This article originally appeared in the March/April, 2018 issue of Mailing Systems Technology.

Operating in multiple locations, either in different states, offices, or parts of a campus, can create challenges when it comes to managing an organization’s shipping and mailing processes. Beyond the mail center, desktop and remote shippers add complexity, making it hard to capture spend totals and create efficiencies.

Consider, for example, the university with thousands of faculty members, some of which use the school’s mail center to send, while others handle their mailing and shipping needs remotely. Or what about the multi-location law firm, with dozens of attorneys managing client needs, and the medical center that processes significant volumes of ship requests on a daily basis?

A digital enterprise-wide solution can bring clear visibility into the breadth of sending needs and spending habits. Here are some of the obstacles organizations face without one.

Using Multiple Carrier Accounts

Remote senders may use their own carrier accounts or visit retail locations to process shipments, paying above and beyond an organization’s established carrier rates. Often times, related costs appear on individual expense reports. In these instances:

  • Organizations miss out on the benefits of established rates;
  • Shipping expenses may be reported differently, depending on department or location;
  • Businesses lack a complete view and control of carrier spend, which is vital data when it comes time to negotiate rates.

Understanding Workflow

Disparate processes and silos leave organizations in the dark when it comes to establishing best practices and understanding the full impact of shipping on the bottom line. Without clear sight into mailing and shipping behavior – who is sending what, when, and how – businesses struggle to define workflows and create efficiencies. You can’t drive new, cost-effective processes if you don’t know what behaviors are currently in practice.

Knowing Your Choices

The ability to easily compare shipping options helps ensure you are using the right carrier at the right rate at the right time. Without a solution that offers this to all senders, organizations can miss out on opportunities to save.

Cloud-Based Solutions Make the Difference

Cloud-based, multi-carrier solutions can help organizations achieve complete control, visibility, and accuracy over shipping and mailing operations. They bring mail centers, desktop users, and remote shippers alike onboard one application, giving a simple, complete view to organizations. This has several benefits:

  • All sending activity and costs are captured on one platform
  • Workflows are standardized, which helps minimize errors and curtail expensive sending habits
  • All shipments benefit from negotiated carrier rates, helping to reduce overspend
  • A view of multi-carrier options help employees make smart choices each time they send

Plus, cloud-based shipping solutions offer an alternative for organizations that do not want an on- premise product with IT dependency and related costs. Plus, their streamlined analytics and reporting create efficiencies for accounting teams who previously may have been tasked with reconciling bills from multiple sources.

Resolve to Take Control in the New Year

For enterprises looking to harness all shipping and mailing, consider the benefits of cloud-based, multi-carrier solutions. Offering clarity and control, they’ll help you make smart sending choices every time, from every location, for parcels, flats, and mail.

Aaron Videtto, Director of Office Shipping Solutions at Pitney Bowes, has extensive experience designing, building and delivering global, user friendly, enterprise-class sending and receiving solutions for mobile, SaaS, and on-premise needs.