Product Update – August 2017

Product Update - August 2017

Product Update – August 2017

We continually roll out new features for your convenience and to make the most of your experience of ShipHawk. As we see a demand for enhanced options, we add them to our interface. From expanded reports to integrations here’s what we’ve added for our Product Update – August 2017. Have a look and try out the new settings for yourself.

1. Expand your reports

Now you can generate reports with even more data than before. For improved results, we’ve added three new columns to the reports CSV:

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Shipment Creator: Will show the user’s email who created shipment

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Last Modified: Will show the last modified date and time

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Child Tracking Number: User will now be able to see child tracking numbers for shipments with multiple packages

2. Edit products directly from product list page (beta)

Rather than click-through each product to update, you can now make changes from the list page. Add/edit product information including:

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Name

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Item Data (dims, weight, etc.)

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Description

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Customs Information

3. Select shipments & print aggregate labels from the shipment history or batch shipments pages

This feature is designed, like the product edit feature, to save you steps in the customization process. We’re simplifying the dashboard and your workload.

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Select a subset of the batch and generate an aggregate label (on-demand)

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Aggregate labels for any subset in the list after the offending label

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Subdivide the batch result into smaller collections, whereby they can print smaller aggregates

4. Create manual order via web portal

Create orders via the web portal using account preset settings. Access actions when you select one or more orders (the order button is now consolidated under the Actions tab).

5. Add actions to shipments list page

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Bulk update statuses

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Bulk print documents

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Create new shipments

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Delete shipments

6. Modify line items for commercial invoices

Support as many order line items as are on a shipment and increase item description from 30 to 50 characters for commercial invoices. This expands your invoicing options, creating an enhanced experience for you and your customers.

7. Add a rating rule action – “Do not use this carrier type”

Now, you have the ability to limit carrier types returned via Rating Rules. If you don’t want a specific carrier showing up under certain circumstances, set a rule to make it so.

8. Support UPC and Weight in order line items when creating an order

Specify UPC in the order line items section of the order create form and that data will flow through to the order.

9. Netsuite API fulfillment integration

Store your NetSuite credentials in ShipHawk and, when those orders are shipped, we create “Item Fulfillments” in NetSuite with the tracking information. Once tracking information is received it’s immediately updated.

10. Stitch Labs Integration

We’ve integrated the Stitch API and offer it as a potential integration for all ShipHawk customers. What does this mean?

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Retrieve any order and pull in tags from Stitch into ShipHawk.

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Once fulfilled in ShipHawk, we send back carrier information, shipping cost, and tracking information.

Why Your Business Should Be Integrating a TMS

integrating a TMS

Why integrating a TMS is best for your

business 

When offered shipping software, some business owners are skeptical. Why fix something that isn’t broken? The harsh reality is that while legacy solutions may still work, for now, times are quickly changing. As buyers’ expectations change and businesses continue to grow, legacy solutions are quickly becoming outdated and inadequate to handle the changes. Integrating a TMS can help your business meet these expectations and grow your bottom line.

integrating a TMS

While there are many transportation management systems (TMS) out there, there are four valuable components that all shipping solutions should be able to offer their customer:

1. Automation

Order fulfillment can be a lengthy and expensive process. In order for businesses to ship a package, they must go through multiple steps: pick the correct box, carrier, shipment type, print labels, schedule pickups, etc. While this may be fine for small orders, once shipping volumes begin to increase, businesses can no longer afford to manually engage in such a tedious process for each shipment.

By leveraging a transportation management system, order fulfillment and management no longer have to be roadblocks. In addition to optimizing each step of the shipping process, having an automated system means fewer errors, manual work and time spent on shipping packages.

By streamlining the supply chain, business owners are able to fulfill orders faster and more cost-efficiently, allowing for higher profit margins and higher customer satisfaction.

2. Certainty

With legacy solutions, business owners are often left guessing and hoping that they made the right decision for their shipment. In contrast, shipping solutions give business owners control over their shipments. Out goes estimation and in comes predictable margins and certainty.

For instance, multi-carrier rating software automatically calculates and compares the shipping rates from various carriers to show owners the most cost-efficient options, all with the click of a button. On the other hand, packing optimization software is able to calculate the optimal box size based on the actual items that make up each order, regardless of how uniquely shaped or fragile an item is.

Through the use of such services, business owners are able to have full cost-transparency on their shipments, allowing for greater cost-visibility for the customer.  This results in lower shopping cart abandonment rates and higher customer satisfaction. Through such solutions, business owners no longer have to base their decisions off of guesswork and can continue to focus on what matters: growing their business.

integrating a TMS

3. Convenience

To put it simply, integrating a TMS makes life easier by reducing the manual work you need to put in for each shipment.

For example, with a platform like ShipHawk that offers a unified tracking system, businesses are able to aggregate all of their carriers’ tracking updates into one platform. With real-time updates, businesses no longer have to constantly contact several carriers at a time for customer tracking updates, and customers no longer have to keep visiting third party sites (or picking up the phone to call customer service) to keep track of their packages.

integrating a TMS

Furthermore, many shipping software API’s offer auto-generated shipping labels and bills of lading for user convenience. The best transportation management systems aim to cut out the middle-man (third party websites, customer service reps, etc.) and simplify the customer’s shipping experience with proactive order updates.

4. Growth

Most importantly, transportation management systems gives your business the bandwidth to grow and take advantage of the opportunities created through features such as automation. In addition to the reduction of shipping costs, shipping software can help businesses streamline their growth by offering data and analytics tools.

With a TMS like ShipHawk, businesses gain access to margin analysis, customer profitability, shipping trends, and reconciliation. By being able to leverage such data, businesses can allocate resources to proper areas and save thousands of dollars in addition to the shipping costs already saved.

Overall, there are many benefits that come with utilizing a transportation management system. Whether your company wants a more transparent tracking system, a foolproof comparison of carriers and packaging options, or simply to stop losing profit margins to high shipping costs, integrating a TMS software can be a great solution to the problem.

Although each company will have specific needs, if a shipping solution can provide these four areas of value, it might be worth taking a closer look.

Why Packing Optimization Matters

packing optimization matters

When it comes to eCommerce, every penny counts thats why packing optimization matters.

The traditionally thin margins that are often associated with eCommerce must be protected at all costs. But what if there were actually areas that could not only be optimized to maintain margins, but also grow them? This is where shipping strategy and packing optimization comes to play.

Most people see shipping as a necessary evil and an unavoidable added expense. However, on the contrary, the most successful eCommerce companies actually use shipping as a differentiator and growth mechanism. One place we can look for low-hanging fruit, ripe for improvement, is packing optimization. So, what is packing optimization? It is the simple practice of using the smallest possible box for shipping of any order, regardless of piece count and size. By  leveraging hardware-free dimensional pricing mechanisms, your company can use this as a means to mitigate shipping costs and even increase profit margins.

A common way to calculate packing optimization is to use a hardware-free dimensional pricing calculator that finds you the most cost effective service and box size to minimize business expenses. By doing so, businesses can then provide optimized in-cart pricing directly to buyers, which reduces shipping costs while also increasing conversions.

While using a dimensional pricing calculator gets the job done, just imagine if your software could automatically determine the optimal packing for a mix of items without any human intervention on your part.  Not only would you save money on shipping, time, and labor costs, but you would also eliminate the chance for human error. That’s what hardware-free dimensional pricing and packing optimization software is all about!

If you choose to use shipping software to utilize packing optimization, the next question is, which shipping software should you select? There are many factors you must consider, but the very first step is determining what your needs are.  Do you ship parcel, LTL or both?  Do you need software that is able to rate shop both parcel and LTL options? Do you need software that determines when a large quantity of boxes would be better suited for LTL shipping or when a pallet would be more cost effective to ship as loose boxes?

While there are a number of ways to achieve dimensional pricing optimization for every need, not all options are hardware-free. Some 3rd party softwares require hardware and software to provide packing optimization, so it is critical to spend enough time determining what your needs are and how you need the software to work.  It may be helpful to visualize how you currently fulfill orders and try to pinpoint where you would benefit from such efficiencies, which often includes removing a step or two from your current fulfillment process.

Another thing to keep in mind is carrier flat rate boxes. Through packing optimization methods that include hardware-free dimensional pricing calculations, you can implement a system that determines when it is more cost effective to leverage a carrier flat rate box instead of a standard box.  By using software capable of making these decision on an order-by-order basis, you will ensure that every shipment is priced appropriately and can be confident you are not giving your hard earned profit to the shipping companies.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with a hardware based solution or hardware-free, the sooner you implement a packing optimization method into your fulfillment processes the better.  This will allow you to reduce costs, increase business, and free up resources to focus on what matters most: continuing to grow your business.

Why Dimensional Pricing Software Matters

dimensional pricing

Why Dimensional Pricing Software Matters

Ever since 2015, the process of weighing your best shipping options for ground delivery no longer included taking into account a package’s actual weight. Why do businesses no longer factor in actual item weight when shipping anymore? This change occurred two years ago when major carriers, such as UPS Ground and FedEx Ground, stated that packages were no longer charged based on item weight but rather off of dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is defined as the amount of space a package takes up, not the actual weight of the item. You can calculate your package’s dimensional weight by multiplying the length x width x height and dividing it by your carrier’s specific dimensional divisor. Always make sure to round up to the next whole number as well.

Ex. Dim weight (1,728 cubic inches)/166 (UPS Dimensional Divisor) = 10.40 → 10lbs . Based off of dimensional pricing, you would then pay to ship a 10lb package.

DIM_Weight_Hero_960x250

Seems like a pretty simple formula. Package your item in the smallest possible space to avoid spending the maximum amount of money. However, even though your item’s metrics will never change, that doesn’t mean that carriers can’t change their dimensional divisor sizes. In fact, as of January 2017, FedEx decreased the size of their dimensional divisor, thus increasing overall shipping prices. As a result, no matter how you package your items, because of the lower dimensional divisor size, packages will begin to be weighted as “heavier”, and therefore be more expensive to ship. With leading shipping companies increasing shipping prices, it is only a matter of time before additional companies follow their suit.

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