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Inventory Tracking

Did you know that 63% of shoppers say the reason they backed out of a purchase was because the shipping charge was too high? Have you looked into your shipping costs and done everything you can to reduce them? 

We bet you haven’t looked into inventory tracking. If we are right, then you are missing a big piece of the shipping cost puzzle. 

By practicing effective inventory management, you can help keep your shipping costs down. Don’t believe us, that’s ok, keep reading and we’ll show you how.  

Calculate Your Logistics Costs 

Have you calculated your logistics costs taking into account both shipping and inventory costs? If not, you aren’t getting an accurate view of your logistic expenses. 

This ratio of shipping and inventory costs can tell you if you need to reduce your shipping costs or reduce the amount of inventory you currently have on hold. 

How to Calculate Your Cost 

First, figure out your shipping costs for a specific amount of time. Then figure out what your average inventory numbers were during that same period of time. 

Now, take those two numbers and divide your shipping cost by the inventory total. The number you get is the shipping cost as a percent of the inventory. 

Accurate Inventory Tracking Helps Your Business

When it comes to online retailers, accurate inventory tracking has an overall positive effect on your business. This positive influence translates to a better bottom line. 

Companies that accurately track their inventory tend to have better market feedback. This is because they have lower warehouse and customer service costs. They also have fewer out of stock items, returns, and mis-picks. 

By reducing all of these, you have lower shipping and operating costs. 

Reduce Human Error 

One of the most famous idioms we have is “to err is human”, meaning that making mistakes is an inherent part of being a human being. But you don’t want to make mistakes when it comes to your inventory numbers. 

So to fix this consider shifting over to a barcode and scanner system. This can significantly improve your inventory counts. You’ll see the results in the lower occurrences of “out of stock” items. 

Sync Your Channels 

Do you sell your products in more than one location? If so, how are you ensuring that the inventory counts are accurate from one channel to the next? 

If you sync your channels, you no longer have to update the others when one sells an item. The first thing this will do is save you a ton of time, reducing labor costs. 

The second thing it will do is reduce the number of times a customer orders an item, only to find out that it is out of stock afterward. 

Reduce the Paper 

Are you using two different sheets of paper for your pick list and the packing slip? This may seem small, but think about the amount of money you would save by only using one sheet for both? 

When looking at inventory management systems ask if they let you customize your pick list. This reduces the number of steps to fulfill an order and the number of resources required. 

Look to the Pros 

Sometimes the best thing you can do is let the professionals handle the heavy lifting. By working with a company that provides warehousing and freight you effectively streamline your logistics process. 

This means you are no longer paying top dollar for warehousing as you are leveraging their much large space. They also already have a system in place for storage, pick/pack/ship, barcodes, and archiving. 

This lets you consolidate the process into one bill, reduce your overhead in-house, and utilize their expertise. You can also sync their system to yours, which reduces the lost productivity and training costs required in adopting a new system and software. 

Location Is Everything

Now let’s assume you have more than one warehouse. If you aren’t tracking the inventory at each location, you may be spending too much on shipping. 

Say a customer orders a widget. Instead of shipping it from the nearby warehouse, you ship from the further away one. This means a higher shipping cost for you. Then if you promised delivery by a certain day, the cost gets even more expensive for expedited shipping. 

If you knew the widget was in the closer warehouse, you could have spent less, and probably not expedited it. This is because the closer warehouse would have gotten the widget to the customer within the promised time with regular shipping. 

By knowing where your inventory is you can plan our shipments strategically. This will save you on logistics by not shipping products from further away than necessary. 

Take Control of Your Inventory! 

By taking control of your inventory management system, you will reduce your overall shipping costs. Inventory tracking is vital for ensuring that you have the right amount of product to meet customer demand at any given time. 

When you can meet customer demand you have fewer returns, exchanges, and mis-picks. This translates to happier customers and lowers costs for your business. 

Make the switch over to scanners so that you lower the rate of human error. At this same time, you can plan to sync all of your sales channels to give you real-time updates to all channels.

You can then also use this new system to create a single pick and packing list. This will save you on paper costs. 

You’ve reduced shipping costs with inventory management, now contact us to reduce your shipping rates for even more savings. 


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packaging for shipping
packaging for shipping

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that you’ve sent someone close to you a lovely package that will surprise and delight them. There’s also nothing quite like the sinking feeling you get when they call and tell you it arrived in a million pieces… Yes, packaging for shipping can seem like a lottery. But don’t worry, we’re here to show you the science behind it. Follow our 5 tips and spare yourself the heartache of sending a box of bits!

1. Don’t Skimp on the Box

Are you someone who never throws away a box because it “might come in useful”? You’ve got to weigh up the pros of such thriftiness against the potential damage and cost that might ensue if your items are not properly packaged. Boxes that have been used before or have been stored for any length of time can easily lose their strength.

Atmospheric conditions, previous mistreatment and general wear and tear can mean they may give out when you need them the most. Also, even to start with, not all boxes are created equal. There is a big difference in strength between specialist shipping boxes and general moving/storage boxes. Look for something that’s marketed as packaging for shipping, and that is robust enough to go the whole journey in one piece.

Also, consider the size of the box. A good rule of thumb is when packing fragile items, leave at least two inches of space all the way around whatever you’re packing. Then fill that space with protective packing peanuts or other filler.

2. Double Boxing

Whilst we’re talking about boxes, if an item is fragile or valuable, it’s good to think about double boxing. This involves using a second, larger box to enclose the original complete package. A void should be left around the original box that can be filled with packing peanuts to make another layer of protection. This means that even if the box were to be dropped, there are two separate layers protecting your item from the impact.

3. Bubbles are Key for Packaging for Shipping!

Before you even get to the box stage, it’s useful to think about how large your item will be once it’s been fully wrapped in bubble wrap. Again, this is not a time for frugality. A few cents more spent on bubble wrap will save tears later. Consider the shape of the item you are sending. Where is it most vulnerable? Especially with items that are irregular in shape, it is important to take time to wrap them carefully. If not, you could easily leave a section under-protected.

Whether to package items with the bubbles on the inside or outside can also be confusing. The answer is definitely bubbles on the inside. This will keep your items safe and in position, as the bubbles are more protected from bursting. Also, take care to tape it securely. Look at the item from all angles to check for any weaknesses, and tape them up.

4. Fill Those Gaps!

For safe packaging for shipping, gaps are your friend, but only if you fill them correctly. Packing peanuts, the little peanut shaped styrofoam pieces, are the ideal solution to making the gaps a protective buffer between your item and the outside world. Again, don’t scrimp on them. By all means, save them when you get new electronics and use them when packaging for shipping. If you don’t have enough, simply order some online or pick up from your local self-store.

How to Prepare Bubble Wrap

First, fill around a third of the box with the peanuts. This may seem like a lot, but there will be some displacement when you put your item in, and it’s vital to have a cushioned base for protection. Then ensure that any air pockets have been completely filled before the package is finally sealed.

A good test is to close up the package and carefully give it a gentle shake. If there is movement within the box, it is not packed well enough. Open it up and add more packing peanuts.

It’s also worth mentioning at this point, that you should ensure that all slips and enclosures are in before applying the final tape. Removing the tape will weaken the box.

Other Packing Options

Of course, packing peanuts are not your only option of packing material. In a pinch, screwed up balls of newspaper can also perform this job to good effect. Also, you could consider the more stylish option of air cushion packaging. You could even use balled up old clothes or shredded paper for an eco-friendly option (non-confidential of course…)

5. Seal It Well

You’ve carefully wrapped, boxed and packed your precious cargo. Now the time has come to seal the deal. There’s a dizzying array of tapes on the market all making dramatic claims as to how strong their grip is. However, when it comes to shipping boxes, there is really just one reliable option.

Living up to its name, our top recommendation is shipping tape, also known as hot melt tape. This wide, brown favorite might not win any beauty awards, but when it comes to sticking power, it can’t be beaten. Always use a fresh roll, as it could degrade over time when stored, and again purchase a quality tape. Take care to seal all joins and exposed edges carefully.

For additional strength, also tape across the box in the opposite direction to the join.

The Takeaway

So now you know the secret to successful packaging for shipping – great boxes, bubble wrap cushioning, carefully filled voids and careful taping. You can take the guesswork out of packaging for shipping and rest assured it will arrive in one piece. Now that the packaging’s sorted, you need to put your cargo into a trusted, safe pair of hands.

With outlets across the country, we offer a range of services to meet your needs. Whether your shipping is planned well ahead, or you need it in a rush, we’ve got the courier service for you. Click here to see our great services and get a quote for fully tracked shipping.