If you’re thinking about outsourcing your order fulfillment process to another company, there are a few things to consider before partnering with one. After all, your order fulfillment provider will be working closely with your business and will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting in packing, storing, and shipping out your inventory.
The good news is that it’s easier to determine which order fulfillment center is right for your ecommerce business when you know what to look for. While certifications and social proof are a helpful given, they’re not the important things to look for. It’s essential to remember what your needs are because then you can better see if this company is a fit for you or not by the solutions that they offer you. Here are some of the qualities you should be looking for:
1. Transparency. First and foremost, a dependable 3PL service provider must value clear and punctual honesty. The last thing you want is having to deal with hidden fees or sudden changes that you were not informed about ahead of time. The majority of order fulfillment companies USA businesses trust will take the time to explain things to you and will keep you constantly in the loop about what’s happening with your inventory.
That’s how important your trust is to them. Remember that you are partnering with this company. If they can’t be honest with you, then they are not worth working with.
2. Service compatibility with your business. Not every logistics company is equipped to handle the inventory for every type of ecommerce business out there. Some of them may only work with businesses in a specific niche or only have the expertise to deal with inventory that only requires general handling and storage processes.
You will need to ask the order fulfillment center you are thinking of hiring if they have present experience in working with businesses similar to yours. Moreover, you should find out what their capacities are. This is especially important to ask, especially if your products need specialized handling or require a lot of custom procedures. The ideal order fulfillment service provider that you hire must be able to properly and securely manage your inventory.
3. Technological capability. How up-to-date is this order fulfillment center? Since the majority of your business operations are done online, there is a need for the latest 3PL software to keep things moving and transparent for you, your suppliers, and your customers. This is why it’s important to be aware of the tech that your logistics company is using.
For example, there should be a user-friendly way to scan and track a specific product efficiently. This is especially important when you need to send the tracking information to the customer when their order ships. Another useful thing to ask about is if the order fulfillment center has a customizable dashboard containing the metrics you need to help you track your inventory better. You’ll find that your operations will go more smoothly if the 3PL provider has these at their disposal.
4. Competence in error resolution. In the world of logistics, mistakes are inevitable, and any order fulfillment service provider that is worth hiring should be able to resolve them efficiently. They should have the initiative to act quickly and focus on making things better instead of shifting the blame and responsibility over to you.
Good customer service is a benchmark of any dependable 3PL provider, even better if they have 24/7 customer assistance. There should be no reason why they cannot address any customer concerns that have to do with order fulfillment by themselves. This might seem insignificant but dealing with unexpected customer complaints about something you let someone else take care of is not good for your business – or your sanity.
Partnering with an order fulfillment center can help modernize and expedite the way you conduct operations in your business. Additionally, they can also give your company a competitive edge because they help introduce you to new markets. The right order fulfillment center will help you meet all that so you can focus on scaling up your business and more.