What the steps are in your shipping process?
If the answer is no, now is the time to find out—and if the answer is yes but you don’t have it written down, it’s time to do that too. Getting the process out of your head and onto paper will help inform any team members or last-minute family “volunteers” helping you fulfill orders during busy periods.
To figure out what your process is, pay close attention to the next few orders you ship, or check in with your team if they handle fulfillment. Make a list of each step, and write down how long it takes (approximate times are fine).
For example, it might look like:
Open order to review (30 seconds)
Get all of the ordered items in one place (1 minute)
Get out appropriately-sized packaging (20 seconds)
Package items and put them in the shipping parcel (2 minutes)
Include any “extras” in the package, like coupons or free gifts (30 seconds)
Secure package with tape and a branded sticker (30 seconds)
Print shipping labels (1 minute)
Attach shipping label to package (30 seconds)
While you’re outlining the stages of your process, look closely for any bottlenecks, and note how long each step takes to complete. Is there anything you can do to streamline those steps or make them more efficient?
Shaving 30 seconds or a minute off each shipment might not seem like much, but if you’re handling ten shipments a day, that’s already five minutes you (or your team) could spend on something else.