The larger a business grows, the more it adds new processes and operations. In time, a successfully scaling business can find that managing all of the new processes and operations can be a serious hindrance.
Which is why so many companies across a spectrum of industries turn to enterprise resource planning software — better known as ERPs.
When a business finds the right ERP solution, it’s like waving a magic wand that integrates disparate processes and operations, including:
- Customer relationship management
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Supply chain management
- Project management
- Business intelligence
- Human resources
- Information technology
- Analytics and reporting
But there’s one function that too often gets overlooked — shipping.
All businesses ship packages and parcels to some degree. Professional service firms may do a moderate amount of shipping, sending marketing materials, paperwork and other documents to prospects and customers. Ecommerce merchants, drop shippers and big-box retailers will do a more substantial amount of shipping, while fulfilling online orders.
Shipping can be a slow, manual, error-ridden process without the right solution. That’s why forward-thinking companies are adding shipping to their ERP integrated solutions to drive more efficiency and to scale their businesses over the long-term.
Manual Shipping is Time-Consuming and Costly
While ERPs deliver a range of benefits to users, those benefits fall into 3 loose categories:
- Increasing efficiency while saving time
- Reducing costs and saving money
- Delighting customers and boosting retention
When you add automated shipping to your ERP integrated solutions, you likewise enjoy a range of benefits.
First and foremost, you get to do away with what’s likely an antiquated system. Many companies are still handling shipping and fulfillment manually, going straight to carriers to print postage and shipping labels, and then spending a significant amount of time packaging shipments, applying labels and scheduling pickups or drop offs.
Of course, an antiquated and manual process is rife with errors. It’s easy to enter an incorrect address when printing postage directly from carriers. It’s easy to slap a label on the wrong package. And it’s easy for shipments to get lost in transit to the carrier or while being moved to a designated pickup location.
Not to mention, the antiquated process described above is time-consuming and costly.
The Benefits of an Automated ERP Shipping Solution Like ShipEngine
ShipEngine is a shipping API that makes automation easy. In fact, ShipEngine is available as a native solution or an easy-to-add module inside a number of leading ERPs. When you choose to add a high-quality shipping API like ShipEngine to your ERP, you can:
- Quickly shop discounted rates across various regional, national and international carriers
- Validate addresses around the world, preventing unnecessary and costly returns
- Print labels quickly for fast fulfillment (without leaving your ERP)
- Track shipments throughout the journey to their end destinations
- Plan for and manage returns
- Calculate total landed costs (including taxes and duties) for international shipments
Of course, you can also choose to invest significant time and money into becoming a shipping expert, building your own system and then investing additional resources to maintain that system.
Or you can add a solution like ShipEngine to your ERP integrated solutions, automate your shipping, and never again worry about the waste and hassle that comes with shipping on your own.
As noted above, ERPs are known to help users improve efficiency, reduce costs and delight customers. And automating shipping with ShipEngine reinforces all 3 benefits. With a shipping API like ShipEngine, your fulfillment becomes more efficient. You reduce the amount of time your team members spend on shipping, and you enjoy access to discounted postage and shipping rates. And, finally, you’re able to delight your customers by providing a fast and reliable shipping experience.
Try ShipEngine Today
We make it easy to get up and running with ShipEngine. You can get a free API key and start building and testing in our sandbox environments. If you’re interested in learning more about adding ShipEngine to your ERP, contact us today.