What most people think of when they are referring to carrier spends, is packages generated from warehouses or shipping departments by dedicated and trained staff. We work with organizations that could have hundreds to thousands of locations that need to be managed to control their carrier cost. Most of the spend never touches a shipping center, is not a core shipping function (including documents, samples, computers etc.), and will be processed by end users with little experience. This creates unique challenges and opportunities for savings that often get missed.
At a corporate level, many organizations will use a third-party company to audit their carrier bills, looking for late shipments or items that do not adhere to their contract. Some entities may also use a service to help negotiate their rates. Where we see the biggest gap is the way the spend is managed inside the organization that can have the largest impact on costs.
We can divide most organizations into three themes of oversight: Centralized, Decentralized or Hybrid.
- Centralized – A carrier provided (UPS CampusShip or Fedex.com) or multi-carrier acquired system is in place to manage the users and shipping transactions. This will have an administrator who controls the users and locations.
- Decentralized – Locations will sign up their own accounts on the carrier websites and manage remotely
- Hybrid – A centralized system is in place at a headquarters or a group of locations, but many are not included and will manage their spends in a decentralized fashion.