In a large number of modern day organizations, shipping isn't just a manual process - it's a heavily decentralized one. One package needs to pass through a lot of different hands as it makes its way from one end of the chain to the other. This doesn't just cause labor to often become one of the most inefficient parts of the shipping process - it's also one of the most cost-intensive, as well. Indeed, UPS even lists it as one of the three most important hidden costs that firms must re-evaluate in order to reign in expenses, above both unnecessary expediting and costs that were not properly allocated in the first place.
Saving On Labor, One Strategic Move at a Time
Labor actually inflates your own shipping costs in a number of ways, not all of which are immediately obvious. The longer something takes to ship, the longer it sits in your inventory - taking up valuable space in the process. Many companies usually buy packaging materials in bulk to try to cut costs, but this also introduces its own space-saving issues - meaning that you've got less physical space that you can dedicate to those efforts that are actually making your business money.
To truly save on labor and keep shipping costs low, you need to do more than just eliminate inefficiency. You need to shift from a reactive approach to a proactive one as quickly as possible. One of the many ways to accomplish exactly that involves the use of automated shipping - something that technology has made more accessible and more affordable than ever.
Take packing and shipping, for example. For years, many organizations have had human employees at both packing and shipping stations. One employee packages the product, who then passes it along to a second employee for the actual shipping part of the process.
There are a few problems with this, all of which are worth examining. For starters, every time you introduce an actual employee into an environment you create a situation where human error - and all of its associated costs - are a possibility. Secondly, you're paying two separate employees (meaning hourly wages in addition to benefits, sick days, etc.) to do a job that can be condensed into a single step by an automated solution.
Instead of working with these human employees at all, you can simply automate your packing station to handle both the packing and the shipping parts of the processes. Not only does this reduce errors, but it also dramatically decreases the time it takes to get a product out the door by condensing what used to be two separate steps into one. You save money immediately on employee wages and through increased accuracy by human error reduction. You save money in the long-run as well, as productivity will increase and shipping volumes increase along with it.
It's important to note that none of this is to say that you must reduce physical labor in order to save on shipping costs - far from it. Instead, making an effort to create a more efficient process wherever possible frees up the valuable time of these employees so that they can re-focus their efforts elsewhere. It's not about eliminating human employees at all - it's about reallocating labor costs elsewhere within your organization so that they can move your business forward, instead of spending so much time (and money) on maintaining the status quo as they are now.
The Atlas Container Approach
At Atlas Container, our number one priority involves helping manufacturers reach all of their goals by keeping the costs of shipping and packaging materials down wherever possible. We want all clients to know the benefits of enjoying fast and reliable shipping processes that not only do NOT affect inventory space, but that ultimately bring with them the more important benefit of all: faster, more efficient and more affordable services for your own clients, as well.
If you've got any additional questions about how to save on shipping labor costs to strengthen and reinforce your own processes, or if you'd just like to learn more about the solutions that we offer that can be fully customized to meet your every need, don't delay - schedule your Packaging Prototype today!