Tag Archives: shipping

Merging-In-Transit

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The concept of in-transit product merging-where, for example, two things are shipped from different locations and then married in transit so that they reach the customer as a single shipment-can be seen as a technique for reducing inventory if the need for the customer to simultaneously receive multiple SKUs is taken as a requirement. If the need for simultaneous receipt is a given, then the concept eliminates the need for inventorying the individual SKUs together. To some extent, merge-in-transit represents an extension of postponement beyond the distribution center walls.

SIMMS 2013’s Shipping and Receiving

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SIMMS 2013 coordinates your receiving and shipping processes, making both smoother and quicker while adding tracking to all important information needed for shipments. Detailed packing slips help you to limit reduce your manual handling while picking lists streamline the order filling you need to perform.

SIMMS 2013 helps you satisfy your customers by coordinating direct shipping from invoices or sales orders as well as from the Fulfillment Manager. Delayed shipments or backlogs in shipping can be seen before any problems become apparent. You have constant view of upcoming shipments and shipments that are already underway. Shipments to the same customer from different orders are easily monitored and detailed box labels make your tracking process easier and more accurate.

Packing slips can be generated from invoices, sales orders and the Fulfillment Manager so when the shipping department picks items from the packing slip, data remains both precise and useful.

SIMMS 2013’s Shipping and Receiving features also empower you to:

• Combine multiple orders into single shipments and save money.


• Enter several lines of instructions in the Shipping Manager if you have important shipping information that needs to accompany the shipment.

• Enter shipment ETAs by selecting the date the shipment is expected in the Estimated Arrival Date field.

• Issue/receive items from/to more than one stock location on a single invoice/receipt.

• Modify receipts to incorporate freight costs and handling charges levied by vendors at a later date. Simply add a line item in the receipt with the price and description of the charge then re-save the receipt.


• Select alternate ship-to locations at the stage of shipping or add a new ship-to address on the fly.

• Track the dates of each shipment automatically by configuring inventory items with their default weights. SIMMS then utilizes this information when shipping (although you can override the weight at the shipping stage if you require).

• Track the number of boxes assigned to a shipment by assigning each box a label and assigning orders (or individual items from orders) to each box within a shipment. This gives you the ability to track how many boxes per shipment were utilized, and what labels were assigned to each of the boxes.

Timely and accurate shipping and receiving is a necessity for any business of repute. For more information on how SIMMS 2013 can help you achieve your best levels ever, visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca today!

Checks for Items and Orders

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A great deal of materials run in and out of your inventory storage locations and many can be mislaid, mis-slotted or can simply go missing. To help your inventory department/team get better at their jobs, we recommend the following ideas be implemented on a schedule known only to the management department:

1) Perform random and detailed checking of loads on outbound trucks at the dock.

2) At least twice each month, call a driver back in after she/he has left the facility. Thoroughly check the load. Check drivers on a random basis.

3) Perform receiving by appointment coupled with a random detailed checking of incoming loads.

4) Commit deliberate errors. Discover what your staff does if, for example, you see that more finished goods than the shipping order calls for reach the platform? Will the shipping clerk return the excess to stock? Will she/he try to divert it for personal use (perhaps in collusion with a truck driver)? Will the clerk simply ship the order without ever knowing that the excess existed?

5) If the bookkeeper and the accounts receivable clerk are not dependable, alert, and honest, disaster can result. Check them by withholding an invoice from each of them and watching to see what they do. Will they miss the invoice? Will they realize that a missing invoice means lost revenue and call it to your attention?

6) Unannounced inspections are another excellent method of checking your preventive procedures. Such inspections are most effective during overtime periods or when the second or third shift is working. For example, one owner-manager popped up on the shipping platform after the second shift left. He noticed a loaded truck parked at the platform and ordered it unloaded. The cartons in the rear were legitimate deliveries, but he found the front half of the truck crammed with stolen goods. The checker, who was hired to see that such stealing did not happen, had gone to sleep and let the accommodating driver load his own truck.

Once employees understand that there is an ongoing effort to discover and hunt down the causes of inventory discrepancies, they will also understand that management is watching. The resulting benefits to your business will make all this checking and testing worthwhile.

Shipping Concerns Solved with SIMMS

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While your business strives to keep your customers happy, trying to make up for delayed shipments can be a daunting task. In most cases, your product — developed, marketed and produced with such care — is already out of your hands before you’re aware that delays have occurred. The disappointment of your package arriving late can put a serious dent in your customer’s satisfaction, no matter how much he or she loves your product. Most often, however, shipping delays can be avoided before your package goes out the door. Some common reasons for delays are as follows:

Communication

Shippers are responsible for a lot of the important communications that make your outgoing and incoming cargo arrive on time, but incoming shipments must also be acknowledged in a good system, and such vital information needs to be shared throughout the system.

Documentation Mistakes

Incorrect bills of lading or other documentation can lead to customs holds , over- or under-billing, payment delays and surcharges. Data entry is the most common root cause of errors, with missing data being the second significant cause. Every word of your customer’s shipping information must be correct, and it takes a reliable system to reproduce accurate shipping labels.

Management of Delays

Not all delays can be prevented but they can be minimized through sound management. The most important step in managing a delay is knowing about it immediately. Automated proactive notifications will alert you of any of the issues about your shipments with notifications being circulated upon final delivery.

Systemic Delays

As soon as your system becomes automatic enough to function without constant monitoring, inefficiencies can still develop. Your system must allow for adjustments as they are needed. You must always ask the question ‘What causes the slowdowns and stops, and how can they be minimized?’ Observe your system, then play around with it. Poorly-timed picking or idle order assembly and all other problems can be improved to guarantee that all of your packages make it to the truck on time.

Your focus on accuracy, communications and efficiency will help you decrease the number of your shipping delays while also being fluid enough to manage those that do occur to minimize the damage. Unpredictable developments such as snow and freezing rain can do a great deal to confuse and delay shipments from your business to your customers.

With SIMMS Inventory Management software you can record any truck or container as a location unto itself so that you can always know its exact whereabouts until it arrives at its destination. Sophisticated tools and note fields encourage the precision that you require, and will breed confidence amongst both your clients and sales personnel.

Contact KCSI today at sales@kcsi.ca to learn more about how SIMMS can bolster your reputation and your revenues. Visit www.simmssoftware.com to gain a more detailed view of SIMMS Inventory Management software.

Shipping with SIMMS 2013

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Shipping may be the very epicenter of your company’s success or failure. SIMMS Inventory Management software provides users the capabilities to calculate shipping by a fixed percentage of the order total, by fixed item shipping costs, or allows for free shipping.

In some cases, users need shipping to be calculated by order total, weight, weight plus geographical zone or total plus geographical zone. In addition, real time rates can be implemented when employing shipping services such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post or USPS.

All these options are easily created and applied using SIMMS.

A rough list of details you should check is as follows:

Preparing Shipment

– Check your contact information – write your details clearly on the boxes by using block letters.

– Check if you ship what you want where you want.

– Check your Required Forms.

– Decide on your shipping method.

– Include the declared value, along with your description of the content.

– List each commodity that you are shipping and provide a detailed description of each.

– Make a booking of a shipment service.

– Package your shipment securely.

– Purchase insurance for your high value items.

– Research your payment methods.

Sending Shipment

– Check for proper labeling of your boxes and bags.

– Match the shipping documents against the shipping labels to ensure correct shipping information.

– Provide a detailed list of the items in your shipment.

– Provide a detailed list with the value of your items.

– Provide a photocopy of your passport.

– Has your shipment been cleared through required Customs offices.

Destination

– Contact the airline cargo office or shipping line agent which has received your shipment.

– Go the customs office and show your passport and your copy of your airway bill.

– Pay any customs or clearance fees that are required.

– Pick up your shipment from the airline cargo office or from the nominated depot.

Contact KCSI today to learn more about how SIMMS can make your business’ shipping needs better. Email sales@kcsi.ca or visit www.simmssoftware.com to learn more.

2013: The Centenary of Malcolm McLean

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2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Malcolm Purcell McLean, an entrepreneur from North Carolina who came up with an idea that completely transformed the world.

In 1937 McLean was in Hoboken, New Jersey, to drop off a load of wool bales from his truck. Having waited most of the day to unload, he had watched the stevedores putting bales into slings then hoisting them one-by-one onto the ships. He concluded that a lot of time and money was being wasted in the current process. His sudden epiphany was that it would be much simpler to take off the rear of his truck and put that on the ship.

He subsequently founded Sea-Land, a company that became the world’s first container shipping line. Employing this new concept, ships could be loaded and unloaded within hours rather than days or weeks. A future concept was to drop off empty containers in countries such as Japan, where they could be filled with exportable items for distribution to wholesale and retail markets around the world.

In 2013, we have seen the advent of ships — 20 of them — commissioned by Denmark’s Maersk Line that are capable of carrying 18,000 containers each, doubling the capacities of the largest ships active only a decade before. McLean could not have foreseen the scope that his idea would acquire, but its influence has truly laid the pattern for all commerce and supply chain ideas that have followed since.

Moving Stock is Priority One

The ongoing challenge of all businesses that promote and sell goods is the investment in stock that sits on shelves or in warehouse bays. The turnover of inventory back into cash is the goal of commerce for these companies. Having enough inventory for the sales that will take place tomorrow and next week is a necessary plan in order to build the business and to lay a path of success. In short, the needed stock for all purposes must be there, and the companies with the best plans will have the greatest revenue and the highest level of customer satisfaction.

The need for order flow — throughput — keeps those involved in warehouse management aware of precisely how many orders have been created and how many units of inventory stock items they will need. In such cases, the purchase orders placed with their company’s various vendors. This streamlines the process by reducing the number of purchase orders created in the system, and enables the items placed on negative stock to be added to existing purchase orders before they go out. SIMMS Inventory Management software incorporates the concept of negative stock, which can be one of the most useful concepts for many businesses to coordinate their stock orders.

When making up sales orders, sometimes users may want to create them while not having the necessary quantity on hand. Negative stock enables users to create those sales orders, save them, and then eventually through the use of backordering, to receive the stock into their warehouses and replace the negative stock with actual items at some future date.

Comprehensive Inventory Management with SIMMS

SIMMS Inventory Management software is an advanced inventory management, accounting and manufacturing system that offers flexibility and growth. It is ready to use and easy to adapt and customize, and is today’s choice for dynamic businesses, both large and small, with an eye toward increasing revenue and productivity.

SIMMS delivers the combined benefits of advanced productivity tools and state-of-the-art accounting and manufacturing capabilities that allows users to operate more efficiently and profitably. Some of these features include powerful drill-down capabilities, advanced reporting, phantom kitting and more. SIMMS Inventory Management software also includes a full suite of modules that are easily customizable to meet a virtually unlimited variety of business needs regardless of your business.

With SIMMS Inventory Software, you can choose the end-to-end business management applications you want from a comprehensive, integrated suite of accounting and manufacturing modules. In addition, SIMMS Inventory Software offers seamless integration, including customer relationship management (CRM), payroll, e-commerce and vertical solutions.

SIMMS Makes Returning Goods Easy

If customer satisfaction is your goal, then you need to provide answers and solutions. One of the more challenging but necessary customer service features is the replacement of goods that have become faulty through design or disfunction. Items arrive at the customer either not functioning or perhaps even when unordered (the customer orders three widgets and receives four accidentally). This RMA (Returned Merchandise Authorization) process must be competent and immediate. The SIMMS Inventory Management Software Solution masters this process for you, with infinite tracking capabilities and precise detail coordination. If your business has the responsibility of managing returned items, contact KCSI today to learn more about how SIMMS can make this important feature easy-to-use and accurate.

Shipping and Receiving: The Meat and Potatoes of Retail Business

The SIMMS Shipping & Receiving Module streamlines the processing of shipments, and gives detailed shipment information early, allowing you to satisfy your customer’s needs immediately.

Comprehensive packing slips minimize manual stock handling combined with shipping directly from your sales invoices on a scheduled date, sales staff are informed of delayed shipments or backlogs and can handle them early.

Packing slips are generated from the invoice itself, so when the shipping department picks items from the packing slip, there is no worry about incorrect data on the packing slip. Estimated arrival dates, shipment weights, numbers of containers can be entered and tracked, multiple locations can be used, multiple invoice shipments to customers can be combined as well as multiple ship-to locations can be coordinated — all these features are included in the SIMMS Shipping & Receiving Module.