There are many good manifesting systems available to omni-channel retailers and most will help you manage costs while improving customer service and quality control. Determining which system is right for your business may come down to the unique requirements of your operation.
Do you ship internationally? Do you send out hazardous materials? Do you want the choice of several shippers or is the simplicity of the system an important factor in your choice?
We asked MACH Software customers what programs they use and we are sharing information about three of them – two are single-shipper programs and one is a multi-shipper. For more general considerations of manifesting systems, see The Importance of Implementation in Shipping Software.
Harvey Software’s cps /Basics (Multi-Carrier):
Harvey Software’s Computerized Parcel System (CPS) is a single shipping solution interface for multiple-carrier processing. It automatically shops between carrier services for the best rate for normal or time sensitive shipments. There is no additional carrier software needed to ship packages with CPS shipping software. CPS shipping solutions support UPS®, FedEx®, USPS® and more.
CPS includes advanced tracking features to augment carrier offerings. CPS can be purchased, downloaded, installed, and supported all over the Internet. It offers toll-free technical support, and does not require a long-term contract.
[quote cite=”Ann K., Montessori Services”]We switched to CPS (Harvey) about 6 years ago. It saves a huge amount of time and money. Before we had Harvey we were using two computer setups – one for UPS and one for USPS. The packer or manifester had to guess which would be the lowest rate. Now, there is a single computer for all carriers. We slide the package onto the scale, scan the package bar code, enter the picker, packer, manifester (we scan these as well), then CPS determines the least expensive way to ship it out. We press one key and a label prints. This includes all of the customs documents for international orders (you do need to key in a little information for international shipments). We can manifest about 800 packages on a busy day on a single station. We are spending less in shipping and less in labor. Additionally, there is one place to look up any shipment.[/quote] Harvey Software cps/Basics Products Page
Endicia Professional (Single-Carrier USPS)
Endicia Professional is a shipping solution interface for USPS processing. The software offers batch printing and configures/prints pre-filled customer forms for each country. Purchasing customers can choose the discounted Endicia Parcel Insurance or USPS insurance. Package tracking occurs through USPS.
Endicia can be purchased, downloaded, installed, and supported all over the Internet. It offers phone and chat support as well as video tutorials. It does not require a long-term contract.
[quote cite=”Derek P., Battery Mart”]We use it to process our domestic and Canada USPS shipments, generally First Class and Priority Mail packages. It’s good for us since it’s pretty quick and simple for us to process our shipments: Scan the invoice, everything populates, and the label prints (and custom forms, if Canada).[/quote] Endicia Professional Products Page
UPS Worldship (Single-Carrier UPS)
UPS Worldship offers a simple system integration and provides access to all of UPS’s domestic and global shipping services such as Small Package, Air Freight, Ground LTL and Mail Innovations. It has customizable features to track shipments, update customers with automated alerts and streamline customs documentation.
Worldship is free, Windows-based software, which can be downloaded from the UPS website. It is supported through the website and live phone chat.
[quote cite=”Chris A., Midwest Sports”]We are in the mail order industry and now more than ever customers expect constant communication regarding their shipments. From visibility to notifications UPS Worldship has met the needs not only to our customers but our employees as well. Worldship can be linked with MACH, which gives us real time information and automated email notifications which has lifted a heavy burden off our customer service team. When a package is shipped it is immediately updated in our system with clickable links which go directly to the UPS tracking window. Along with that, Worldship is customizable to be programmed in a way to fit your company needs. Whether it’s one touch return labels or adding your company’s logo for simple advertisement.
Our growth over the last 10 years has a lot to do with the enhancements UPS has been able to provide, either by eliminating the hours of filing order sheets with tracking info or by creating a pleasant shopping experience for the customer which keeps them coming back.
[/quote] UPS Worldship Products Page
Manifest System Comparison*
*Information below was supplied by each manifest system company.
|Manifest System||Harvey Software||Endicia||UPS Worldship|
|Domestic and International?||Yes||Yes||Yes, through UPS Worldship Software|
|What Carriers?||FEDEX, UPS, USPS (evs), Endicia, Spee-Dee, General Carrier||USPS||UPS|
|Best Carrier/Service based on price?||Yes||Does not automatically choose a USPS Service, you must make choice.||Does not automatically choose a UPS Service, you must make choice.|
|Best Carrier/Service based on time?||Yes, carrier neutral system so depends on users criteria||Does not automatically choose a USPS Service, you must make choice.||Does not automatically choose a UPS Service, you must make choice.|
|Supports Electronic Scales?||Yes, Serial and USB||Yes, Serial, USB||Yes, Serial, USB|
|Parcel Tracking?||Yes, single piece and batch||Yes||Yes, with tools such as UPS Quantum View.|
|Shipping Management reports? Examples?||Yes, EOD summary, EOD detail, by carrier, by department, by cost center, history reports by the same criteria, flat rate report by service, by carrier, by date range showing lowest cost paid, highest cost paid and average cost. Data is also available to be used with popular report writing programs like crystal reports||Yes – All Types||Yes, EOD summary, High Value Report, Pickup Summary Barcode Report|
|Automatic shipment notifications to customers?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports forms and carrier required documents?||Yes||USPS Documents||UPS Paperless Invoice allows users to create paperless commercial invoices or electronic self-filing for upload instead of manually attaching to shipments.|
|Batch printing of labels?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stealth postage?||Yes||Yes||Postage is not shown on any UPS packages.|
|Return shipping labels?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Address verification?||Yes as well as RDI||Tied to USPS||Central Address Validation (CAV), an internal software package|
|Integrates with other system? What types?||ODBC, CSV, MACH Software||ODBC, CSV, MACH Software||ODBC, CSV, MACH Software|
|Contract?||Monthly or annual||no, Monthly charge||No|
|Download to install?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cost/month (Not including postage):||$39.95 per month up to $2895.00 per year depending on configuration and support options||$34.95||No cost per month for software, but must set up/purchase their Pickup Service.|
|Monthly Package Limitations?||No||No||No|
|Other Features to Highlight:||Rate shopping, mode optimization, unattended shipping capability, import/export support, serving businesses for over 30 years||Implementation team hand holds new customers for 30 days, Has almost 200 partners who can help customers with unique needs, In business for almost 30 years||Several areas of the software can be customized by the customer to work with their unique shipping and marketing needs.|