Shipping perishables requires careful timing. Melted ice cream, or warm meat showing up on your doorstep is not attractive, and will likely result in customers asking for their money back.
While the process of getting perishable items to customers isn’t a new one, it is oftentimes solved manually - where employees manage the shipping decision process. It provides accuracy and accountability, but it can be time intensive, especially in the busy season.
So without hiring additional members of the team or creating a complex integration, what can you do?
Statistics + Resources
The USDA has a comprehensive guide about shipping perishable goods, how long each of them can remain at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen. They recommend overnight deliveries for anything cold.
They also warn not to keep any perishable foods in the Danger Zone - between 40 and 140 degrees F - for more than two hours.
How It's Being Done Currently
There are many factors that determine how an order of perishable goods is shipped:
Each of these factors weigh in when how to pack and ship perishable goods. Let’s say your shipping ice cream:
A packer needs to decide how much packing material, how much dry ice, and then pack the box. Shipping is another considerations, since choosing the fastest option may not always be the best choice. And if an order is filled late in the week, you need to make sure that you’ve chosen an option to ship it through the weekend, so it doesn’t sit in a warehouse over the weekend.
Then, you need to factor in the time it takes for the delivery truck to deliver it, and the time it spends on the stoop.
Because nobody wants melted ice cream.
While that’s an extremely cold case (ha), the same concept holds true for cakes or cookies or refrigerated goods.
The SkuNexus Approach
The SkuNexus platform allows a ridiculous level of customization - best described in this case study:
Graeter’s uses the SkuNexus platform in conjunction with a customized Magento portal to accept orders of 6 or 12 pints of ice cream, and ship those orders out in a timely fashion. With almost 100 preset rules, every order is automatically assigned a shipping method, a certain box size, and is marked as ready.
Because timing down to the minute is crucial, Graeter’s prepares their shipping labels the night before fulfilling the day’s orders. They’re all printed in the middle of the night.
This saves a ton of time, because in the morning, they simply print a slip of orders to fulfill that day, and get to work. They are all already approved, have shipping labels, and are ready to go.
This does a few things:
This process illustrates how several key features of SkuNexus, working together, can automate manual processes, remove impediments from daily operations, and increase efficiencies on an open source platform. Specifically:
We know it’s impossible to create a product that solves every problem for every business. Instead, we created a flexible platform that empowers businesses to solve their own problems efficiently.