Whether you run a small bakery or sell household appliances, shipping goods is an important aspect of any business. Although some goods do require more care than others, all items need to be packed with suitable material. No matter how good your product is, if you deliver an item that is not worthy of being used or consumed, there are chances that you will get a 1-star review, which will destroy your reputation forever! To avoid this, it is imperative to practice proper shipping practices so that you can prevent goods from getting damaged. Our article today will help you walk through the SOPs that you need to follow to make shipping procedures smooth and hassle-free for you and the customers.
The Packaging Process
The first thing that we are going to talk about is the packing of the goods that you are going to ship as packaging makes a huge difference in the condition of the product. You may have to conduct some research on your own to understand which packing materials help to keep your product in the best shape, but if you are shipping fragile items, you will need to be ten times more careful. You can tell just by looking at a box, whether it can sustain an object or not.
Moreover, a lot of boxes already have the ideal weight printed on them. Following the said amount can save your product and your reputation too. A few layers of bubble wrap can do the trick as well. We have mentioned some more tips below to help you pack with care.
- Use good quality boxes: Do not be lazy when it comes to boxes. If the box looks worn out, do not use it. A broken box will probably lead to more damage, and you might have to reship the goods in the worst-case scenario. It is a good practice to use boxes with triple cardboard walls. There is also a good chance that the boxes will be thrown here and there during shipping; this may cause damage to your product if the box is not sturdy enough to take the blows.
- Pack them tightly: Further, you can prevent damage to your products by packing the items tightly. Most items get destroyed because they are constantly hitting the walls of the carton, so make sure there is no space around. You can fill the empty spaces with packaging paper or bubble wrap to minimize any losses.
- Tape it all up: Make sure that you close every seam when you are taping up your box as one small opening can lead to a huge problem. Moreover, use a good quality tape and preferably a tape that is 1-2 inches thick. The heavier the box is, the stronger tape you will need.
- Don’t forget to mark “fragile”: Once you have packaged the items, don’t forget to mark them fragile so that the delivery company knows that they need to handle the boxes with extra care. However, if you are not shipping anything fragile such as clothes etc. you may skip this step! Similarly, if you have items that may be sensitive to the temperature, don’t forget to mention that too.
Shipping Them Off
Once you have packaged your goods, it is also important how they are being stacked in the delivery truck. For example, if you stack the items in the truck, there are chances that they might fall and cause damage and cost you extra money. So, make sure that all items are securely placed to avoid anything falling over. You can also do an extra layer by binding them up in shrink-wrap, but always make sure that the shrink wrap is tight enough and does not leave any room for the products to move around.
Before you send off a shipment, visualize in your mind how the truck would be moving around in case of a bumpy road or over a surprise speed bump. You can work with your delivery driver to ensure the proper handling of the product, and in case any hazardous materials are being packed, they should be aware and take the necessary precautionary measures. Loose products that have a chance of spilling out can be extremely dangerous for drivers and cause risk to their lives. If you have a company-based delivery driver, make sure that he receives the right amount of training to deal with such a situation.
Tracking Shipments and Follow-Ups
Due to the current situation, shipments have been facing delays and disruption. Thankfully, several technologies have been introduced to help track shipments and allow companies to get regular feedback from customers. Tracking shipments is essential to ensure that the order has been transported to the owner as a lost or misplaced shipment is a blow to a company’s profits and leads to a damaged reputation.
Therefore, stay organized if you don’t want any such mishap. You can develop a Customer Management System to help you deal with customer orders and risk management in a better way. If you have a certain number of customers, then it’s best to shift towards an electronic medium as a Customer Management System has records of your customer’s personal information, such as their full name, address, and contact number.
Moreover, you can also keep a record of information such as any additional number provided, mode of payment, or any other information which may seem necessary. Taking follow-up from customers regularly will also foster good relations between you and your customers. They will feel valued and will be reminded to order from you again.
For example, customers report utilizing services from Carpet Cleaning Kent because it ships their carpets immaculately. Consumers of the service don’t have to go and pick the cleaned carpet; instead, the service drops a neatly packed carpet on the consumer’s doorstep and even helps them spread it out in some cases!
Shipping damaged products can be a huge blow to the company’s finances and its reputation. By following the steps above, you can easily protect your business and make your customers happy too!