By Kerstin Woods, Toshiba – With the rise of eCommerce, shipping has evolved from a component in the supply chain to a full-fledged customer satisfaction metric and value proposition for businesses to leverage for differentiation.
For example…just a few short years ago, two-day shipping had a high price tag and was considered either a luxury that only some could afford, or a punishment inflicted upon those of us who failed to plan far enough ahead. And, this high price tag made sense because we’re asking vendors to make a lot of process steps in a short amount of time. Considering it’s hard to get kids out the door for school with lunch and a backpack, the logistics process is truly mind blowing.
Logistics start to finish
At the risk of vast oversimplification, a vendor needs to invoice my account, find the item within their warehouse, retrieve the item and maybe pair it with other items on my order that may or may not be located near each other, print an invoice and return label to accompany my item(s), put them all in the right box, affix an accurate shipping label to that box, group my box with others bound for a similar location on a pallet, label that pallet for delivery, and send it on its way through the most efficient transportation mechanism (planes, trains and automobiles…).