Any business is going to involve a certain amount of logistics. For any company with physical assets, there will be times that some of those assets need to be shipped from one location to another. Sometimes, that means moving internal assets to where they are needed next, although most of the time it means shipping consumer goods to clients who have ordered them.
1. Determine Your Delivery Time Requirements
Whenever possible, ship your company assets as far in advance of actual need as you can. Lead time leaves room for delays and lets you take advantage of slower forms of shipping that are often cheaper. While many things can be overnighted, the costs involved are much higher. Such packages are often also handled with a lot less care along the way, risking damaged goods showing up to those ordering from you.
2. Protect Your Assets
As much as you want to save money on shipping, you also have to make sure you minimize losing your assets along the way. To that end, you need to protect any company assets you ship by:
- Packing Them Properly: A package that arrives broken wastes money and hurts your company’s reputation.
- Ensuring Proper Addresses: Dropping off assets at the wrong place disappoints a known customer and can aggravate someone who doesn’t know your business yet.
- Tracking Them: A certain percentage of packages might be lost, but you should do all you can to minimize that number.
- Preventing Theft: Some delivery addresses might not need recipients at the door to sign for packages, but high-value items shouldn’t be left alone.
- Insuring the Contents: As a final line of defense, you should have insurance to cover the contents of everything you ship so you don’t pay for losses out of pocket.
3. Analyze Your Costs
Shipping company assets are never going to be free. You want to spend enough to get things to their destinations quickly and in good condition, but you also want to make sure you save money whenever you can. Determining shipping costs usually comes down to four distinct factors:
- Package Size: If you’re shipping things that can go in padded envelopes, then you won’t pay that much for this. You’ll also have a lot more shipping options you can use. On the other hand, if you need to send a full-sized passenger vehicle, then you need to get at least one car shipping quote, and the number of potential carriers isn’t going to be nearly as high.
- Package Weight: Even a smaller item that weighs a lot is going to cost more than something lighter but the same size. Freight planes can only carry so much weight per flight, and many ground-based shippers still watch out for weight limits on local vehicles. How much one person can safely lift at one time also matters.
- Travel Distance: How far a package has to go will drive up the shipping price a lot. More distance can mean more time, but even an overnight package going a long way will eat up more fuel and room in planes and trucks.
- Travel Speed: Generally speaking, slower shipping costs less. However, it can also make recipients more aggravated if they’re eager to receive the assets in question.
4. Decide on Internal Labor Versus Outsourcing
Depending on what kind of company assets you ship on a regular basis, you might be able to use an internal labor force, or you might choose to outsource it to a vendor. Each has its pros and cons:
- Internal Shipping: It can cost a lot of money to put together your own shipping infrastructure in terms of personnel, locations, and vehicles. Then again, you will retain total control over your own shipping. You can streamline it as needed, and you can train everyone to make sure that your assets are cared for properly instead of just being mixed in with all other kinds of goods.
- Outsourcing: Outsourcing your shipping to another vendor can actually mean saving a lot of money. They already have their own logistical chain in place for moving items, goods, and freight. Since they likely have a much higher volume than you do, they spend less on shipping and can pass those savings onto you while still making a profit. They’re also professionals in what they do. Potential downsides might include not controlling your own asset shipping and being subject to delays when supply chain issues and shipping volumes pop up.
5. Track Performance
As pointed out by Chron, customer satisfaction with your business won’t just be with the quality of the products they receive but also how fast an item arrived, the condition it was in, and whether or not delivery instructions were followed. Depending on what particular assets you ship, customers might be okay with things being left on their doorstep, but others might insist on being home so they can sign for it without risking it being stolen.
For that matter, the accuracy of something like tracking numbers and updates can also go a long way towards the consumer experience. Someone in your organization needs to track all these metrics with an eye on always looking for ways to improve the customer experience and assess the shipping process for improved satisfaction, efficiency, and savings.
Things Aren’t Done When They Leave the Door
Whether you’re shipping company assets to another one of your locations or to your clients, you can’t assume that everything is done when a package, pallet, or cargo container leaves your facility. It might be out of your hands at that point, but just packing it carefully and then giving it to the transportation people, be they yours or a vendor, doesn’t mean everything is done. Nothing is final until those assets arrive safely at their target destination to the satisfaction of the recipient.