Most businesses face a double burden when it comes to shipping: the cost of shipping items to the business and the expense associated with shipping products to customers. Both can have an impact on how much customers pay to shop with a particular brand. While shipping costs are a direct expense, the outgoings that the business has to cover in its own operations will also be factored in to the eventual overall cost to customers. So, with all of that in mind, where can some savings be made?
Consolidate your shipping
Whether you’re shipping in supplies and raw materials or shipping out products, there are often savings to be made by consolidating shipments with one service provider. Shipping costs are usually calculated on the basis of volume so the more you can ship with one provider the better the discount will be. You could also save on some ancillary costs this way too, such as packaging.
Be proactive about seeking refunds
Many of the big shipping providers offer guarantees when it comes to timeliness of delivery and if these are not met refunds are often possible. As there can be consequences for your business where there is late or sluggish delivery, it’s always worth being proactive about refunds where expectations have not been met. This may not save you a great deal in terms of shipping costs but could help to cover any refunds you have had to provide to customers as a result of not getting their order on time.
Make a logistics plan for your own deliveries
Most businesses are pretty good at working out the best way to obtain raw materials at the most attractive cost. Or to find a more cost effective way to produce a product. However, all of that value can be lost without carefully planned logistics. When you’re pricing up what you sell, the cost of getting supplies delivered can be a significant factor in how much value you can really offer to your customers. If you want to squeeze this as much as possible then you’ll need a logistics plan that takes advantage of discounts, such as reductions for volume orders.
Negotiate the rates that you pay
It may often seem as if the shipping rates you’re given are completely set in stone. However, even with some of the biggest providers there is the opportunity to negotiate to find a pricing structure that is better suited to your business. There must be benefits on both sides for this to be successful. However, overall most shipping providers will be looking to secure ongoing business and if this means negotiating on the price there is usually the scope to do so.
Shipping can account for up to 25% of overall costs so it makes sense to spend time – and invest resources – in managing it more effectively. Our logistics solutions are designed to help our customers find new ways to streamline business costs to take advantage of opportunities – contact UCS today to find out more.