customers expect to know where their packages are instantly and limited visibility of shipment status frustrates the process. Sophisticated eCommerce and logistics businesses understand the value of live package tracking post-purchase. They keep customers connected whilst using the data to anticipate and address delivery issues in real-time.

A Shipment API allows you access to live parcel tracking as well as an entire suite of carrier management functions. Which include bulk batch processing, label production, access to unbiased carrier rates, returns management and more.

  1. Address Validation

Consistently failing delivery times disrupt the business and negatively impacts the customer experience with customers generally placing the blame for delays squarely on the retailer, not the carrier.

Poor address validation is one of the main undetected causes. Issues like invalid addresses result in address surcharges which reflects poorly on the shipper.

Customers expect to receive their package the first time, and an accurate address look-up enables this process.

Shipping API’s are integrated with the PAF database, ensuring accurate address look-up, thereby mitigating the risk of delivery failures. What’s more, the most advanced systems like SmartConsign are fully updated with BREXIT guidelines.  

Of course, many other signs could indicate a need to level up your current shipping processes. These three signs are the most common reasons cited by shippers and retailers to-date.

SmartConsign is the fastest carrier management system in the market; it’s fully integrated with all carriers and top marketplaces. Instead of integrating individual carriers, the Shipping API only needs to be integrated once to access all the carriers. Once integrated, it’s easier to access carrier rates, compare and track performance in real-time. Furthermore, the system offers an advanced support ticket management system that allows users to resolve issues quickly.

To learn more about how to simplify the process of shipping, tracking and fulfilling orders, book a demo.

Top 5 ways to stay ahead of your competitors this Christmas!

Black Friday is over. Next up Christmas Sales. Is your software stack ready for the big rush?

The time to make sure everything is ready is before the madness begins. But there is a lot that you can learn from each sales event. With Black Friday over,  there is barely time to stop and reflect. Keep reading for some of the best parcel delivery tips to help keep your business moving forward.

What is Your Last Mile Process?

As your business grows, you may have outgrown the last mile processes you set up in the beginning. Were you fully prepared for Black Friday. Did you get your products from your distributors to its destination on time?

Black Friday wasn’t just an opportunity to sell stuff. It was an opportunity to check your processes and make sure you had complete clarity across the entire shipping delivery process. Increasingly this means getting your last mile deliveries right.

Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

It’s called a disaster because you hadn’t thought about it in advance. Hopefully, Black Friday was disaster free however,  with a few more weeks before Christmas sales begin – it’s not too late to stop and take stock.

How did your carriers perform during Black Friday. Did you get all your deliveries out on time. How many damaged goods did you get returned.

You can have a black Christmas and the rest of the year too if you’re not fully prepared. Make sure you have a business continuity process in place and plug in a disaster and recovery plan.

Prepaid Solution

As sales events intensifies, few growing businesses can afford to miss deliveries due to cashflow issues. With a prepaid solution, your customers pay in advance and load the funds onto SmartConsign as a credit. There is even an overdraft facility to help ensure business continuity.

It’s a great way to build loyalty and win back customers

Black Friday Tips For Invoicing and Returns

Consumers are always looking for a deal. A familiar black Friday shopping habit is to buy a nice toy, enjoy it for a while and return it! It sometimes seems like our customers like to torture us with returns.

But it’s not torture, it’s just business. Invoicing and returns are part of the process. You can make it easier by having the most efficient processes and the best technology.

Make your life easier and get a system that controls the entire journey of the workflow, from point of sale to returns. Get ahead by using the latest and best tech in market.

Parcel delivery tips and info to manage your business shipping logistics all year long are just a click away on our blog.