Parcel - October 2008 - (Page 36)

management CONTROLLING COSTS Multi-carrier desktop shipping solutions may be the answer By Vincent J. DeAngelis over 19% of organizations with poor desktop shipping operations (no standardized shipping rules; everyone ships the way they want; lack of visibility to shipping spend and activities) saw their shipping costs increase by that amount. While respondents in ARC’s survey with PARCEL cited that reducing shipping costs was their top reason for implementing — or planning to implement — a multi-carrier desktop shipping solution, only 19% said obtaining greater visibility to shipping spend was a top reason for implementing a solution. What this suggests is that a lack of knowledge exists on how possessing greater visibility to carrier spending management can have a direct correlation on reducing shipping costs. Employing an effective multi-carrier desktop shipping solution into your overall strategy can help an organization in the following ways: • Improve communication and information flow of packages Multi-carrier desktop shipping solutions can help bring the knowledge of the mail center to the desktop and provide the employee, who is initiating the shipment, with the tools and information necessary to make the best decision regarding delivery options and prices. Employees can rate shop within a carrier or across all carriers in the portal to select the most cost-effective and efficient shipping method. The information is then sent electronically to the mail center, saving time and money, and enables the initiator to complete the shipment themselves. Information can be collected and made available about who sent the accountable package or item, where it was sent, to whom it was sent, how it was sent, how much it cost to send it and where the costs are to be allocated. Some multi-carrier desktop shipping solutions also now support complete shipment processing, including labeling printing capabilities for major small package carriers and the U.S. Postal Service. This allows employees to print carrier and postal labels right from their desktop for added convenience. T oday’s sluggish economy and challenging business environment is putting more pressure than ever on organizations to review and justify all aspects of shipping operations and spending. At the same time, demand for parcel shipping solutions is increasing. According to ARC Advisory Services, this growth is being driven by the worldwide Courier, Express and Parcel (CEP) market, which is approaching $200 billion, driven by shrinking order-to-delivery cycle times, ecommerce, global trade, and other factors. Some organizations have been lured by the enticement of a free, single carrier desktop shipping system that offers automated capabilities and web-based portals to help make it easier to manage small package carrier service options and costs. However, these solutions can result in a passive experience for users and an abdication of cost management to the carrier. The simple facts are that not every package needs to go out next day by 10:30 AM, and limiting shipping carrier service options can also diminish an organization’s ability to obtain the greatest cost savings. Instead of relying on single carrier systems, organizations should consider utilizing multi-carrier shipping solutions and their own company’s portal to manage their package shipping strategy. This can provide a company’s employees with solutions they can access right from their desktops. According to ARC’s recent survey with PARCEL of over 500 companies, organizations that utilize a multi-carrier desktop shipping solution are the most effective in controlling their shipping costs. Results of the survey revealed that only 1.5% of these companies experienced cost increases of 20% or more last year, while 36 October 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Parcel - October 2008

Parcel - October 2008
Editor's Note
What Would Augello Say?
Best Practices Survey Results
Going with the Flow
Is Your Parcel Network Optimized?
Last (Mile), but Not Least
Moving From Manual to Automated Fulfillment
A Race for Excellence
Making Ends Meet
Is Your Job Killing You?
Software Selection Demystified
Controlling Costs
On the Mark
Product Profile
New Products & Services
Advertiser Index
Wrap Up

Parcel - October 2008