Much like a person trying to get in shape, a parcel shipping business looking to “trim the fat” will tend to try out one approach, then another, this parcel carrier, then that shipping software, whatever package shipping regimen is trendy and then whatever comes into logistics management vogue next. The search for the holy grail of leanness, or in the parcel shipping world, cheap shipping rates, is exhausting, and often futile.
IS PARCEL SHIPPING SOFTWARE OR PARCEL SHIPPING EXPERIENCE MORE IMPORTANT?
This is particularly true when it comes to small parcel auditing. For much of this niche B2B (business to business) industry’s short history, small parcel audit companies have competed for market share by touting their tried-and-true experience in the field. Recently, however, many new competitors have joined in, flaunting the shiny new shipping technology and auditing software they promise will provide the perfect parcel auditing solutions to cure all of their clients’ woes. Confused by this new array of options, parcel and small package shippers as well as freight shippers may bounce back and forth between the two types of auditing (and among the many companies within each type), looking for the quickest and most dramatic “results” — the best small parcel solutions, freight solutions and audit logistics, and access to cheap shipping rates for small packages. In short, they seek the fastest-acting, shipping cost reducing, supply chain management methods possible.
So small parcel shippers and freight shippers still want to achieve the same old goal of getting as much as possible of this “commodity” of best package shipping rates, amid the vast array of potential parcel audit companies available today. Plus, small parcel shipping companies and freight shippers still remain somewhat unnecessarily distracted by that same old philosophical divide over how cheap shipping rates are best achieved by a parcel audit company partner: should experience or technology (i.e., deploying the newest in shipping software solutions, ship management software, ecommerce shipping software, and multi-carrier shipping software) be a more important consideration when selecting a parcel audit company, or a freight auditor?
In fact, experience and auditing software should be weighed nearly equally, with the variation depending on the individual shipper’s parcel shipping or freight shipping needs. It should not be overlooked, however (as it often is), that the parameters of parcel shipment cost-recovery are dictated by the package shipping market, and that the shipping market is made up of the freight providers and small parcel carriers like FedEx, DHL, and UPS whose shipping services are already being audited. The amount of shipping cost recovery, or “recapture of credits,” possible is therefore not infinite. No matter how new and great the shipping software, logistics software, or any other technological aspect of the transportation management system their parcel audit company or third party logistics provider (3PL) uses, a small parcel shipper’s or freight shipper’s costs are already highly predetermined.
WHY SAVING MONEY ON SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT SHOULD NOT ALWAYS BE THE TOP PRIORITY
Since the main commodity (in this case cost-recovery) is basically similar from one vendor to another, does a parcel shipper’s choice of package audit company just not matter?
It really does, because actually, there is much more than cheap shipping rates at stake in choosing the right small parcel auditing company or freight auditing partner for your shipping business. While the parcel cost recovery or shipping cost reduction will not vary much from one parcel audit company to the next (as long as all are aware of the rules and are following the appropriate auditing procedures), the value comprised in data-analytics, or “data intelligence” to be gained from an audit company can vary widely across the field of small parcel auditors and freight auditors. In this respect, “you get what you pay for,” holds true.
Parcel shipping credit recovery is almost 100% automated nowadays, even in terms of the sometimes overlooked back-end solutions that aid in identifying some of the less obvious ways to save money shipping. It is, instead, the more intangible products of the fully-realized, well-functioning partnership between the small parcel shipping company or freight shipper and the package audit company that make the substantive — and valuable — difference.
THE IDEAL SMALL PARCEL SHIPPING COMPANY OR FREIGHT SHIPPER AND PACKAGE AUDIT COMPANY PARTNERSHIP
Some of the ways a parcel audit company can provide value are generated by the demands placed on them by the small parcel shipping company or freight shipper themselves. The small parcel shipper or freight shipping company should select an auditing partner who is willing and able to do some of the “grunt-work” involved in shipping for their client. The small parcel shipping business or freight shipper should also select an audit company partner who is proficient in gathering “back-end” data and eager to share it with the small parcel shipper or freight shipper. The package shipping company must use the back-end data to make strategic decisions. The shipper should select an audit company partner whom they can trust to be vigilant for problems that can crop up (this is where experience comes in), and proactive in alerting the shipper. All of this, in combination with the right parcel audit software (where technology comes in) leads to supply chain management optimization and a satisfied small parcel shipping company or freight shipper.