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Thread: Shipping table video record

  1. #1

    Shipping table video record

    We recently set up a windows 8 touch screen computer at our packing table. Our order packer now turns on the video, holds the invoice up to the camera, then loads the items into the shipping box while voicing what he is packing. Our main purpose was to increase packing accuracy.

    We didn't think we would have much fraud, but after one week we had a angry customer call and state that we didn't include an expensive product. We asked if there was any damage to the packaging and the customer stated there was no damage. Video clearly shows the item packed in the box.

    Hah!.....now what? We didn't really plan the video work to this point.

    Life is fun.

  2. #2
    That's a tough one. Unless you have many CCTV's in every area, it would be almost impossible to totally eliminate an employee from slitting the box open on the bottom, taking the item out, and resealing it, out of view of the camera.

    I'd just turn the claim over to shipping company, and hopefully you insured it fully.

    I know in the past, I had one customer that for a few months would say that something was missing from every order. 80% of the time whenever someone calls me about a missing package, or missing item from a package, it's because they threw it out with the packing materials, or UPS left the package somewhere they didn't find it.

  3. #3
    I would mention you have a video, and ask them to ask their significant other if consumer.

  4. #4
    I'd tell them you have a video, ask if they'd like a copy, and suggest they check to see 'if by chance the product could have been overlooked' in the box or removed by someone else in the residence/business. Then be thrilled for them when they 'find' the item.

    Give 'em an out first.

  5. #5
    Incorporated into our custom built packing station (http://www.convergent7.com/forum/gen...me-savers.html) is a 2mp hi-def (moving to two, 3mp cameras this week) IP camera that feeds into our NVR (Network Video Recorder). That camera system also covers the interior and exterior of the shop and it also records a screen capture feed of the PCs involved in on-line activities (shipping, volusion). At the bottom of our packing list it has the standard comments about return periods, checking your box for all items and a note indicating that to ensure "quality" we video record all order assembly and packing. All the packing video is retained for a period of 90 days (about the extent of a charge back period, plus many fraud cases come up later than sooner.)

    The camera system has helped on numerous occasions to determine all kinds of problems - missing items from orders, wrong items in orders and package damage. In general, we find that about in 50% of the cases, the error is on our end (wrong item, missing, etc) and the other 50% is recipient issues (didn't check entire box, didn't open a sub-packed box, "misplaced" items, outright scams.) I'd say that in a given year, it might "save" us on about $2-3k worth of losses where we might just re-send an item to a customer without knowing who was at fault. I can't say how many fraud issues are prevented by the simple addition of the comment on the packing list but I do know that we had more of those "missing items" claims before we put it on the packing list. I think more importantly, it has helped us determine who made the error and why the error was made. We then adjust the system (product labels, employee education, etc) to prevent the error in the future.

    The prices on these IP Camera systems are just insane now and the quality is amazing. We are switching out a Dahua camera with some 3mp Hikvision cameras (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hikvi...788721730.html) and these cameras are only a bit over $100 each. Of course you need an NVR to store them but that can be done fairly cheap - we have our NVR software running on a VMware server that already hosts our file server.

    Additionally, the other cameras help confirm issues like time card abuse or potential time wasting activities since they know they are on camera. It is also nice to be able to check up on things via my phone even when I'm not there.

    So, I'd highly recommend cameras covering your packing station, more so if you are in a fraud prone business (which for the most part we are not.)

  6. #6
    On a side note - for cases where a customer has indicated that an item is "missing" from their order and we have video that dis-proves it, we screen record it (screencast-o-matic) and post right to youtube in a unlisted video. We then send the link to the customer indicating that it "appears" that item was included and suggesting that the customer may wish to check again. In nearly every case, that ends (even if they get a little testy about being wrong) the discussion. While we have not had to, that video can then be used in any dispute.

    Also, I often will "unbox" an order from other vendors (mainly anything from those cheap chinese websites) on the packing table so that if THEY made a mistake, I can provide what was or was not in the order.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CarlWister View Post
    Hah!.....now what? We didn't really plan the video work to this point.
    As mentioned below...give the customer an "out" by saying to check with a spouse, etc and also post the video (unlisted) to your youtube channel and provide the link to the customer.

  8. #8
    Here is video that shows the camera mounted at the top of the packing table:


  9. #9
    dmoore,

    That's quite a nice shipping setup you have there. I've been doing shipping for over 25 years, but am more disorganized than you. The last 12 years, I've had no employees, only myself and family members helping out. Luckily not a huge amount of fraud with my customers.

    I'm interested in how you make all your boxes yourself. I've always just bought premade boxes. Usually a bundle for less popular sizes, and maybe 200-300 of my best sellers. Luckily, I now use USPS flat rate boxes mostly, so no cost there. Are you using a lot of larger boxes? And how long does it take you to make a box?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime View Post
    dmoore,

    That's quite a nice shipping setup you have there. I've been doing shipping for over 25 years, but am more disorganized than you. The last 12 years, I've had no employees, only myself and family members helping out. Luckily not a huge amount of fraud with my customers.

    I'm interested in how you make all your boxes yourself. I've always just bought premade boxes. Usually a bundle for less popular sizes, and maybe 200-300 of my best sellers. Luckily, I now use USPS flat rate boxes mostly, so no cost there. Are you using a lot of larger boxes? And how long does it take you to make a box?
    We too, like you, use a fair number of USPS boxes (RR A/B) but when it doesn't fit in those, we custom make each box. We use a knife, t-Square and a cardboard scoring device (think pizza cutter) to produce each box. The main reason we do this is:

    * Our items are highly veritable in dimension but are generally light weight
    * You can generally make a pretty big box from a 4x8 section of cardboard
    * We don't have to stock different boxes (as if they made them in the sizes we need anyway)
    * We view shipping as a profit center - so, every dollar we save by not shipping air or putting paper or pillows as void fill (which also cost money) in boxes, that money goes to OUR bottom line
    * We often ship dimensional instead of weight for our boxes, so size matters

    After you make boxes directly, it gets pretty easy and you get good at it. We use a carton stapler and of course my favourite - gummed paper tape for box assembly - so the boxes are just as good as any we would purchase. Making a box can take 1-4 minutes or it could take 8 minutes - depending on the complexity and the items in the box.

  11. #11
    I guess it depends on what your boxes cost, and your labor costs. 99% of my boxes cost under 80 cents each. 80% are under 60 cents. And of course, these days, 75% are sent out in USPS boxes.

    What do the 4' x 8' cardboard pieces cost?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime View Post
    I guess it depends on what your boxes cost, and your labor costs. 99% of my boxes cost under 80 cents each. 80% are under 60 cents. And of course, these days, 75% are sent out in USPS boxes.

    What do the 4' x 8' cardboard pieces cost?
    I believe I pay around $3.50 for a sheet of 4x8. I'm almost sure I could get it cheaper but I've looked and looked and never found it cheaper (Houston, TX). I'd be happy to pickup pallets of it but just no luck. I'd love to do standard boxes but we ship really odd items - 48x24x2 or 72x23x1 so pre-made boxes wouldn't work for us on the items we don't ship via USPS.

  13. #13
    Well it took 12 hours to re-wire half the network to get POE to these new 3 MegaPixel cameras for the packing table but it looks like it was all worth it. In the photo below, you can see cross hatched area where our old, 2MP camera would record - we we had to make sure the order was packed in that area which wasn't always possible. Also, we couldn't read 12 point print on the packing slips with the 2mp and a 6mm lens (1/3" sensor). So now we have two, 3mp, 1/3" sensor cameras split between the two sides of the table. Now we can clearly read even the smallest print on the packing slips.
    PackingTable.jpg

    While it might not look impressive in the photo above - when viewed off the NVR at two times 2048x1536, it is mighty clear!

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