The number of packages delivered last year increased by more than 800 million proving that e-commerce is a huge part of our economy.
Online shopping and shipping aren’t going anywhere for businesses any time soon. So it’s critical to make sure your shipping practices are as efficient and effective as possible. Leaving no room for errors and lost revenue.
Getting every packaging label printed correctly is a seemingly easy job but is a pitfall for many shipping operations. We’ve compiled a list of our top six tips to reduce the risk of error to keep everything running smoothly and on-time.
- Keep Supplies Stocked
The quickest way to run into problems getting your packaging labels ready to ship is to run out of the supplies you need. That’s a very obvious problem.
Every shipping operation will use a variety of supplies to fulfill their orders, the actual won’t matter as much as keeping a good stockpile on hand at all times. This will include the paper product, ink, stickers, or tape that you use.
It’s difficult to know, especially when you’re first starting out, how many supplies you’ll actually need. You don’t want to run out but also don’t want to spend a ton of money upfront.
The best way to determine how much you should keep on hand is to keep meticulous records for a few months. With that information, you can build up a stockpile to equal a month’s worth (or whatever number you decide).
- Proofread and Double-Check
Wasted costs in shipping departments often come from errors in the packaging and labeling. More particularly in the printed shipping label.
Having the wrong label on your package means it doesn’t get to the right customer. That either leads to you offering a refund, losing them as a customer, or another negative consequence.
Avoiding these mistakes and needs for reprints is crucial to your success and keeping the overhead costs of shipping down.
Proofreading and double-checking before printing can save you a lot in the long run. This simple task will largely reduce the number of errors that make it through and help you feel more confident when hitting print.
While it’s a simple process, it can also be time-consuming. This is why many companies have turned to automated proofreading to save a lot of time and manpower.
- Automate as Much as Possible
Automation shouldn’t just be reserved for proofreading labels for packaging, it should be implemented as much as possible throughout your shipping process. Not only will it save you time, but it will also significantly cut down on human error.
A great way to add in automation is in the address creation step. This means the information the customer inputs automatically enters your system to be printed.
Eliminating any in-between steps that have to be done by an actual human will keep things from getting confused, mislabeled, or just incorrect. Also if you do run into problems, it’s easier to track and see where the issue happened.
You can also automate printing, inserts, and shipping communication with the customer. Implementing all of these things will save you in the long run.
- Update the Software
In order for any automation upgrades to work properly, you must have a system that can handle them. What a bummer it would be to create these great, efficient upgrades to your procedures only to find out they won’t actually work for your setup.
Updating your software should always be a priority throughout your entire business.
When your software is up to date you have access to the latest technology both in the programs you can use and also security. It also helps with the speed at which the system can complete its tasks.
There are so many programs and new technologies available to help with these specific types of tasks. Take advantage of those new opportunities to make things as easy as possible for you and your employees.
- Use the Same System
Along the same lines, another great way to eliminate issues with packaging and labeling is by using the same system for the whole process.
If possible, use the same computer to design or customize your packaging that you do to send it to the package label printer. This way there’s no confusion between systems and the final product will be just what you envisioned.
Many programs work slightly differently on separate systems, so when you open a document on one it might not look exactly the same if you open it on another.
Those slight differences can lead to big problems and even the need to reprint some things, which is money wasted for you. Using the same system throughout the process helps you keep on top of the finished product.
- Check Before It Leaves
A hard truth is that even if you put all of the right systems and checks in place for your shipping operation, there still may be times when a problem comes up.
And that’s why it’s important to create a way for every package to get one last check before it’s sent off to its final destination. This last look allows you to catch any mistakes that snuck through and right them before a bigger issue.
It will also help you address the issues your system may be having for an ever-improving process.
Reduce Errors in Packaging Label and Printing
There are so many things to worry about when running a business and selling physical products. The last thing you need is to have a packaging label printed wrong and have to waste time redoing it or, worse, refunding and losing customers over it.
Getting your shipping process under control and reigned in is one of the best ways to protect your revenue. It helps avoid any surprise charges and keeps your bottom line under control.
If you’re interested in learning more business tips and tricks, check out our other articles!