Unlock the hidden value of your business

These seven steps will help you identify savings, improve customer service, and discover hidden value in your business.

Business owners and managers are always on the lookout for innovative ways to save money. You can unlock some of that value by taking a closer look at your company’s logistics. Here are seven ways to identify savings, improve customer service, and discover hidden value in your business.

1. Get a better handle on your staffing needs. No manager wants to have employees sit idle. Tools like Quantum View Manage® help C.F. Martin Co., a family-owned guitar maker, keep a close eye on incoming shipments. “Logistics is an integral part of dovetailing the schedule and the craftsman with the raw materials,” CEO Chris Martin says. It helps him keep track of exactly which materials will arrive when, so he can staff appropriately.

2. Create an easy-to-use returns program. When your returns process is unnecessarily complicated or time-consuming, three things can happen: your employees lose valuable time, your customers lose patience…and then you lose customers. That’s why it’s important to make your returns process—or any reverse logistics—as convenient as possible.

3. Take control of incoming shipments. Sure, you need timely shipments from your suppliers. But do you need each shipment sent overnight? Probably not. You can take control of how suppliers ship to you—and get the credit for the overall shipping volume—by asking your vendors to ship on your UPS account. It’s a simple step that can add up to significant savings.

4. Minimize pickup interruptions. Even if each interaction with a carrier’s driver takes only a few minutes, those minutes add up over weeks and months—especially during your peak-shipping season. White Flower Farm president Lorraine Calder estimates that her Connecticut nursery saves at least $1,200 a year simply by relying on UPS to handle pickups for all shipments—whether ground, air, or international.

5. Use a less-is-more approach with packaging. Ideal packaging uses the least amount of material to keep products safe during transit. The UPS Package Design & Test Lab can help you find that perfect balance point by testing your current packaging and making suggestions for greater efficiency.

6. Make your systems “talk” to each other. When Todd and Steven Messineo realized that an outdated order processing system was holding back Budget Golf, their online golf supply store, they called in the experts at UPS. We recommended a vendor partner to integrate their ordering, inventory, and shipping systems, and that made all the difference. They’ve since become nimble enough to move 10 times the amount of packages—without having to increase staffing.

7. Turn your customers into brand evangelists. Happy customers return to their preferred businesses again and again, and they refer new business too. Enhance service with tools like Quantum View Notify®, which provides your customers with proactive delivery notifications that include their tracking number and expected delivery date. As an added bonus, you’ll also dramatically reduce WISMO (“Where is my order?”) calls, saving your staff time—and your company valuable resources.