• The new PartnerShip Connection E-Newsletter

    02/21/2013 — Scott Frederick

    The PartnerShip E newsletteYesterday we sent a new, updated edition of The PartnerShip Connection E-newsletter to many of our partners and prospects that have opted-in to receive general communications from us. Our new format allows us to showcase some of our best or most interesting content - whether it comes from blog articles, industry news, special reports, or something else entirely.

    We'll try to keep most of the content focused on LTL freight, small package, tradeshow, and specialized shipping services for small businesses - since that's what we do. Occasionally, we might also mix-in in some fun promotions or offers that our readers may find interesting.

    Our goal is to publish The PartnerShip Connecion E-newsletter every couple months. We hope you enjoy it and find something useful in it from time to time. Please email your feedback to marketing@PartnerShip.com; or let us know if you are not currently receiving our e-newsletter and want to be added to our distribution list.

    You can also subscribe to articles posted to our blog by entering your email address in the "Subscribe Here" field shown in the upper right portion of this page. You might also consider following us on Twitter using the @PartnerShipLLC handle since we typically post many newsworthy items there as well. But no matter how you "follow us" ... thank you for being our partner!

    Scott G Frederick

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  • The PartnerShip Book Club

    02/14/2013 — Scott Frederick

    To Sell Is HumanAfter a brief hiatus, the PartnerShip employee "Book Club" started up again a few weeks ago. The PartnerShip Book Club is organized and facilitated by Tina Straw, director of business development and organizational learning for PartnerShip. To kick off the New Year, she selected To Sell is Human by Dan Pink - a book in which she was a part of the limited "release team" before it was made public.

    As Tina put it, "This book will appeal to ALL readers in the company, because as Pink explains, no matter what we do during the day, we're all selling on some level or another." In introducing the book, Tina goes on to say that (as quoted in the book) "It is unlike any book about sales you have read (or ignored) before. That's because selling in all its dimensions—whether pushing Fords on a car lot or pitching ideas in a meeting—has changed more in the last ten years than it did over the previous hundred. Most of what we think we understand about selling is constructed atop a foundation of assumptions that has crumbled."

    We had about twenty employee participants who read the book and then met yesterday to discuss their collective observations. It was a lively discussion and, while the reviews were mixed, everyone agreed that the book contains many interesting examples and plenty of useful anecdotes. In particular, everyone liked chapter 7 where Mr. Pink gave some useful exercises for companies to more successfully develop their "pitch"; such as the one word pitch, the rhyming pitch, the Twitter pitch, and the Pixar pitch. The team discussed how the PartnerShip story could be expressed using these various techniques.

    To end the discussion, the team agreed that there was a little something for just about everyone in To Sell is Human, and that many of Mr. Pink's exercises could be incorporated into our ongoing employee training sessions.

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  • 4 Ideas to Reduce Shipping Costs

    02/06/2013 — Scott Frederick

    Reduce Shipping CostAm I Overpaying for Shipping?

    Shipping can be one of the most complicated — and costly — activities for any small business. Poor or no planning can result in overpaying, as well as losing sales if the business can't provide consistent and cost-effective delivery to its customers.

    Do you negotiate competitive discounts with your shipping providers? Do your purchase invoices include shipping and handling charges? If you answered —yes' to either of these questions, then you could very well be overpaying for your shipping.

    Here are four ideas for you to consider to reduce your overall shipping costs:

    #1 Obtain Discounts with Carriers                 

    Most carriers — whether express, parcel or freight — provide discounts to businesses that routinely ship or receive merchandise.  The old adage —everything is negotiable' is an immutable fact when it comes to shipping fees. The challenge, however, for small businesses is how to go about obtaining the same, steep discounts that are normally reserved for large businesses and heavy freight shippers.

    One tactic a small business should consider is joining an industry trade association. Often times, industry trade associations are able to aggregate the buying clout of its members to negotiate and provide better shipping rates to all the businesses that participate in the program. PartnerShip LLC is an example of a third party logistics provider that specializes in working with industry trade associations across the country to create discounted shipping programs for participating members.

    Another approach a small business can take is to work directly with a third-party logistics provider (3PL), or even directly with your carriers, to see if you can get better discounts then you presently have today. Often times if you simply —ask for better pricing' you will get it because 3PLs and carriers are always looking to retain and grow their business. Be prepared to share example shipping invoices or manifests with your 3PL or carrier to help them best assess your shipping patterns and provide you with the best pricing.

    #2 Develop an Inbound Shipping Management Program

    One of the simplest and easiest ways to immediately cut your inbound freight costs is to change your shipping terms from —prepaid and add' to —inbound collect.' Having your vendor or supplier ship collect on your recommended carrier eliminates any handling charges, thus saving you money.

    When you gain more control over your inbound shipping, you can save on small package and freight shipments coming into your business every day. As the buyer and receiver of the goods, you can-and should-designate the carrier and arrange for shipping charges to be billed directly to you at your discounted rate. This is called routing shipments inbound "Collect."

    In general, there are many benefits to having your inbound shipments routed collect. As the example below shows, it often saves a lot of money. But even if you don't have shipping discounts that are better than your vendor, their handling mark-up could still make the overall shipping costs higher than your own.

    Inbound Shipping Example









    Inbound shipping programs are often best managed through a third-party logistics provider. A good 3PL can help you develop routing instructions for your vendors, monitor compliance, and audit invoicing to ensure you're saving the most on your inbound shipping.

    #3 Use the Correct Mode & Service Level       

    A common dilemma for small businesses is deciding the appropriate shipping mode to use for their important shipments. Shipping mode choices include LTL freight, small package, ground, air, ocean, rail, intermodal, and others. When deciding whether to use a small package or LTL freight carrier, for example, shippers must take into consideration the weight and characteristics of the shipment, the shipment destination (e.g., business, residence, etc.), service needs, pricing and fees, and loss or damage concerns.

    The table below illustrates an example shipment of varying sizes moving across three different shipping modes. Each mode carries with it a certain level of cost, speed, and liability protection. Choosing the right mode will help your business maximize shipping costs and customer satisfaction.

    Shipping Modes Example












    #4 Consolidate Orders When Possible            

    As a general rule of thumb, one big order ships for less than three smaller orders. That means small businesses should consider consolidating multiple orders into a single shipment whenever possible, and always striving to minimize the number of packages it sends. All too often, shipments are arranged as they come in from sales or order processing. However, a little planning and visibility goes along ways towards shipping savings as the table below shows.

    Consolidate Orders Example










    Consolidating orders provides additional benefits to both shippers and receivers of small package and freight shipments, including:

    • Reduced shipping supply expenses
    • Greater fuel efficiency (better on the environment)
    • Less time needed to receive, handle, and restock orders

    One strategy for shipment consolidation is to create a simple shipping guide that takes into consideration all of your business rules for carriers, weight breaks, orders, and shipping contacts. Distribute this guide to your vendors and discuss it with your customers. A little communication can often go a long way towards small business savings.

    In Summary                

    Shipping is an important cost factor for any small business that ships or receives materials or merchandise. It is often possible to reduce these costs with a little planning and effort.  Utilizing some or all of these four tips to control shipping costs can eliminate the strain shipping expenses put on your business. If you're not sure where to start, consider finding a reputable third-party logistics provider that specializes in working with small businesses to help you with the process. There's a good chance your shipping costs will go down and your bottom line will improve!

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  • The New PartnerShip.com Website is Now Live!

    02/04/2013 — Scott Frederick

    As pre-announced on our blog last fall, the new PartnerShip.com website is now live! The new site was launched today with improved content, navigation, and freight management tools for our customers.

    PartnerShip.com Home Page














    The new PartnerShip.com website offers quick and easy access to company information, services, tools, and resources. Customers or prospective customers can obtain free, no-obligation rate quotes for their LTL freight, tradeshow, or specialized shipments from anywhere on the site. Using the password-protected area of the website, customers can save addresses and products, rate shop reputable carriers, and create bills of lading or shipments. 

    Additionally, new association or trade groups can start the process of building a shipping program for their members by completing a brief online form. Also, individual shippers can quickly create an account to become a PartnerShip customer and start shipping immediately. 

    —With the new PartnerShip.com, all of our tools and information are virtually one click away,' says John Finucane, president and chief operating officer for PartnerShip. —The new design and navigation make it very easy for prospective customers to become active customers, and for existing customers to manage their shipping. Since we're a small business like many of our customers, we understand the need to do things quickly and efficiently. So it was very important that we make the new site simple and easy to use for our customers.' 

    An enhanced resources section on PartnerShip.com provides customers access to white papers, case studies, carrier news, and The PartnerShip Connection Blog. Customers can also engage with PartnerShip through new live chat functionality, and on any one any of our social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    If you'd like, you can download a copy of our PartnerShip.com brochure here. We think you'll enjoy the new look-and-feel of PartnerShip.com. However, we're always looking to improve our website to make it even more valuable for our customers. We'd love to hear your feedaback or suggestions. Just click the button below - we're all ears!

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