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The hassle of constantly searching for the best provider and price used to be one of the largest sources of lost man-hours, but thanks to Multi-Carrier Software (MCS), this task can be completed in a flash. Things such as streamlining the customer experience and finding the optimal shipping solution can be effortless with the right choice.
And for those reasons, in today's blog post we will take a look at the most common features offered by various MCS platforms and see how they can benefit a growing venture.
Adding such a helpful tool to your business is a big decision so it’s best to go in knowing, at the very least, what you are looking for. And while this blog post should give you a good idea of what you should be looking for, the next logical step is getting your MCS up and running. For that, reach out to the experienced team here at Redwood.
Okay, let's take a look at what exactly an MCS is...
TMS is shorthand for Transportation Management System and is a bit of an umbrella term that often covers MCS as well.
However, there are some big differences between the two and each are simply better suited for different business models. Understanding those dissimilarities is as important as any other aspect of conducting business.
Larger suppliers with regular shipping needs receive the most benefit from a more general TMS setup. These tend to include an all freight approach and are generally based on more consistent fixed shipping rates. For companies with considerable volume needs, that sort of pricing can save capital over time, so it only makes sense to work with a system that already caters to that pricing scale specifically.
What if you don’t have such a demanding or consistent need, or don’t have the warehouse space to store large quantities of stock? This is where the more flexible MCS option starts to shine! So let’s highlight some of the key ways that might help you choose the right system for your company.
Unless you have a locked-in, long-term contract with a carrier, then you are at the mercy of the ever-fluctuating highs and lows of shipping costs. The key attribute of all good MCS providers is the compilation of all current rates and providers that are servicing the needed routes. This allows businesses to save over time by always being able to offer the most cost-effective solution at a moment’s notice!
That is excellent news, especially for e-commerce businesses that do not have a warehouse, and instead, ship directly from the source to the customer. When shipping from and to various locations it can be difficult to keep track of every single shipment.
Again, the implementation of a solid MCS will be able to remedy this fairly easily.
Speaking of keeping track of things, allowing the purchaser to see exactly where their shipment is at any given moment is a feature that will add a level of pizazz to your business. Many MCS providers feel the same way and offer options that include real-time status updates in a centralized location, taking the air of mystery out of expected delivery times.
Peace of mind like that is priceless for both sides of any transaction! Trust us, your customers will thank you for it.
Multi-Carrier Software can compile labels and send them to the shipper, taking away the headache of manually tracking label data or a human worker possibly sending a product to an incorrect address.
Besides the labeling information, a good MCS will also ensure that the product order sheet is delivered to the warehouse to begin the packing process. Now the time that used to be spent checking and sending every single request manually can be spent elsewhere, fulfilling other pressing tasks.
Depending on your specific needs orders can be fulfilled as they are made or can be held in batches until a predetermined limit is reached.
Returns are an unfortunate reality in the world of commerce, from customers changing their minds to receiving the wrong items or damaged goods. When a product needs to be returned for any reason, your MCS is again a valuable asset.
Just as it centralizes the process of outbound orders, so too is the returns process, from shipment to restocking, is now all in one place.
With everything else being consolidated into one centralized location, wouldn’t it be nice to also be able to see your total sales figures and shipping costs? You guessed it, as an added perk to using some MCS is just that, although it is always best to double-check.
Having easy access to data like that can make the process of your next big business decision much shorter and far clearer.
The addition of Multi-Carrier Software can be a game-changer for the right ventures. The seamless integration of all the shipping needs of smaller companies can make the struggle of small businesses that much less by guarantying the best rates and quickest service. It wouldn’t do much for the larger global leaders where a more traditional TMS is enough, but then MCS was made for them.
There are several different providers out there, and finding your perfect fit will take some looking. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into what those features can include and show you which ones you really are focused on.