Choosing a fulfillment partner can be crucial to the growth and management of your vision. The right partner will take an enormous amount of pressure off your hands, allowing your business to thrive while giving you full control and visibility. So, how do you know which fulfillment company is the right fit for your business?
Typically, you're looking at track record efficiency, location, facilities, and conflict management. But vetting and selecting a fulfillment centre requires a bit more investigation. You'll be entering a partnership after all. Here are 5 things to watch for:
This isn’t to say that younger organizations and startups are not worth considering. Rather, it simply means that it’s easier to make a sound assessment if you are able to look at the fulfillment center’s track record and hear about their relevant industry experience. If you feel confident choosing one that has not been in the business for long, but has a representative that showcases excellent capability, then make that call. In this case, still seek out as many customer reviews and endorsements as you can find.
Problem Solving Capabilities
If the representative you speak with is promising you entirely issue-free operations, this is a red flag. The occasional mishap or oversight is simply unavoidable. What does matter is how the fulfillment center addresses problems when they do happen. Ideally, they should act efficiently and take a critical look at any issues to determine how to avoid future repetitions.
If things are dealt with but just swept under the rug afterward, they could easily occur again – especially if the rest of the team is not briefed about what went wrong. Make sure you also determine where the responsibility falls if a mistake is made; good companies are often willing to take ownership.
If a fulfillment center under consideration still sticks to old-fashioned document and logistics management procedures, sadly they should not be at the top of your list. Using dated, paper-based procedures instead of the latest Warehouse Management System (WMS) complete with the ability to integrate with your eCommerce store is enough to seriously compromise efficiency, even if they do everything else right.
Customer Service and Availability
Outsourcing your company’s order fulfillment to an external party can be nerve-wracking. Although it will prove beneficial for your business in the long run, you don’t want to work with a fulfillment center that doesn’t offer the support you need. There’s nothing more stressful than calling in and not being able to find anyone to talk to – after all, this organization is responsible for the condition of your products and your brand reputation among consumers. A good fulfillment partner should offer you dedicated support, in the form of an account manager, who knows the ins and outs of your business, is proactive at getting in touch, and is available for you to reach out to.
Supporting Your Vision
Your fulfillment partner can be a key player in the growth of your company. For one, having a third party fulfill and ship your items frees up your time and resources to focus on marketing your business and getting more sales.The right fulfillment company will not just be there to pick, pack and store your items. Your dedicated account manager will be with you every step of the way to provide expertise, help assess your logistics strategy and point you to the right resources to help you fulfill your business' potential.
Thinking about expanding globally? A dedicated support staff should be able to advise you on regulations, limitations, and export opportunities of every country in the world to help equip your business for international success.At eShipper, we have teamed up with Export Development Canada to help our customers understand which markets to go after, manage their risk, gain financing support and open up their network globally.
eShipper offers a full suite of fulfillment solutions and services complete with the latest software, technology and integrations to make the transition a seamless one. Want to see if we're the right fit for your business? Contact us today or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your fulfillment and shipping inquiries.