Improving operational efficiency

The best retailers run things efficiently by automating simple business processes. Each year, millions of parcels are shipped by courier, and retailers have to provide those couriers with customer information; names, addresses, parcel weights and dimensions, export information, and delivery instructions. 

Anyone who has ever spent any time doing data entry will understand just how long this can take; even copy and paste is time-consuming when there's enough of it. At busy times of the year, it's all to easy for companies to get snowed under and fall behind, causing stress for staff, and delays for customers. 

A much simpler solution is simply to automate this process. Instead of employing someone to manually move data between two systems, just get the two systems to speak directly to each other. With something as straightforward as order fulfillment, an integration is risk-free and straightforward.

Courier integration with IXO Commerce

A courier integration is an essential part of an enterprise business platform - ask us how one could help you.  

I need an integration

Operational efficiency is about cutting out repetitive tasks 

Bursting at the seams

In peak periods, retailers typically receive an increase in orders of anywhere from 100% to 1000%; their business systems need to be able to cope.

Is yours one of those that struggled to cope this year?

The most time consuming jobs are those that involve manual data entry, and manual order based task can leave the company particularly vulnerable; business processes that are adequate 90% of the time will always fail at the most crucial moment. 

That's why a lot of retailers look to automate their courier management. Whether it's using a website to give the customer a choice of delivery method or day, or using a set of automated rules to select the right courier to fulfil those choices, automation saves time, stress and money. 


Automation is efficiency

Benefits of automation

The ultimate goal is to simplify your workstreams so that your business systems handle all of the repetitive work that's part of a modern retail operation. 

Priority delivery

Enterprise eCommerce should allow retailers to present the customer with a variety of delivery options; that way, they can select the right one. 

Pick a day

Allowing customers to pick a day at checkout cuts down on telephone conversations and makes delivery scheduling easier.

Eliminate manual data entry

If your staff are manually entering consignment data into courier platforms, look for an integration to save them time and you money. 

Delivery fulfilment

Warehouse teams don't have to make granular decisions if you build global rules; 5kg parcels can go to Courier A, 10kg parcels to Courier B.

Courier integration

At its simplest, an integration with a courier's portal is a straightforward data transfer. Rather than manually entering customer addresses and parcel dimensions, or having to copy and paste between web browser tabs, all consignment information is automatically sent direct to the courier.

This allows you to benefit from some real operational efficiencies; the list below are just some of the advantages you might enjoy:

  • automatically receive shipment data into the courier's platform
  • print shipping labels with a single click from your eCommerce website
  • pre-fill essential shipping information for export, such as country of origin and commodity code, from data already stored elsewhere

In short, a courier integration makes your warehouse significantly more efficient.

Shipping aggregators are perfect if you have more than one shipping partner

Shipping aggregators

Sometimes, rather that integrating with a single courier, it might be worth looking at a shipping aggregator. Companies like ShipTheory and ShipStation work as middleware between the sales platform and the courier.

The key benefits are about centralisation and choice. You should choose this option if you:

  • use more than one courier
  • want to automate the selection of courier based on complex rules
  • want to centralise your label creation across multiple suppliers

An aggregator lets you pick and choose between multiple couriers. You only need one integration, which reduces costs, but you retain all of the choice.

Order information is exported in exactly the same way as a normal courier integration, but within the aggregator's interface, you'll be given the choice as to how to fulfil each order.

Even better, if you want to change courier, you won't need to change your integration. The aggregator will allow you to click a button to switch between suppliers quickly and simply. 

So you need a courier integration?

If you're finding that your business is being held back by manual processes, then we can help. Adding a shipping integration will increase your operational efficiency, saving both time and money. IXO Commerce integrates with a variety of couriers as standard, as well as several shiping aggregators; a few examples are below. If you work with a courier that isn't listed below, just get in touch.

IXO Commerce is a digital operations platform built specifically for the modern retailer

IXO Commerce

Manage your business with workflow automation tools that enable you and your team to get things done.

Work efficiently with a modern and intuitive user interface.  Monitor your business with quick access to sales reporting and order exports.

Management screens can be customised and saved to speed up day-to-day tasks.

Would you like to know more?

1st December 2021