While “automation” is still a buzzword for a variety of company advancements, it has a very specific significance for businesses looking to grow into new shipping solutions: It refers to technologies and services that handle the selection, packaging, and shipping of orders automatically once they are placed.
Growing firms can use fulfilment centres like Sherpack to automate shipment for these types of e-commerce. We’ll get into the details of how that works later, but first, let’s go over the primary benefits of automating your shipping.
Automated Shipping Has 4 Benefits
Your supply chain gains new capabilities and benefits. From your e-commerce platform to your inventory and storage operations, and beyond, data shipping automation is all about putting the appropriate technology in place. If your company hasn’t yet adopted much software in these areas, switching to automation will result in some major improvements in accuracy and analytics. This includes perks such as:
More order tracking: Automation helps businesses to track when orders are placed, when things are picked, when they’re ready to ship, and when they’re delivered…as well as where they are on the road and if anything goes wrong.
Inventory management that is accurate: One of the most significant advantages of automated inventory is that inventory is updated quickly when an order is placed, and alerts or recommendations are sent out immediately if inventory appears to be running short or if an order issue arises.
Automation also gives far more data about when things are ordered, how frequently they are ordered, and how successful present shipping processes are. This is useful information for making future logistics decisions and adapting to changing client habits.
Shipping becomes more efficient and precise.
Packaging and shipping take time if they aren’t automated, which is especially true for a developing company that is overburdened with new orders. That time is a waste of resources as well as a delay in shipping for the consumer.
Automation can provide time-saving options such as automatic label printing, barcodes, third-party packaging services, and other similar methods. Everything becomes more efficient; consumers receive shipments and updates faster, and your company’s workforce has more time to focus on other things. This leads to the next significant benefit…
Businesses are spending less money.
Your organisation will have more labour hours to spend on…well, more important things now that your shipping process is powered by software, technology, and third-party services. Is it better to spend a competent team member’s time fulfilling orders or receiving a call from a loyal client?
This means that, even if an employee’s number of hours worked remains constant, the value of those labour hours can skyrocket as they begin to handle more specialised duties. Companies may be able to save money outright with the correct services or plans as compared to earlier techniques. This is especially true for small businesses that are approaching new growth stages.
Making Future Growth Decisions Is Getting Easier
The more automation a firm has, the more it can focus on its core, the fundamental set of services that set it apart. Team leaders don’t have to worry about assigning enough workers to choosing inventory or printing labels to fulfil the most recent order deadlines, and owners don’t have to continuously hiring additional individuals to keep up with rising inventory duties.
As a result, businesses are free to focus on keeping competitive and faithful to their brand rather than continually factoring in shipping labour when making hiring and organisational decisions.
How to Begin Automating E-Commerce Successfully
Companies who are still using self-fulfillment may find automated shipping daunting. Fortunately, today’s software solutions make automation much easier to implement, particularly for businesses that already have an online store. Here are a few important measures to follow.
Connect E-commerce to Other Shipping Methods
Begin with your online ordering procedure; after all, that’s where customers pass off their orders to you! Use platforms that allow you to connect your shopping cart to inventory management systems and shipment tracking so that every stage of the shipping process can be automated and handled from a single location.
From Square and Shopify to PayPal and Magento, most major carts and platforms allow ready connectivity with inventory and delivery. Sherpack, a fulfilment centre, may also assist in the development of more particular cart connections.
Boost Your Inventory Control System
“Wait,” you could say, “our inventory system works OK, but I’m not sure if it’s ready for software integration with orders and shipment.” That’s why now is a good time to invest in a software-based inventory management system that makes product tracking a breeze. There are numerous solutions available for organisations of all sizes, with a variety of setups and interfaces to select from, based on your existing activities. Excellent scalability for future development, a simplified interface for training new personnel, and customised notifications for inventory shortages and reordering are all good alternatives.
You can also partner with a third-party fulfilment centre that can connect its own software, store and manage inventory, and enhance your tracking without requiring you to handle everything yourself. This does necessitate planning for inventory to be managed offsite, which for some developing businesses can be a considerable move.
Make a list of key action points.
When automation is configured to start tasks for certain scenarios or action points, it works best. The example of inventory delivering a re-order notice we just presented is a great illustration of an action point that software can take. This also aids businesses in planning adequate inventory levels without overspending on storage or experiencing frequent shortages.
Other important action points include sending shipment notifications to customers, automatically selecting the appropriate packaging, and more.
Updates on shipment tracking can be used.
Using shipping systems that provide real-time updates to your computer or app – and, if possible, interface with other automation tools. You may also automate email updates to clients about when orders are ready for delivery and other crucial status changes with integrated shipping.