Right Order Fulfillment Provider can boost your business to a new height
Need of Order Fulfillment Provider – When you start your ecommerce company, it might be hard for you to pack and ship product you are selling by yourself. That is where outsourcing order fulfillment help. You send your whole inventory to one of order fulfillment companies and they will take care of warehousing, packaging, shipping, labeling or many other related services.
The market is flooded with order fulfillment companies. Some are newbies, and some have years of experience. However, getting the best fulfillment provider is a challenge at times. Especially if you want your products delivered in perfect condition with number of damages as low as possible. To make choosing between order fulfillment companies as easy for you as possible we are giving you 10 tips on how to choose an order fulfillment provider:
Tips to Select an Order Fulfillment Provider
Be sure to pick an order fulfillment company that embraces and adopts new technologies like WMS, voice picking, low energy consumption equipment and so on. This will go a long way in ensuring efficiency and timeliness, as well as keeping the overhead costs low in the long run.
2) The size of the order fulfillment company
By knowing the size of an order fulfillment services provider you will be able to estimate if they have capacities to handle your goods. If you have low volume of sales, choosing one of the relatively small, low cost order fulfillment companies might be a perfect solution for you. However, if you are dealing with hundreds or even thousands sales per day you will probably have to choose one of the big providers of order fulfillment services.
3) Reputation of order fulfillment provider
The true is that by outsourcing order fulfillment you are giving away a part of control over your business process. Because of that, it is vital to choose one of the reputable order fulfillment companies because the way they are doing their business will have tremendous impact on an image your customers will have about your business. To put it shortly: if the order fulfillment provider is professional in doing their job, the customers will also have a positive image about you. Unfortunately, the opposite is also a case.
4) Have a contact person
You are running a business which is fast paced and with daily changes. Because of that, you need to be certain that in the case of an incident, delays, damages or canceling the order there is someone you can get in touch with quickly and communicate your requests. This can be done over the phone, email or other convenient modes, but important thing is that you don’t have to know about twenty different contacts and their job description to communicate your needs. What you need is only one contact, which will handle your every request.
5) Delivery time
It is hard for many order fulfillment companies to estimate exact time of deliveries or arrivals. However, a reputable company should provide you with a figure you can work with. This will go a long way in ensuring you maintain track of your goods and plan for them adequately. In addition, that info is vital so you can communicate it with your customers.
6) The error rate and mistakes
Most order fulfillment companies will quote high accuracy rates. Sometimes even 99.9%. In many cases, that number is not true. Mistakes do happen and errors occur. Customers may receive defective or completely wrong items. Therefore, before choosing order fulfillment company to work with it is in your best interest always to ask more about their error rate and how they handle cases of miss-shipment or damages.
7) Capacities of order fulfillment companies
That means real estate facilities, work force, IT and equipment. You have to be sure that order fulfillment provider can always handle your volume of sales; including the seasonal or any other peaks in sales without increased number of delays, damages or miss-shipments.
8) The costs
Each one of order fulfillment companies has their own way of calculating their prices and you should be aware of those. They can include the number of executed orders, weight or volume of inventory, number of shipments, requested time of delivery, warehouse space occupied and many other inputs. In most cases, it is combination of several of above-mentioned criteria and you should be very cautious when calculating possible costs. It is vital to know your business, so you can run a test and apply their pricing structure to your selling data. Different pricing structure of order fulfillment companies means that perfect solution for someone else’s business could be very bad for yours and vice versa.
9) Safety of your items
Before picking off your order fulfillment service provider, always ensure that you are confident of the security of your items. Check that your inventory is covered with insurance for any damage, staling loss or any other possible danger.
10) Company location
Before picking order fulfillment services provider, you need to identify and know the location of their hubs and warehouses. By choosing order fulfillment companies that have warehouse close to your most important market you can drastically reduce the shipping costs. Furthermore, keeping your selling inventory close to your customers will enable you to ensure fast delivery and increase the customer satisfaction. This is real win-win situation.