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Your multi-carrier shipping software can provide your business with a competitive edge. You need to make shipment decisions in real time and offer your customers choices in terms of cost and delivery time. Multi-carrier shipping software ties into various carriers to provide you with up to date pricing and real-time package tracing. Look for shipping software that simplifies your outbound logistics and integrates with your in-house business systems. Integration with your existing systems in addition to various carriers is a key factor in selecting a shipping software solution that makes sense for your business. You want to streamline your whole shipping process while gaining access to more information so you can provide your customers with more visible data while keeping your costs low.
No. If you know you are going to ship with multiple carriers, do not get locked into using a different piece of shipping software for each carrier. That would mean you are making the decision about which carrier to use without being able to analyze the different costs and benefits of each in real-time. Fedex ups shipping software, as well as shipping software that works with other carriers as well, is available on either a stand-alone machine or a multi-user system. If you only have one shipping clerk, your fedex ups shipping software can probably run on a single computer in a single location. When your business grows such that you need more options, expand into a multi-user system that is well integrated with your other internal software applications.
Shipping software is an important part of your total software solution. You want your shipping software to be integrated with the other parts of your business software, such as CRM, order tracking, inventory management, and accounting. Some software available only works with a particular carrier but you use multiple shipping services make sure you get a multi carrier shipping system. Costs can vary dramatically. Don't pay for features you don't need--but don't go for the low cost solution and get shipping software that doesn't really support all your needs and causes you to do data entry in multiple places.
A shipping software solution can lessen the amount of time necessary to prepare shipping documents and eliminate orders. Instead of looking up shipping rates and zone charts and calculating total costs by hand, a shipping software solution provides you with all that instantly. You can easily compare rates from different carriers and increase the accuracy of your shipping charges so you don't accidentally over or under charge the customers. In addition, many shipping software solutions help calculate dimensions and weight overcharges so you can see at a glance the best carrier to use for a particular shipment. Rather than having to train your shipping clerks on multiple systems, use shipping software that ties into multiple carriers so they only have to learn one piece of software and one method of preparing and tracking shipments.
A multi carrier shipping system provides you information about the best shipping options avaiable for you from multiple carriers. Most businesses can benefit from using multiple carriers to provide their customers with the most flexible shipping choices. You need to decide whether your business is such that you can do all the work from a single stand-alone system or if your multi carrier shipping system needs to support mulitple people in multiple places. If you do international business, make sure your shipping software can support that. Labels should be able to be printed for multiple packages within the same shipment. If you are doing ecommerce, look for a multi carrier shipping system that will keep your customers upated about shipment tracking via email. The shipping software should also integrate with your other in-house software packages, such as accounting, and provide customized reporting on shipping information.
Many web-based shopping cart programs include modules that interface directly with web-based systems from leading shipping providers like UPS, FedEx, DHL and the USPS. These modules allow direct setting of shipping prices, order drop-off and pick-up, etc. But how do you make sure your shopping cart works with your favorite shipping providers? Ask and read before you buy. Not all shopping carts work with all providers. If you go ahead and purchase without studying beforehand, you might end up with a web-based shopping cart that doesn't work with your favorite shipper.
Look to your online shopping cart program to connect with major carriers like FedEx, UPS, DHL and the USPS to allow buyers to automatically choose shipping options and have the costs added onto their totals in real time. If your Internet shopping cart doesn't do this, it's going to take a lot of extra work on your part to calculate shipping costs yourself and add them into the bill. Remember the ecommerce mantra: If you can automate it, you can save time and money.