Although it’s always the goal, the idea of making sure each small parcel shipment is “optimized” for cost and service is not always realistic. Even calculating the cost of a single delivery is very complex when you think about all the fees, surcharges, and discounts factored into each one. But, it’s always the aim of logistics professionals like you to be managing costs as tightly as possible while still maintaining the right service levels — it’s what you do.
Right now, even just figuring out the right level of cost detail to be watching is a challenge. A LOT is going on with supply chains these days, and you likely have other priorities — from dealing with jammed-up ports to finding carrier capacity. So watching for and finding waste buried in your parcel invoices may not be at the top of your list.
After all, being overcharged or hit with small surcharges is usually not a big deal when it’s infrequent. The insidious problem is that even small costs that happen repeatedly will add up to big costs over time. The good news is the data and information you need to keep your parcel operation optimized is already in front of you. You just need to be able to see it in a way that brings hidden excess costs and inefficiencies into the light.
Using a Business Intelligence tool is an effective strategy to bubble up those extra small parcel costs you may be overlooking. If you are unfamiliar with this type of tool, you can learn more about it here: Read This If You Think You’re Ready to Use BI to Improve Your Parcel Shipping Operations.
Depending on your situation, that may just be a starting point. If small parcel shipping is one of many responsibilities on your plate, you’ll likely want more proactive assistance from your Parcel BI tool.
Making your parcel data actionable is your goal. A BI tool with an Alert feature that pushes notifications of high or excessive costs hiding in your parcel spend is an effective way to achieve that. Utilizing technology that can quickly triage those extra costs and issues allows you to focus on solutions and strategies that will save you big money.
Here’s a simple example of how an alert can be helpful. If you never ship cartons with any dimension longer than 36”, you can set an alert if any carton longer than 36” appears on your bill. That’s likely a carrier measurement issue, and you may be eligible for a refund.
Here are some other potential charges that alerts can help flag and mitigate:
- Additional Handling Weight
- First / Early AM
- Invalid Account
- Large Package
- Large Package Corrections
- Overmax / Unauthorized
- Third-Party Shipments
These alerts are a unique feature of TransImpact’s Parcel Spend Intelligence platform. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a live demo to see how it works as well as other ways our SaaS+ solutions can give you the tools and insight you need to optimize your small parcel shipping operations.