Packing and Shipping Accuracy Improvements Lead to Record High Rate of 99.9%May 19th, 2017
Have you ever ordered online only to NOT get what you ordered when you open your box? It can be frustrating. As a sports official, it’s doubly important that your order with your NEEDED items is accurate for your upcoming season or game.
As an E-Commerce company, we get it. We have always prided ourselves on our level of service, which includes the accurate packing of orders. So “just how accurate are we?”
We started tracking this as a percentage number last fall. For our first month, we scored a rating of 99.6%. That means that 249 out of 250 packages were correctly handled, but 1 of those was not. While this sounds like an impressive number, we were not satisfied. Any problem for any ONE umpire or referee - whether a missing item, a wrong item or a shipment to a wrong address - is certainly a BIG deal to that one customer.
As a result, we wanted to do even better and took several steps to make packing and shipping errors even less. That included:
- Posting accuracy results each month for the staff to see.
- Doubling down on ensuring all items have barcodes so they can be scanned before shipping. Even if one is not provided by a supplier, we will add it. Notice this on your next order. Even small items have a barcode added.
- Ensuring that every item’s barcode is scanned before being packed. By doing this, in case of an error, the packer will be notified and can not proceed until making the necessary correction.
- Adding a second staff person the responsibility of comparing the address listed on the printed shipping label to the address listed on the packing slip before sealing the package.
Last year, I recall one order where we mixed up our labels on 2 orders. A basketball referee got an order from an umpire. That umpire got the basketball referee order. Not a good day for anyone.
These changes allowed us to increase our packing and shipping accuracy rate from 99.6% to 99.9% in March. While 0.3% may not seem like a big improvement, let's put it in order terms. Instead of an error every 250 packages, the accuracy rate improved to 1 error out of every 1,000 packages.
The growth we have experienced at Ump-Attire.com could not have happened without our loyal patrons. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the customer experience. Eliminating packing and shipping errors are just another step in that process.
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About the Author
President/CEO of Score 451 Sports, LLC and Ump-Attire.com Jim Kirk
Jim has had a passion for sports since he can remember. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire in Southeastern Kentucky - during the Elbeco shirt years - as a way to make ends meet. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and eventually bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006. Jim is proud of Ump-Attire.com's success, staff and sponsorship of various groups including Minor League Baseball Umpires, Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy and UMPS CARE, the charity of MLB umpires. He currently serves on their board of directors and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. Jim has also coached youth baseball many years and currently coaches middle school baseball at Christian Academy of Louisville. He lives in Louisville with his wife Lori, daughter Lydia and son Ben.