If you’ve reached a plateau with your sales, it’s time to start thinking about partnering with fulfillment centers. It’s not just small businesses and e-commerce sites who are using fulfillment companies. Brick and mortar giants are using them too.
Partnering with the right company can help your business grow. Likely, you know that a great third party can help with recruitment, IT, and marketing. Outsourcing some of your tasks for efficiency can be a headache or a lifesaver.
To save you money on aspirin, here are 4 things to look for when deciding on which fulfillment center to work with.
What are you paying for when you write that check to your fulfillment center?
If you’re paying a high price to cover rent for a big name center or one with all the latest technology, it might be worthwhile to consider someone else.
As many fulfillment centers move toward automation, they are charging more for their initial investment in that technology. Additionally, you might feel one way or the other about fewer human employees on the warehouse floor.
Always consider where a company might be cutting corners to get you that lower price. If the products they offer are of the quality that you want to be associated with, you might have found a winner.
Where is your customer base located? Is your fulfillment center nearby?
If you sell a product caters to people in a particular locale, multi-channel order fulfillment might be a better option than a single center. If you offer some rotating or seasonal products, multi-channel fulfillment centers will allow you the flexibility you need with order fulfillment
A center that is located in the middle of a big metro area might be charging you a higher price because of high rent. One in the suburbs might be cheaper while offering the same customer service and product selection.
Location is key to getting your product into your customers’ hands as fast as possible.
3. Number of Products
What sort of variety does your fulfillment center offer? Will this allow your company to grow?
Choose a center that offers a variety of products beyond what you currently have listed on your site or in your catalog. This will allow you to expand your business based on customer feedback.
It also means that they will have some level of expertise in the market you specialize in. That combined knowledge is good for building a customer relationship and a cycle of feedback between your company and your distributor.
What do other people say about this fulfillment company?
It should be fairly easy to find reviews about the company you’re looking at. You’ll get a good idea of the kind of experience they have, whether they’ve improved over time, and how quick their turnaround is.
If you find a review that resonates, reach out to the reviewer and see who they recommend. A little bit of research goes a long way and can spare you headaches down the road.
Set a Trial Period With Your Fulfillment Center
Find a fulfillment company with a short-term contract. It may be slightly more expensive than signing a longer contract with them, but it’s better than being stuck with fulfillment that you have to apologize for.
Your fulfillment affects your overall bottom line and how customers see you. If you’re struggling to decide, use our database to choose a company by location. Your best option is to choose a company you feel confident in.