How To Select A Fulfillment Center
If you find yourself spending valuable time on the logistics and daily operations of your business rather than focusing on sales and development, now may be the time to outsource your fulfillment. Outsourcing fulfillment allows you to concentrate on your core business while streamlining your order and distribution process. It is essential to find a reliable fulfillment center who can work with you to contribute to your company’s overall health and success.
But how do you go about selecting a fulfillment center? Where do you start your search and what questions should you be asking? Here are some tips to finding the perfect fulfillment partner for your business.
Define your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking for a warehouse to handle distribution? Does your product require kitting? Are you looking for someone to manage all aspects of your order processing from soup to nuts? Outlining where you are looking for assistance can help you recognize what services are most important to you.
Do Your Research
Where should you start? What should you be looking for?
Google Search: Know what terms to search in order to lead you to finding a provider. While business owners know what they need, many are not familiar with the terminology or how to start the search. Searching terms such as ‘order fulfillment’, ‘product fulfillment’, ‘full service distribution and fulfillment center’ can help jumpstart your search.
Strategic Location: Look a company who is strategically located near major transportation hubs. Fulfillment companies in New Jersey benefit from their valuable location close to major air and sea transportation hubs.
Comprehensive Services: If you are looking for someone to handle all aspects of your fulfillment process, from kitting to returns/reverse logistics, your provider should be able to provide the full spectrum of order fulfillment services.
State of the Art Technology: The advanced warehouse management technology available today provides an automated solution for managing your inventory. You should have 24/7 access to your inventory. If you are an ecommerce business, you should be provided a seamless connection from your shopping cart to your inventory and all the way thru the ordering process.
Inquire About The Services They Provide
Find out if the fulfillment company is equipped to handle products like yours. Do they have the capability to manage eCommerce business? Can they provide complex kitting solutions or accommodate short runs? It is important to find someone with the experience and resources to successfully manage your order fulfillment.
Look for a Cost Efficient Fulfillment Solution
Outsourcing fulfillment can help reduce costs for your business. The fee structure should align with your specific product and shipping volume. Selecting the right fulfillment service provider can help reduce expenditures and overhead while streamlining your logistics operations.
Some of the cost benefits of outsourcing fulfillment are:
Reduced shipping rates: Fulfillment centers receive discounted shipping rates based upon the high volume of shipments per day. These reduced rates are passed onto you and your customers.
Increased Accuracy: When fulfillment specialists are handling all aspects of your inventory, you can expect a reduction in errors. This results in less returns and increased customer satisfaction.
Ability to meet demand during busy seasons and scale down during slower times.
Inquire About the Inventory & Order Processing Technology
It is important to ask about their web-based ordering capabilities and logistics technology used to streamline the fulfillment process. Whatever your product is, your fulfillment partner should possess the required warehouse management system to accommodate your product, volume and seasonal operations.
Do They Provide High Quality Customer Service
An extremely important aspect of finding a fulfillment partner is how they approach customer service. The ease of reaching someone when urgent communication is required is priceless. When you call, are you able to speak to a person rather than a voicemail? Do they provide personalized service and attention to your business? Do they provide cost saving ideas or recommendations of how you can improve your business? Your fulfillment center should serve a valuable resource for improving operations.
Request a Quote
Make sure to inquire about fee structure, minimums and storage fees. Find a partner that provides your business with the individual attention and service you deserve.
For more information please contact us.