In this article, we will know how to track shipments from suppliers.
Are you struggling to track your shipments from your suppliers to your prep center? I will share with you my top tips on how to track shipments and my special sheet, which makes tracking easier.
Do you prefer the video format of this article? Don't worry, we got it just for you. You can watch it here.
Why should you track your shipments?
Tracking your shipments from your suppliers is a very important task for your Amazon business. As you can see, the more you grow your Amazon business, the more your suppliers will grow. With this, you need to track all your shipments from these suppliers whenever you are buying from them.
If you fail to track your shipments from your suppliers' chances are you will get a loss from shipments that have not arrived at your prep center or arrived late.
In my Amazon business, my Admin amazon virtual assistant tracks our shipments every day from our supplier making sure that every shipment will be delivered to our prep center.
Top tips on how to track your shipments from supplier to prep center
1. Establish a communication workflow
When tracking shipments from your suppliers to your warehouse, you will need to talk with entities that are outside of your Amazon business such as representatives from your prep center or your suppliers. Being said, you must establish a good flow of communication with them such as what will be the official communication tool you will use.
As you can see if you will not establish a good communication workflow with your suppliers and your warehouse, chances are you will be bombarded with lots of shipments which can lead to miscommunications until one day, your sales are starting to drop.
In my Amazon business, my Admin Amazon Virtual assistants use our business email to communicate with our suppliers while in our prep center, we use What’s app to talk to them. If our shipment has not arrived at our warehouse within 14 days from the date of shipment, that’s the time we will talk to our supplier for updates.
2. Track your shipments every day
The more you grow your Amazon business, the number of your suppliers will also grow. With this, there are situations where your purchases from your different suppliers will have different shipment schedules. It is important that you don’t miss these shipment schedules and the only way to not miss these schedules is to track your shipments every day.
In my Amazon business, tracking shipments is part of the daily tasks of my Admin VAs. One of the major tasks of my Admin VAs is to track shipments, they always include this in their reports. One of the benefits of tracking your shipments every day is that it can help you be aware of the status of each of your shipments.
There was a time in my Amazon business when we have defective products from our suppliers and tracking them every day has helped us to send them back to our supplier immediately.
3. Have your own spreadsheet and develop it
There are prep centers that provide a tracking system on their website that Amazon sellers can use from the prep center we use. Now it is better if you will have your spreadsheet where you will also record your shipments going to your suppliers aside from the tracking system provided by the website.
As you can see, having your spreadsheet will give you more grasp on the details of every shipment which is not provided by the website. It will also give better clarity on the status of your shipments from your suppliers.
In my Amazon business, we use a Shipment tracker sheet like this which we use to track shipments from our suppliers. Now, the important part of this is that the sheet that we use should accurately match the details from the tracking system provided by the prep center. By doing this, we can make sure that all shipments are properly tracked and monitored.
Now, having your own spreadsheet tracker is good but developing that sheet will be better. In my Amazon business, aside from our inventory tracker, my Admin VA also uses the Ultimate Sourcing Sheet. This is a sheet I made exclusively for my Amazon business where it helps my team to make sourcing organized and also to make sure that our shipments are well tracked.
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The Ultimate Source Sheet
If you are curious and want to check the Ultimate Sourcing Sheet, you can click the photo and it will direct you to our site. You can also book a free call and see if it’s gonna be something that’s going to help your business. Trust me, we have a private support group, an entire team who can jump on live calls, and fix problems with you. They’re going to help you scale out this sheet and help you with your needs. This really makes a real difference.
What I will say is tracking your shipment is important but you also need to track your Cash Flow as well. I will leave a video around here on how I manage my Cash Flow in my Amazon business.
Top Tips for stopping discrepancies with your Amazon FBA shipments
Amazon FBA Shipment Tips
Here are our top tips we use to ensure that we can account for all stock going to Amazon’s warehouse's and when something doesn’t add up, we can easily request for Amazon to reimburse us.
- When you build a shipment, ensure you are always entering what is exactly going in each box, on the shipment page.
- Weigh each box and record that on the shipment page. This is super important to get right as you use the weight to prove what was in the box if anything goes missing.
- Take photos of what is in each box before you seal it and ship it. This is great to have photographic evidence to prove what you packed.
- Wait for every shipment to arrive in Amazon's warehouse and monitor it. We do this as a habit every Monday by our Admin VA.
- Ask for an investigation into any differences between the stated shipped amount and the received amount after your shipment arrived at Amazon's warehouse after 30 days. Do this!
- Be patient about waiting for them to reply. Normally, they are good as they automatically use the box weight to check the contents.
- If they don't reply, reopen the case with your calculations of the box items and how the weights of each product equal the box total, plus a small amount more for the weight of the box.
- You don't have to do this, but we challenge any overs, IE they have given us free stock as we found that they later take these back off any sales that went with this stock.