Automating Shipping Processes For Greater Efficiency With OneShip

9 January 2024 | BlueBridge One
Automating Shipping Processes For Greater Efficiency With OneShip

The standard shipping process that most companies follow involves a series of steps, all of which are crucial in ensuring accurate, efficient, and compliant delivery. Businesses’ individual needs, resources, and industry regulations are among the factors that influence how shipping processes are structured and implemented. The ideal shipping process for any business is adaptable,  responsive, and prioritises efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.

When broken down, the individual steps in the shipping process may seem lengthy, but as a logistic professional you know they each play a crucial role in ensuring a successful delivery. Automating and streamlining certain steps in this process can go a long way in helping you improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

As a NetSuite user, you are already a step ahead with automating your logistics operations,  however, there is still room to go when it comes to optimising your shipping operations. By embracing technology and automation, you can get ahead of the curve and give your business a competitive edge. This is where OneShip comes in. OneShip is a shipping solution specifically designed for NetSuite, it takes automating and streamlining your logistic operations a step further, with features that can simplify key steps in the shipping process and enable you to optimise your logistics operations. 

OneShip offers you access to over 90 UK and EU shipping providers without the expense of custom integration and lets you manage fulfilment without leaving NetSuite. Let’s take a look at the standard shipping process, step by step, and explore the areas where OneShip can automate these steps for increased efficiency and improved outcomes.

 

A closer look at the standard shipping process

 

Pre-Shipping Process

  • Order Placement: Customer orders are received,  processed, and verified, and because OneShip sits within your NetSuite platform, you save time on admin by removing manual copy and paste of order details. 
  • Inventory Management: This is where the verification that the right products are available in the right quantities, at the right time, and in the right condition is conducted, which is essential to fulfilling customer orders and supporting the shipping process. NetSuite has inventory management features that allow you to get live inventory updates fed into OneShip, ensuring that the order fulfilment process and the shipping process are carried out seamlessly.
  • Picking and Packing: The ordered items are physically retrieved from the warehouse or inventory, checked for accuracy, and securely packed into shipping containers. 
  • Labelling and Packaging: Shipping labels are generated based on the shipment details, ensuring the accuracy of your customer’s shipping details and contain important information such as  destination address, carrier information, and tracking numbers which can take up a lot of admin time due to manual copy and pasting between systems and accuracy is not guaranteed. OneShip streamlines the label generation process through dynamic templates and batch processing. Batch processing allows you to generate shipping labels for multiple orders simultaneously, this reduces label production time from approximately 3 minutes per shipment to a few seconds, improving productivity and enabling staff to focus on higher-priority tasks. 
  • Shipment Consolidation: When multiple orders need to be shipped to the same destination, businesses consolidate these shipments into a single package or container. By consolidating orders, businesses minimise handling fees and potentially reduce overall shipping costs. Consolidating shipments also simplifies paperwork, reduces transit times, and improves tracking visibility, leading to a more streamlined and efficient logistics operation.

Shipping Process

  • Transportation and Carrier Selection:  Once the pre-shipping process is complete, the mode of transportation (e.g., air, road, sea) and carrier that’s suitable for the shipment need to be selected, this is based on factors like distance, urgency, and cost. OneShip saves you the admin time of shipping selection by automating carrier selection based on your pre-set shipping rules –  depending on the weight, country, packages and destination.
  • Package Loading: Once items have been picked, packed, and prepared for shipment they are assembled and loaded into the designated transportation containers or vehicles.
  • Intermediate Handling: In certain cases, shipments may require intermediate handling or transfers between different transportation modes or facilities. Shipments are processed, sorted, and sometimes consolidated at intermediate points or facilities before reaching their final destination. 
  • Customs Clearance: With every international order, goods are required to be accompanied with the correct customs documentation, usually this is a time consuming process documents need to be created manually but also it comes with the risk of losing the physical documents during transit leading to delays in the clearance process. With OneShip, you can generate shipping documentation electronically for your carrier for much faster import clearance.
  • Delivery and Final Processing: Upon reaching the destination, the packages are unloaded and sorted for final delivery. 
  • Tracking and Visibility: Providing real-time tracking information to monitor the shipment’s progress, allowing for proactive problem-solving and keeping customers informed is vital for good customer experience. OneShip saves the tracking link instantly and stores it in your NetSuite for easy access. With one simple click on the tracking link you’re able to track the progress of your shipment. 
  • Post-Delivery Services: Post-delivery services like returns, exchanges, or any additional customer support required after the delivery is conducted to ensure that the overall customer experience is positive for both the benefit of the customer and the business. 
  • Customer Feedback and Metrics: Feedback from customers about their shipping experience is collected and using data metrics to analyse delivery performance and customer satisfaction.

 

The Shipping Process Steps and where OneShip - a NetSuite SuiteApp, helps automate key elements of the process

Case Study: Pravera Optimises Shipping Operations with OneShip

Pravera, a renowned name in the natural and organic skincare industry, faced significant challenges in its shipping operations. They had to navigate through the complexities of post-Brexit trade, including encountering issues with shipping to Ireland, a vital customer base in their portfolio. These challenges arose from unreliable shipping suppliers and cumbersome manual processes, notably in order creation and handling import charges.  Leveraging OneShip’s automation, Pravera optimised its operations and achieved notable successes:

  • Centralised Management: OneShip enabled streamlined communication with NetSuite and automated the ordering, printing, and packing processes. This was a game-changer for Pravera, OneShip significantly reduced time-consuming manual tasks which meant shipping labels were generated within seconds with just one click..
  • Efficient Order Management: The connection between OneShip and NetSuite allowed for seamless sharing of information across systems with visibility at each stage. OneShip expedited the customs clearance process as packages were getting cleared through customs before ever leaving the warehouse which is key to winning their Ireland customer base post-brexit. 
  • Cost Savings and Operational Efficiency:  OneShip drastically accelerated order management and packing, leading to a remarkable 25% reduction in picking time. Increased accuracy in orders ensured better cost control and operational efficiency. 

OneShip has sped up the process of order management, picking and packing for Pravera. “30 seconds after you’ve submitted an order, the labels are coming out of the printer and the packers can get on with it”, explains Nick Sutton. “For the business, there have been things to learn to ensure the app can fulfil its potential, like ensuring weights are recorded on products and HS tariff numbers are inputted, but with OneShip, everything is workable.”

Read the full Pravera Case Study Here 

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