Friday, December 23, 2011
After The Season’s Selling Game, It’s Time for Post-Game Analysis
After the big game, fans file out of the stadium, players retire to the locker room for ice baths and showers, and talking heads find the biggest headlines, flashiest highlights and maybe a conflict or two. But even after the game is over, the coaches’ work continues. After the post-game talks and interviews, coaches have miles of game tape to review. What went well? What did the other team do? Who are my stars, and who needs help? What do we need to fix? What can we do to make things more efficient, to improve communication, to win more?
For many businesses, the holiday shopping season is THE big game. Everyone prepares for months for one big push of sales. The best time to ask the post-game questions is when they are fresh in everyone’s mind, right after the game ends. Even if the necessary changes are not immediately put into place, the notes will be the starting point when planning for next year.
Check everything: from marketing to sales, receiving to shipping, management to first-line employees. Talk to employees—chances are, they know what their biggest headaches were, and they will be quick to tell you. Very likely behind those “headaches” you will find portions of your processes that are inefficient time-hogs. This is where attention needs to be paid, and creative ideas found for the future.
The shipping process is a frequent topic on industry blogs and websites. That’s because the transition point where your product leaves your hands and goes to your customer’s is a crucial, unforgiving part of your business. Everything has to be just right for this process to work smoothly, and what works when sales are slow can suddenly be difficult to sustain when order volume swells. Here are some specific questions to ask about your shipping process
Accuracy: Is the address correct? Are you incurring address correction/returned package charges? Do your labels print correctly? Is the correct and most efficient shipping method being chosen for every package? Is your customer receiving their package in the time promised? Is everything still accurate when volume goes up during the holidays? For most, this topic is the highest priority. When everything is accurate, things run smoothly. Mistakes are expensive and take lots of extra time to figure out.
Speed: How long does each order take, from picking to packing to staging? How many orders are going through per hour? Is there a particular bottleneck to your system? And, how long does it take information to get from shipping to customer service and accounting? Chances are there are just one or two parts of the process that slow everything else down. If you focus your attention there and make improvements, the whole business will notice things running more smoothly.
Cost: Ok, so what’s the bottom line? How much did shipping cost us this year? How much employee time is spent on processing those outbound shipements? And, most importantly, how much did we profit? Are there places we can reduce costs without sacrificing accuracy or speed? Could we save money on the shipping costs from the carriers? Are there other carrier options that I haven’t considered before? CPS shipping software users can ask the question-how much more would I have to spend if I was using only one carrier to ship my packages? Both accuracy and speed can impact cost as well, but check out your shipping reports. Taking a strategic look at your shipping spend can offer a lot of insight into your customers’ behavior as well as give you an idea of what to negotiate with your carrier representatives.
After auditing your business’s operation, did you find any places where your software was the culprit? CPS shipping software from Harvey Software provides an accurate, fast, and cost effective solution for your multi-carrier shipping system needs. The software pays for itself with just moderate monthly volume, and many other benefits makes it a no-brainer. This blog contains many informative posts regarding specific CPS features that can improve your business processes. Of course, you can always find out more about CPS shipping software at http://www.HarveySoft.com, or call us at 1-800-231-0296.
Posted by Harvey Software, Inc. at 10:30 AM