Learn how IBM i (AS/400) Power users can streamline their shipping operations and increase their parcel throughput with ease
Up and running since 1988, IBM i (AS/400) operating systems (now Power Systems), are a cornerstone of many businesses’ shipping operations. In fact, the AS/400 platform is used in over 100,000 companies including Fortune 500 companies that use IBM i Power systems. As these systems have stood the test of time, their reliability, scalability, and durability have remained strong, which is why they are still relevant in today’s modern business environments. IBM i (AS/400) Power systems act as a central hub for various business functions, including those related to shipping and distribution. For those in the parcel shipping industry, these systems play a critical role in managing the various aspects of daily shipping operations.
E-commerce and customer expectations have surged over the last few years. This has caused the pressure for shippers to handle increased parcel throughput to grow in tandem. As businesses find themselves grappling with the challenge of managing an increased volume of packages, they must find an efficient solution to help them navigate this quickly changing environment to remain competitive. For shippers relying on IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, there are strategies and solutions that can empower your business in tackling the ever-growing demand for efficiency. Let’s start by looking at potential challenges you may face if you fail to adapt your strategy.
The Challenges of Handling Increased Parcel Throughput
While increasing your business’s parcel throughput can point to many positives, such as business growth, improved customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage, it is not always an easy undertaking. A quick spike in orders can stretch a company’s staff and resources thin without proper planning. Operational bottlenecks and a slow down or halt in tasks due to inefficient processes can result in order processing delays, late shipments, and unfulfilled customer expectations.
As mentioned previously, there has been a substantial increase in consumer demand and expectations surrounding the delivery of their products and customer service. Because of this, there is a heavy pressure on shippers to ensure they meet order fulfillment timelines and delivery promise dates. This requires businesses to adapt their shipping operations quickly to meet high order volumes and keep their customers satisfied.
As a reliable system for over 35 years, it is no wonder that the IBM i (AS/400) Power system is one of the world’s “most popular business computing systems”. However, because it has been around for so long, it is considered a legacy system by many – mainly because of other, newer solutions that have been released since. In fact, many companies with IBM i (AS/400) Power systems still have homegrown shipping solutions that may not be as adaptable or efficient, making it hard to keep up with increased throughput demands. Because of this, it is crucial for shippers to find scalable and efficient technologies that can seamlessly grow with their operations and provide the adaptability they need to keep up with such a dynamic parcel shipping landscape.
Strategies to Handle Increased Parcel Throughput Like a Pro
While the challenges of managing increased parcel throughput are evident, there are several strategies for shippers utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to empower them to tackle these obstacles effectively.
Automating Order Processing
Order processing automation is crucial for businesses experiencing an increase in demand. Implementing the automation of tasks such as order entry, address validation, and order routing can minimize the need for manual data input. Overall, this significantly reduces the possibility of human error and allows businesses to handle increased parcel throughput with ease. When integrated into IBM i (AS/400) Power systems, order processing automation substantially improves the precision and seamlessness of order fulfillment, delivering a streamlined processing of orders and efficient dispatch of shipments.
Rate shopping is an invaluable strategy for shippers utilizing IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to efficiently handle the challenges that come with increased parcel throughput. Rate shopping technology gives shippers the ability to compare and select the best carriers and rates for each shipment, allowing them the opportunity to stay cost-effective for both their business and their customers. Incorporating rate shopping into the shipping process also guarantees a reduction of overspending on shipping costs while ensuring users can make well-informed decisions in real time, guarantee timely deliveries, and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.
Real-Time Tracking for Customers
With the high expectations consumers hold today, real-time tracking and visibility to their orders is extremely important. Shippers can utilize their technology to provide their customers with tracking information, providing them insight into every step in the shipping process of their order. Notifications of early, on-time, or shipping delays make deliveries more convenient for consumers, as well as builds trust with the business, enhancing the overall customer experience. IBM i (AS/400) Power users can achieve this through integration with shipping software, like a multi-carrier shipping software solution, ensuring real-time tracking and visibility for their customers.
Incorporating dimensional weighing technology can significantly boost your company’s parcel throughput. This strategy is critical for IBM i (AS/400) Power users to integrate in order to get accurate rate calculation and cost-efficient shipping. It ensures accurate pricing based on the dimension and weight of parcels, minimizing discrepancies between manifest weight and actual weight. Not only does this technology lower shipping costs and allows businesses to handle increased parcel throughput, but it also results in substantial labor savings. [Learn more about dimensional weight pricing and unexpected shipping costs.]
The list of strategies for shippers using IBM i (AS/400) Power systems to handle increased parcel throughput goes on, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was one comprehensive platform that combined all of these strategies into one helpful solution?
Introducing: Varsity Logistics’ Multi-Carrier Shipping Software Solution
Varsity Logistics has stood as a top-tier supplier of multi-carrier shipping software for companies in need of parcel shipping capabilities for over a decade. Designed exclusively for IBM i (AS/400) Power users, our comprehensive parcel shipping suite is seamlessly integrated, hosting various top tier supply chain execution modules engineered to handle even the most intricate small package shipping.
Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel seamlessly integrates with ERP, legacy, and Order Entry systems running on IBM i (iSeries, Power, AS/400) systems. It delivers a unified and automated shipping solution that ultimately eliminates manual data entry and significantly reduces shipping costs for your business. This solution incorporates several technologies to apply the strategies for businesses to handle increased parcel throughput discussed above.
Within Varsity’s ShipSoft-Parcel solution, ShipSelect automates the carrier selection process based on factors such as transit time, cost, and carrier service. It chooses the optimal carrier for every shipment, following business requirements and routing guides. ShipOptimizer technology finds the ideal containerization process and accurately predicts shipping costs before processing the order. SpeedWeigh allows shippers to automatically retrieve the package weight from the scale which is pulled into the system at the time the order number is scanned. This eliminates the need for an additional get-weight barcode scan or manual entry, ultimately saving your business processing time and money.
Varsity’s multi-carrier shipping solution is a unified platform that encompasses automation, order processing, dimensional weighing, real-time tracking, and more. This all-in-one solution optimizes operations, improves efficiency, and guarantees the effective and successful management of increased parcel throughput for those operating on IBM i (iSeries, Power, AS/400) systems. To learn more about Varsity’s Parcel shipping solution, the additional execution modules, and how our software can transform your shipping operations, contact our team of shipping experts or request a demo.