How to Better Manage Your Remote Shipping Services
Blog: Apriso Blog
The transportation and shipping industries today are complex and highly competitive. The return on investment for shipping services is often a very narrow margin because of intense competition and a sluggish economy. If you manage your shipping services from afar it can be difficult to get a grasp on where you are falling behind and how to improve your process. Lastly, the increasing agility that is now part of today’s supply chain has implications on how to best manage shipping services – and how to transform your perspective to stay ahead of all the changes currently underway in manufacturing and supply chain operations.
Follow these three tips to help better manage your shipping services and get you a head start in transporting your goods and merchandise with greater efficiency and responsiveness.
Invest in Automation
As a business, your procedures need to be standardized and automated, even from a distance. This would include batch processing and targeted distribution lists. Standardizing procedures will reduce error and miscommunication, and help better plan how to change to unexpected events.
Shipping software is an excellent way to increase the speed, quality, and communication of your shipping services. For example, shipping software allows dock workers to easily combine multiple packages into a single bill of lading through the integrated database. Staff can easily generate digital invoices and shipping documentation. Management will enjoy being able to generate customized reports that will keep the budget on target, highlight problems and spot areas for improvement. Overall, standardizing processes and using shipping software will improve operational efficiency and reduce costs.
Focus on Increasing Knowledge in Management Team
Improving your shipping services begins with expanding your understanding of your shipping needs, and/or the needs of your clients. For example, the shipping manager should be familiar with all locations, freight types, shipment sizes, and the frequency of need. Taking formal logistics and supply chain management classes will empower you to make better decisions. More importantly, employees must be properly trained on best management practices (BMPs) for the shipping industry. Regular training with industry updates and a quality control program will improve your shipping program effectiveness and streamline your supply chain. Make sure you do this training together, as a team, so people across departments are on the same page and can follow the same procedures. And, with new technologies evolving so quickly, investing the time and effort to educate your team on these changes becomes even more paramount.
Certainly, there are benefits to both owning and renting your fleet. Larger companies may find that owning vehicles are an excellent long term financial solution. However, ownership involves continual repairs, maintenance, and replacement costs. In addition, qualified staff must be recruited, managed, and supplied with equipment and a maintenance facility.
On the other hand, leasing vehicles are sometimes a better option for smaller companies because there are no credit worries or upfront costs. An operating lease lets the company expense the vehicle costs on a monthly basis instead of carrying the liability on the balance sheets. As a result, there is better credit flexibility and more capital for other business needs. Keep in mind that technology changes mean shorter trade in cycles. Companies that rent semi-trucks or rent from vendors, such as Arrow Truck Sales, will be able to easily upgrade their vehicles to more efficient, eco-friendly models. Given the considerable amount of change in our industry, any strategy that helps to improve agility does add value and should be considered.
In the end, shipping services can be improved through standardizing processing and utilizing cutting-edge shipping software. Logistical and shipping training can improve your employee’s skills and knowledge, and renting your fleet could be a cost-effective option that will reduce your worries and workload.
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