In today’s fast-paced world, businesses are increasingly reliant on the rapid delivery of goods to meet customer demand. Expedited shipments, which promise fast delivery times, have become a critical component of supply chain management for many companies. To meet these expectations, warehouses need to ensure that expedited shipments depart on time. This requires careful planning and where optimizing operational cutoffs can help.
Operational cutoffs refer to the times when various processes in a warehouse are “cut off” or stopped to allow for order processing and shipping. Traditionally, cutoffs have been set based on the schedules and capacity of transportation providers such as airlines or trucking companies. For example, an airline may have a cutoff of 2:00 pm for same-day shipments, in order to allow time for loading the cargo onto the plane and ensuring it departs on schedule. While these cutoffs are important for ensuring efficient transportation, they can also be a source of frustration for shippers and customers.
Companies should consider a few key strategies to reduce challenges and optimize outcomes:
1. Identify products that require expedited shipping: This process might include products that have short shelf lives, are in high demand, or are being shipped to a location with a shorter delivery window.
2. Determine the cutoff times: Once the products that require expedited shipping have been identified, you’ll need to analyze the time required to process the order, pick the product from the warehouse, pack it, and prepare it for shipping.
3. Automate the cutoff process: Enforce consistency by using warehouse management software that monitors cutoff times based on real-time data, such as the number of orders received and the status of the inventory.
4. Provide incentives for early orders: Discounts or free expedited shipping for orders placed before a certain time can incentivize shoppers looking for deals. The result is a smooth order flow and shipments that are processed and shipped out more quickly.
6. Offer multiple shipping options: Companies can give customers more flexibility in choosing the speed of their shipments by offering same-day, overnight, and two-day shipping options, each with different cutoffs.
7. Collaborate with Maergo: In addition to rethinking cutoffs, partner with a company that invests in technology and specializes in 2-3 day average delivery times. As an end-to-end outbound ecommerce parcel carrier, Maergo gets your parcels from point of origin to destination by optimizing the first, middle and final mile. Using our extensive network of sortation and transportation partners,our customers take advantage of shipping flexibility that UPS and FedEx are unable to provide.
Optimizing warehouse operational cutoffs have meaningful benefits for both your warehouse and customers.
By ensuring that expedited shipments depart on time, you’re more likely to meet your customers’ (high) expectations for fast and reliable shipping, as well as increase operational and cost efficiencies by reducing the time and labor required to process orders.
Getting serious about operational cutoffs can be a real competitive differentiator as shipping and delivery and meeting customer expectations become an even more important component of your end-to-end brand experience.