In the terms and conditions section on web sites that sell products, the terms “shipping” and “delivery” are often seen. Most customers assume the terms are interchangeable and synonymous; however, despite their similarities, there are important differences to recognize between the two. The terms have risen in popularity with the rise of e-commerce, and online shoppers assume they mean the same thing. Retailers and business owners should clearly make the differences known to customers to prevent complaints.
Customers who are excited about a short shipping timeline may be frustrated with your business if their items arrive weeks later. Making sure they understand the difference between shipping and delivery will go a long way. If you’re unsure of the specific differences, keep on reading.
What Is Shipping?
The term “shipment” or “shipping” refers to the packaging and dispatching of small items that can be sent using the local postal service. Often when shoppers place an order, there is a shipping timeline displayed. For example: “Dispatched within four business days.”
The shipping timeline represents the number of working days it will take the warehouse staff to dispatch the product from the company’s end and shipping charges may vary. It also refers to the date on which the shipment will leave the warehouse of the retailer or supplier.
What Is Delivery?
Delivery refers to the estimated date larger items are sent to the customer from the distribution centre. These items may include major appliances and furniture or products that require installation by personnel.
Delivery also refers to the date the package will arrive to the customer. Delivery charges may range depending on the distance required to get from the warehouse to the customer.
Comparison between Shipping and Delivery
To put it as simply as possible: shipping is the date the product will leave the supplier’s warehouse while delivery is the date the package will make it to the customer’s doorstep. The terms are often confusing for customers; however, you can avoid this by providing two dates: the shipping date and delivery date.
This way, customers will have a clearer understanding of what each term means and how long it will take for their product to arrive. Companies can make this process simpler by e-mailing shipping and delivery tracking information to the customer. The shipping date would let customers know the product has left the warehouse, and the delivery date would give them clarity as to when they should expect their order. Shipping was originally referred to as “dispatching” and delivery is still sometimes known as “distribution.” These previously-used terms give customers a better understanding of their meaning and the process involved.
Get Logistics and Warehouse Management Support with LSS
Lean Supply Solutions’ order fulfillment services in Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC, can help your warehouse management goals work better than ever before. Our third-party logistics, packaging, and supply chain management can streamline your processes for better success. We live by the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to our 3PL distribution team, or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
Smart glasses and multi-functioning watches are two types of wearable technology available to warehousing and distribution workers today. Wearable tech is evolving and customizing to the needs of everyday users and employees in different industries. The use of these value-added services in the warehouse is growing rapidly as it drives performance improvements for companies by streamlining receiving, stocking, sorting, picking, shipping, and other labour-intensive tasks. Are wearables the right solution to your third-party (3PL) warehousing strategy? Here are some factors to consider.
More Agile and Location-Aware
Using wearable technology to integrate with your company’s warehouse management or inventory logistics system can provide huge benefits to employees, overall productivity, and costs savings. These include wearable scanners, voice picking technology, and headsets that issue voice commands. Employees can also communicate through the headset, which allows them to steer, load and offload items without stopping to scan data. Some systems allow for visual cues to be added to the workflow, such as smart glasses, which allow the wearer’s field of vision to assist with sorting and scanning. They display the quantity and type of item required, read barcodes, and identify the correct placement of each item. Smart watches can list potential voice commands or provide an image of the item to improve accuracy.
Multi-Modal Speech Solution
Multi-modal solutions such as hand-free mobile computers allow workers to fulfill their orders faster and more efficiently. These computers enable workers to scan barcodes and use touchscreen capabilities to enter and receive data more accurately than using hardcopy files. Workers can then handle more orders with less fatigue. The multi-modal system includes a wrist-worn computer, wireless headset, and a ring-style scanner, all of which work together wirelessly. Employees can have free hands to do their manual tasks without needing to constantly fiddle with the technology.
Wearable Technology: Three Key Points for Warehouses
Wearables reduce warehouse transaction times by making the process a fluid motion and leaving the hands and eyes free. Smart glasses can scan items for employees instantly, so they won’t need to waste time picking up a scanner, scanning, and putting down the scanner. Large distribution centres and manufacturing plants can save time on hundreds of transactions per day, increasing efficiency and providing monumental cost savings.
Some wearable tech can provide better accuracy than traditional barcode scanners. Ring scanners may provide the same results as handheld scanners, but the simplicity of the ring helps leave the hand free to work better. The level of accuracy depends upon the technology you are choosing—smart gasses are one of the more refined options as the technology is new and nearly limitless in its capabilities.
Since wearables reduce user fatigue, they require fewer repetitive motions and add to safety. Workers can keep their eyes on their task and use both hands for added control. Combined with sensors around the warehouse, wearable tech can also track worker locations and equipment or items that pose potential dangers. Voice-enabled wearables can alert forklift driver about the presence of a worker around the corner and prevent a collision in advance. Wearable tech not only provides information, it also collects it to identify and analyze patterns of workflow to inform management.
How Is Wearable Tech Shaping the Warehouse?
Wearable technology lets workers do their tasks freely without the constraints of computer workstations or scanners that set back the work flow. Incorporating multiple hands-free devices allows workers to follow real-time updates and instructions in their line of sight so they can work faster and smarter. Reducing error rates, keeping the workplace safer and more productive, and adding excitement and anticipation to the warehouse through modern technology will give you company an advantage in customer service and reputation over your competitors.
Streamline Your Logistics and Warehouse Management at Lean Supply Solutions
Lean Supply Solutions’ warehousing and distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver can help your warehouse management goals work better than ever before. Our third-party logistics order fulfillment company provides outsourced supply chain roles that streamline processes for better success. We live by the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, accurate, and quality results. To learn more about outsourcing to Lean Supply Solutions or to ask any questions, contact us at 905-482-2590.
Proper packaging tips can help logistics companies avoid financial loss and reputation damage due to shipping damage, and customer returns on goods in the supply chain. Even if the cases are few, when customers receive their shipment cartons with incorrect labels, or poor packaging resulting in damaged products, it’s your company that will suffer the most in the end. If you’ve experienced problems like these, here are several helpful ways to improve your repackaging in the supply chain so that product return rates and item damage can be significantly reduced or eliminated.
Packaging Types to Consider
When choosing the right packaging and shipping materials, there are several factors to consider. Good packaging should have cushioning, water resistance, rigidity, and void-fillers, especially when transporting fragile items. Some examples include polybags, jiffy bags, and corrugated boxes for the exterior, and bubble wrap, brown paper, single-ply corrugated rolls, and air cushions for interior impact protection.
Packaging Tips to Secure Goods against Possible Damage
The following tips will help you prevent possible shipping and warehouse damage by securing your goods carefully and with the right materials and strategies.
When packaging individual goods in a box, it is important to limit the item’s exposure to cardboard dust. The carton will breakdown slightly during transit, which will leave flakes of dust on the item as it travels. Make sure the item is covered in some type of paper or plastic casing to the end-user or customer so it can be received in the best possible condition.
Inner Carton Packaging
Each item transported within one carton should be individually organized in boxes to minimize excess space and bouncing items during transit. This will prevent units from crashing into each other or shifting around in the carton. Padding such as foam, popcorn, craft paper, or air bags can be added inside the cartons to fill up the space. The less those goods move around, the better; however, be careful not to overstuff and cause the carton to buckle outward. Gently move the box in hand after packaging, and if you hear the items rattling or shifting too much, add more padding.
Master Carton Packaging
Make sure your master carton is corrugated and structurally strong to absorb the weight of other cartons if they are stacked, or in the event of a drop. There are specific guidelines fulfillment centres follow that decide how thick the carton walls should be depending on the items being shipped.
Package Closing Tips to Avoid Damage
It is vital to secure the box or padded envelope correctly to prevent it from opening during transportation. A simple solution is to use a tape gun to efficiently apply proper packing tape along the seal. Packing tape is strong, durable, wide, and waterproof, so nothing will get in the cracks of the carton seal.
Let Lean Supply Solutions Help You
If you’ve missed out on e-commerce cost savings due to damaged or lost items and customer returns, now is the time to change how your team is packaging products. There are several ways to improve this process, but solving the packaging problem is the first step.
By outsourcing your third-party logistics to Lean Supply Solutions, you will get expert and quality packaging, shipping, and handling that saves you money and improves your reputation with customers. Our team of experts can walk you through your supply chain processes and help you find the weak areas and bring you solutions to improve them.
We live by the Lean Methodology, which is a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. We strive to make sure the right products are made available to the right customers at the right time, and we aspire to always offer consistent, accurate, and quality solutions. To learn more, contact us at (905) 482-2590.
The order fulfillment process includes every step companies must take between receiving an order and the product being delivered into the hands of the customer. This process has multiple parts including e-commerce, warehousing, inventory management, and distribution, and each piece of the puzzle must run smoothly for a cost-effective, timely, and satisfying experience for both the company and the customer. One way to improve your order fulfillment services is to boost your inventory solution. Here are some tested and true ways to make this happen.
Speed Up Your Order Fulfillment Process through Integration
By integrating your systems, you will benefit from added visibility into all aspects of your supply chain. These aspects may include demand forecasting, sales, inventory, and logistics. Integrating the sales order management system, the ERP system, which manages financial data, inventory systems, and logistics systems (picking, packing, and shipping) will help your entire fulfillment process will increase productivity.
Automate to Drive Order Fulfillment
One of the most effective ways to speed up order fulfillment is to automate your processes. This doesn’t mean investing in robots or conveyors—it simply refers to making use of software and technology to simplify and expedite activities such as inventory management. For example, using scanners to enter inventory into the computer system as it arrives or leaves the warehouse will help create a more accurate count for future orders. Smaller businesses don’t have to miss out either! There are mobile applications that can be downloaded on your tablet or smartphone, to inexpensively automate these actions. Even the most experienced data entry clerks make mistakes and with the constant flow of your fulfillment process, those errors increase to the hundreds and thousands. If you currently rely on manual inventory processes, you may want to automate your system to bring in accuracy, seamlessness, and the elimination of harmful mistakes such as keystroke errors or illegible handwriting.
Encourage Efficiency while Travelling
Travelling for tradeshows or buying appointments at showrooms can be time-consuming and frustrating if you can’t be around your warehouse. However, having the ability to track your inventory on a tablet or mobile phone will ease your stress and help you make wise decisions for your team. Through the use of special mobile applications, you can see which items are selling well and which items are sitting in the stock room. With this information at the touch of your fingertips, you can order the right items in the right quantities while you’re on the road.
How Lean Supply Solutions Can Speed Up Your Fulfillment Processes
If you’ve noticed setbacks in your distributed order management and want to find the best way to speed up your processes, Lean Supply Solutions can help you. Our team of experts can walk you through your supply chain processes and help you find the weak areas and bring you solutions to improve them. Productivity and speed in the fulfillment chain will increase your positive customer experience and help your employees work more efficiently. Our third-party logistics (3PL) order fulfillment services in Canada live by the Lean Methodology, which is a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. We strive to make sure the right products are made available to the right customers at the right time, and we aspire to always offer consistent, accurate, and quality solutions. To learn more, contact us at (905) 482-2590.