10 tips to running a smarter business

Tried-and-true strategies to boost your bottom line.

Some companies always seem to find a way to save a little more, re-invest a little more, and profit a little more. How, exactly, do they do it? Here, several successful UPS customers offer up their best suggestions for making your company shine.

1. Embrace new technologies. In the past year, Mayer Fabrics, a textile fabric wholesale distributor, grew 35 percent but didn’t add a single staffing position. CFO Steve Mayer attributes this to early investment in a barcode system that simplifies inventory control and integrates their shipping, ordering, and billing systems.

Products like WorldShip® can help you increase efficiency and streamline your company’s data entry.

2. Reach out to colleagues—and competitors—for ideas. Mayer says he bounces ideas off his counterparts in other industries. He’ll even ask industry colleagues what works best for them. “The better information you’re equipped with,” he says, “the better your chances are of obtaining your goals.”

3. Reduce, reuse, recycle. “A lot of our product comes in cardboard boxes, and a lot of the ones we don’t reuse we recycle,” Mayer says. “You’re saving on dumping costs, and it’s always an environmental consideration, too.”

4. Go paperless—and aim for errorless. Reducing paperwork saves material costs and cuts down processing and filing time. That’s why Pantone, makers of color communication tools, went paperless, integrating its order and shipment processing to lower the risk of errors on international shipments.

Using resources like UPS Paperless® Invoice can help you reduce errors, fines, and delays.

5. Rethink your packaging. Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating used to ship its healthy prepared meals in packages that triggered dimensional shipping rates. Brian Emerson, the company’s corporate manager, pushed to reduce carton size, which saves an estimated $250,000 per year. He also switched to Bubble Wrap, which is cost-effective and better for the environment.

The experts at The UPS Store® or the UPS Package Design and Test Lab can help your company find ways to save money.

6. Choose the right shipping option. Use the shipping service that best meets your needs. Sempermed USA, maker of medical and industrial gloves, uses its shipping system to match speed to need, enabling the company to scale back on rush orders.

You can use resources like the UPS Calculate Time and Cost tools to get accurate rate and delivery time estimates.

7. Store products closer to market. To ensure a continuous supply of its product—even in the event of a natural disaster—Shire Regenerative Medicine, maker of a wound-care skin substitute, divides its temperature-sensitive inventory between its California warehouse and the UPS distribution center in Louisville, KY.

Resources like UPS warehousing and distribution services can provide a viable alternative for your business.

8. Upgrade your business knowledge for free. As Skates on Haight transitioned from a neighborhood San Francisco skate shop to a global e-commerce business, its owners signed up for a free export seminar. They found that this is a great way to stay abreast of industry changes.

9. Automate your repetitive processes. Solutions such as batch processing, integration of distribution lists, electronic billing, and automated e-mail alerts of key shipping events can save your company time and money while improving customer service.

Tools like electronic billing can keep your staff and customers updated on important information.

10. Become a global shipping expert. Sooner or later, your company will seek new markets abroad. And it will be up to you to figure out how to get the product to them.

When your company is ready to expand, we can help you navigate the complexities of global trade.