How to Automate Shipping: Automated Shipping Explained

One person can only fulfill so many orders in one day. You can hire additional employees to help with packaging shipments for delivery, but the more people are involved in the fulfillment process, the more order management and planning you must do. Adding more people to the operation means that you must spend more time on inventory management. At some point, eCommerce shipping work starts to take up all of your time, and you are always busy with shipping labels and shipping slips.

What is Automated Shipping?

Automated shipping is when you use software solutions to provide fulfillment services. It often involves tracking the items that customers have ordered during shipping. Shipping automation is a necessary step when companies want to scale their operations. You can choose different shipping automation systems, depending on the size of your company. If your business is big enough that you use an external warehouse, then you need to automate your shipping operations.

Why Should You Automate Shipping?

You should automate your shipping processes because it will help you reduce the cost of picking, packing, and shipping your product and it will save you time. Some eCommerce platforms include features that enable businesses to automate their shipping across multiple warehouses. When you use automated shipping technology, every member of your team can work more efficiently. You can increase the number of orders that your company can fulfill in one day, while also improving the accuracy rates of your orders.

What Are The Advantages of Automated Shipping?

Time is money, and eCommerce business owners only have 24 hours in a day, just like everyone else. You are losing money when you personally spend time packing and tracking orders, since entry-level employees can do these tasks, and artificial intelligence can also do some of them. Your time is better spent writing a blog for your company, and gathering information for market research. If a task is something that does not require long-term planning, you can automate it. Automating your shipping processes will help you increase your sales and save time, money, and stress.

Improve Efficiency

Automated shipping relies on software that can instantly analyze data. Your shipping automation software knows which items are where and when you need to reorder them to avoid stockouts and also create a situation where you store only as much merchandise as you need. It enables you to track the status of inbound and outbound orders. By accessing the online portal of your shipping automation software, you can see whether everything is in its place and view options for correcting errors in real-time.

Optimize Your Supply Chain

One of the benefits of shipping automation is that it enables you to manage both the incoming and outgoing categories of your supply chain. Software is much better at analyzing large volumes of data to see how long it takes your orders to reach their destination through USPS, for example, and at ensuring that each box leaving your warehouse falls within appropriate weight limits.

Provides Real-Time Analytics

Not only does automated shipping software analyze data from other sources, but it also gathers and analyzes new data. You can use this information to make decisions about reorder points or about transportation and freight carriers. You can print reports from the software’s analytics or share them online with other decision-makers in your organization. Instead of paying extra for analytics, you should just invest in an automated shipping software package that already includes analytics features.

Spend Less Money

Shipping automation software offers various packages with varying numbers of features. You should only pay for the smallest number of features you need. If you have chosen the appropriate package, it will enable you to save on costs while still letting you grow your business. Automated software can do in seconds what it takes a team of employees an entire workday to do.

Reduces Human Error

Machines can make mistakes, as everyone who has ever operated a computer or smartphone knows. In addition to making far fewer mistakes than humans, though, the software can correct its mistakes much more quickly. If something goes wrong with an order, you can search the data and history in your automated shipping app to diagnose the problem. You can then correct the problem in only a few clicks.

Repurpose Resources

The purpose of automation in eCommerce is not to replace human employees with machines; creating jobs is probably one of the goals of your eCommerce business. Rather, you can give your employees tasks that only humans can do; these tasks are usually more interesting and enjoyable than the tasks you entrust to your shipping automation software. Instead of downsizing your workforce, you can accomplish much more work with the same number of employees.

How to Successfully Start Automating eCommerce

The first step to automating your eCommerce business is to automate your shipping processes.  You should choose a software suite that includes an automated shipping feature. As you continue to scale your business to an even bigger size, you should upgrade your eCommerce software to include even more features of inventory management. Remember, the more your software does, the more your employees can do.

Ways to Automate Your eCommerce Shipping

You can automate your eCommerce shipping by entrusting the shipping aspect of your operations to a warehouse management company. You can get a comprehensive package of services where a management company will handle automated shipping, setting reorder points and other elements of supply chain logistics. If your company has its own warehouse, then you should choose a software package that works with your existing warehousing system.

What Are Automation Rules?

Automation rules are tasks that you entrust to an automated program. Examples of automation rules include adding prospects to a list or assigning prospects to a specific user. Every automation task includes three components, namely triggers, conditions, and actions.  In other words, you program the software to know what to do and in what circumstances to do it.

Challenges of The eCommerce Shipping Process

Without automation, eCommerce shipping is labor-intensive. Even when your products are in high demand, you can only fulfill as many orders per day as you and other employees of your company can fulfill. This leads to long wait times, dampening the growth of demand for your products. You can solve this problem by automating your shipping process, which makes your company more efficient.

Best Practices For Utilizing Automated Shipping

To ensure that shipping automation technology saves on costs and increases worker productivity and customer satisfaction, you should be clear about your long-term goals. Your decisions about the future of your business should determine the commands and features you select in your shipping automation software app.

Key Takeaways

Automated shipping is a necessity for all except the smallest eCommerce businesses. It reduces errors and supply chain disruptions. It also makes interactions with your company stress-free for customers and employees, while helping you keep overhead costs low and production more efficient.

Automatic Shipping FAQs

You should ask a lot of questions about shipping automation software before you choose the right software suite for you. These are some common questions that eCommerce business owners ask before implementing shipping automation software:

What Is Automated Order Fulfillment?

Automated order fulfillment is when you rely on data and technology to manage most elements of the order fulfillment process. Artificial intelligence can handle warehouse picking, packing, and labeling. It can also know when to reorder stock and when to restock each item.  Automation can also help you track packages.

How Do I Start Automated Shipping?

The best way to get started with automated shipping is to contact ShipHero and discuss your shipping automation options with a ShipHero representative. By choosing the proper shipping automation package, you will get the best possible return on your investment.

Can Shipping Be Fully Automated?

The automated warehouse equivalent of a driverless car is still in the future, but it is possible to automate many aspects of the shipping process.

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