Small Business Shipping: 3 Ways To Streamline Your Process

Small businesses don’t typically bounce back as easily as larger ones after financial losses or brand damage due to shipping delays and mistakes. Some small businesses never bounce back. Disorganization and inefficiency are the two biggest causes of shipping problems. Use the following three methods to streamline your process and improve these areas:

Focus On Year-Round Employee Development

Problems often occur because of gaps in knowledge or disagreements between employees about how to handle inventory and/or shipments. Never allow new employees to handle shipments alone until they go through hands-on training with an experienced shipping clerk. They must also show by example that they understand the process and can perform their tasks correctly in a quick and efficient manner. As you make changes to your process, take the time to bring employees up-to-speed through formal training instead of merely emails or verbal updates.

Manage Inventory and Shipments Better

Delays and errors also commonly happen because of poor inventory and shipment management. Instead of relying on a combination of software and print records to track inventory, for example, switch entirely to state-of-the-art tracking software that backs up to the cloud and print hard copies as needed. Additionally, make certain that you or your inventory and shipping manager performs regular inspections and offers tips to employees to help improve individual and team performances and outcomes. Plan ahead before you make any changes as well. Schedule for delays related to new training and attempt to anticipate emergencies. Distribute plans that clearly outline possible emergency scenarios and provide resolutions. For example, a plan might provide guidance on how to handle a sudden larger-than-normal bulk overnight shipment.

Invest In Material Handling Products

Your product inventory and shipment supplies should be handled in the same way that these items are handled in a big warehouse: Use professional tools that make organizing, transporting, picking and boxing everything easier and more efficient like bins, carts, upright and platform hand trucks, lifts, moving supplies and utility carts. To find these and related products, contact a material handling supplier like Garland’s Inc. Material handling suppliers take the guesswork out of buying the right tools. They evaluate your current and near-future business needs and then customize a selection of tools to match.

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