The holiday rush is about to start, and the ubiquitous use of technology to purchase gifts, in addition to consumers' desire to get what they want, when they want it and how they want it, pushes retail/ecommerce organizations to their limits. Your organization has been working over the last 10 months to get shipping systems tuned up, implement new business rules and work across the organization to align strategies. This might include employing consultants, which puts your organization at the mercy of outside resources to ensure you are ready. Do you know how you will measure up? 

Organizations are in lock down for 2014, but it’s not too early to begin thinking about future enhancements and technology updates for 2015. Some issues to examine are: 

1. Understanding which carriers make the most sense in terms of cost and time in transit 
2. Ensuring your crews are trained, knowledgeable of SOPs, packaging requirements, and labeling requirements
3. Considering how a multi-carrier shipping application can help the planning and execution during peak season
4. Considering how ERP and/or Order Management System integration along with upstream rating can improve forecasting and eliminate blind spots.

Kewill Flagship is an enterprise class multi-carrier shipping management system that supports complex, high volume, multiple locations, and international and domestic shipping. Flagship can be used to provide rating, export compliance, and multi-carrier carrier compliant labeling and leverages the power of integrated modules including a Configurable Business Rules Module (CBRM) which allows you to easily adapt your shipping processes by setting up and changing business rules without relying on outside consultants.

With CRBM you create business rules on the fly, make changes in real-time, incorporate JAVA script to extend the reach and functionality of them and to handle the complex business logic. Using multiple carriers and services, shipping on behalf of customers, and/or handling complex products that require specialized handling, all create complexity that needs to be managed effectively via “decision trees” that ensure the right process is followed in the right circumstances. These simple, easy to access business rules enable you to proactively manage this year’s holiday shipping strategy. 

For example, as the Christmas holiday gets closer, you can implement a rule to ensure products ordered on a certain date make to it to the customer on or before December 24. With CBRM, you can implement a set of rules to change the carrier and service type to 2-day shipping for all orders going out on December 21 and have that rule expire on December 22. You could then implement a new rule to have packages shipped out next day to get to the customer by December 24. The CBRM can easily and quickly be modified; resulting in better customer service, reduced costs and improved delivery times while meeting all necessary regulatory and commercial compliance regulations. 

As you start to think about your parcel shipping strategy for next year, Kewill Flagship and Configurable Business Rules Module can help:

• Reduce costs
• Create, manage and maintain all the rules in-house by a business analyst
• Reduce reliance on outside consultants 
• Improve supply chain agility
• Make rule changes quickly to respond to market or customer demands
• Differentiate between local, domestic and international shipping
• Apply rule changes on a temporary basis -- holidays or extreme weather
• Provide flexibility and control over your shipping processes

The opportunities are limitless and most importantly they don’t require any coding and they are easy to set up and deploy.