If your business sells on multiple platforms and you are manually checking each different platform for new orders, stop.
You or a member of your team is likely spending hours each week checking marketplaces, updating inventory, and manually marking orders as shipped. Order fulfillment and shipping is obviously a necessary part of your e-commerce business, but it should not be eating up your time.
Enter a transportation management system or TMS.
Transportation management systems are lifesavers for many companies, but how exactly do they work, and how do they connect to the e-commerce marketplaces your business sells on?
Marketplace and Sales Platform Integration
Most transportation management systems connect to marketplaces through a simple integration. For example, if you wanted to connect your Etsy shop to ShipCaddie, you would navigate to ‘Integrations’ under ‘Settings’ and begin the process of connecting your shop. If you sell on multiple marketplaces and platforms, you can connect all of them.
Once all your marketplaces are connected and your orders are automatically being pulled into the TMS platform, you can simply click and ship, and shipment labels will be generated for your shipments.
Business Rules or Pre-Set Settings
One of the main benefits of a TMS is consolidating all orders to one place, but another huge benefit is that they allow users to pre-set settings or business rules. Shippers can pre-set settings like:
- Service level
- Desired carrier
- Packaging specifications
No more choosing multiple criteria for each and every shipment. Just how marketplace integrations save time, so do business rules. Business rules also limit the possibility of error and allow your business to bring on more employees during busy seasons without having to worry about the quality or speed of your fulfillment process dropping.
Transportation management systems also help businesses have better visibility into their shipping. Not only will you be able to better compare the performance of your different sales marketplaces and platforms, but TMS users also have greater visibility into their shipping service level options and costs. Shipping is a large cost for e-commerce shippers, and knowing what your options are and pre-selecting what carrier and service level you want to default to is a great way to control your shipping process and costs.
If checking several marketplaces and sales platforms is a part of your day as a business owner or operator, it is time to level up and streamline your shipping with a transportation management system.