Q: I am currently expanding my revenue streams with fulfillment services. How can I offer the best overall services and prices for the shipping of packages?
A: It is good that you are expanding your business, and fulfillment can be a great revenue stream. You are also correct; you must keep costs in line to maximize profits and keep your customers happy. The top two things you need to know about success in production shipping are as follows:
1. Visibility and Control for Profitability. You will want to have visibility and control of the complete shipment process in order to manage costs and your profitability. This visibility will allow you to easily compare carrier rates and service levels. This is achieved by installing shipping software provided by an independent third party. Using free carrier-provided systems or trying to tender shipments manually can often result in cost overruns due to this lack of visibility to multiple carriers’ rates and services.
2. Tracking. Your ability to track shipments from pickup to point-of-delivery will be a big customer service win. Ideally, your technology infrastructure should give you a real-time, global view of shipping activity, modes, and carriers into a complete end-to-end supply chain tracking solution. You should also be able to search and access status for specific shipments and to easily provide shipment reporting to your client.
Fulfillment services are a great growth opportunity for most printers. But when logistics are critical to your organization’s supply chain, don’t leave anything to chance.
For more information visit www.MyPrintResource.com/10007238
Sandra Long, vice president, Printer Market and Customer Development, Pitney Bowes, answers readers' questions about mailing. Send your questions to her at Sandra.Long@pitneybowes.com.