By Nancy Mann Jackson
If you've always ordered shipping supplies by catalog, it can be all too easy to keep up the habit. But making the switch to online ordering can be a real game-changer, eliminating inefficiencies you may not even be aware of until they're gone.
Here are six reasons to bring all your orders online — either via computer or mobile device:
1. Lighten the Workload
When you order supplies online, you can simply set up your basic order to be replenished every month, quarter or whenever you need the items. Your vendor's automatic restocking program can ensure that boxes, envelopes, bubble wrap and other supplies arrive at your location just when you're likely to need them.
Most automated restocking programs allow you to cancel or add items easily, so you can easily adjust your order when your needs change. It saves time and effort, and helps ensure you'll always have supplies on hand.
2. Analyze Costs at a Glance
With online ordering, all your orders — and the spending tied to them — are captured in one central account location. That means you can easily look back at past orders to see how much you're spending on shipping supplies and determine whether you need to cut costs, and how best to do so. You can also review those orders and compare them with your stock to see which items can be reduced.
3. Track Ordering and Spending by Multiple Users
If multiple employees need to order shipping supplies, you can add them all to a single online account. That way, every user has the power to submit an order for new supplies and get a full view of orders that are in progress.
But, you can also restrict accounts so that you or another decision-maker must approve an order before it goes through. While any member of the team can take action when they need to, there's no risk that they'll go over budget or order the wrong items.
4. Order From Anywhere
Mobile ordering allows you to walk through your shipping area and enter orders for needed supplies on the spot, instead of waiting to call in an order after the fact. Also, by using QR codes, you can simply scan the code on your current product to order a replacement.
5. Get Updated Options
When you order from a printed supply catalog, you're only able to see a limited number of products. But vendors can display more items online, and a website allows you to quickly search for products instead of flipping pages in a print magazine. Also, information on pricing and availability is likely more up to date online than in a catalog.
6. Order Any Time
You might not be able to order by phone when you want to, but the internet is open 24/7. Online orders also provide you with an automated notification when your order has shipped, so you can keep tabs on it until it reaches you.
Ordering shipping supplies online allows you to manage the process much more efficiently than flipping through a catalog. When you save time and energy, you can direct your efforts toward more important tasks. Before you order from your vendor again, check out their online options.