From order to delivery, do you handle your delivery process as efficiently as you can? Efficient delivery management saves hours of manual work, reduces human errors, improves customer service, and speeds up warehouse routines and deliveries. Here are our top 10 tips for efficient delivery management.

1. Integrate Your WMS, ERP, or E-Commerce Back-End System to Your Delivery Management System

A seamless integration between systems relieves you of manual re-entry of order information when producing shipping labels. If systems are integrated correctly, your shipping labels can be printed automatically without even entering your delivery management system. This means you also reduce the risk of human errors and speed up the handling of deliveries.

2. Automate Your Shipping Rules

By automating the choice of shipping method through a system of rules, you save time on shipping, as your warehouse staff don’t have to remember and manually manage your company’s shipping policy. Moreover, by automating your shipping rules, you can lower your freight costs and utilize your carriers’ strengths, allowing you to pick the best shipping methods for your shipments — every time.

3. Print Speed: Shipping Labels and Freight Documents

Using the system integration mentioned above, it must not take more than one second from the order number being scanned and retrieved from another system to the label being printed automatically. The integration should also support print of freight letters, dangerous goods documents, and other freight documents.

4. Pick Orders Faster

There are several things to do to pick orders faster: Design your order list in relation to the location of the products in the warehouse, pick several orders at once (batch picking), consider how much time is devoted to picking of goods, consider the right way to handle different sizes of the products to be picked, and investigate if humans or robots are able to do the picking faster at your warehouse.

5. Pack Shipments Faster and Cheaper

It is faster to pack a shipment when the package is the correct size for the specific product. It is worth the effort to choose a slightly more expensive cardboard box if it means faster packing and, thus, time and resource savings. If you use stretch film for your shipments, you can often choose a lower thickness of stretch film, which adds several meters to the roll. This means fewer roll changes and faster packing.

Read more: 7 tips: The best way of packing shipments

6. Implement Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) augments human capabilities and eliminates routine work. AI can optimize your delivery management in a ton of ways: customer service chat-bots, image recognition where AI extracts information from a picture, anomaly detection, quality assurance through picture-, video- and data monitoring, prediction of delivery times, fraud detection cameras, delivery robots etc.

Read here: How to implement AI in your business

7. Use Multiple Carriers

Some carriers are great for fast delivery of small parcels, and others handle odd-sized deliveries very well. It is therefore wise to use different carriers’ services; don’t just go with the carrier that offers the cheapest freight. Choosing the right mix of carriers for your needs is not only cost-conscious, but also ensures that you are able to offer your customers the best delivery options. By using a system that supports multi-carrier shipping, you make it easy for yourself to integrate with multiple carriers.

8. Offer Track & Trace and Notify Your Customers

Customers want to know the current status and expected delivery time of their parcel. By offering track & trace and notifying your customers about delivery time, you not only get happy and satisfied customers, you also reduce the number of calls to your customer service department. If your customers contact customer service for tracking parcels anyway, a fast track & trace system will reduce the customer processing time significantly.

9. Process Returns Efficiently Internally and Externally

When improving handling of returns, you have to look at which type of products get returned and how your infrastructure (i.e., warehouse and staff) and delivery management system supports returns. Also, make it clear to your customers how they return products and make this process as easy as possible. For example, let them return in store; send them a return label together with their purchase or via email; or let your customers generate their return label via your website. All this helps maintain customer loyalty.

Download our guide to management of returns here.

10. Keep Track of Your Shipping Costs

Identify the different costs in connection to shipping, such as carrier rates, environmental fees, transport surcharges etc., and keep an overview of your freight costs. Use return data from your carrier to compare with your own data to see if the carrier’s rates are correct. You can evaluate the deviations through invoice control reporting so you can check if you are being billed as expected.

If you are sending shipments that you want to insure, here is a fast way to insure your shipments.

If you are sending dangerous goods, you might want to take a look at our quick guide on how to manage shipping dangerous goods as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Lotte Weichenfeldt Schjøtt is Communication Consultant at Consignor, a leading Delivery Management software company, where she writes news articles and press releases about Consignor’s software developments and organization. Lotte is also the Editor of Consignor’s blog Universe of Delivery, where she writes articles about e-commerce, logistics, delivery and transport.