Shipping Errors are extremely costly – they cost you money in retrieving items or handling the returns and correcting the errors, they cost you customer satisfaction and opportunities for future sales from customers, they cost your people time and effort to restock, repick, repack, and reship items as well as to update your inventory, and they can cost you your reputation.
In this article for Modern Distribution Management, Steve Epner suggests a few ways to reduce shipping errors and save yourself these costs. (The first one may surprise you.)
- Do NOT waste resources and funds by having a checker check each pick. If you have a barcoding system and a properly trained staff, then your checker is costing you more than the few errors that may occur. If you do not have a barcoding system, you can put some of these other suggestions in place to avoid the expense of employing a checker.
- Get started with barcoding by either barcoding all products upon receipt, which can be expensive, or by requesting that your suppliers add barcodes, which may be ignored unless you are a large customer.
- Include weight information in your database so that the expected weight of items and packaging appears on each pick ticket. Then you can compare the actual weight to the expected weight before the box is sealed. If the weights are off by more than 1 or 2 percentage points, then you probably have an error.
All of these suggestions hinge on having a reliable and integrated distribution management system. If your business management solution is not meeting your needs, request a distribution strategy assessment to discuss your needs with an experienced distribution solutions expert today!