The Importance of Choosing the Right Fulfillment Center
Are you thinking it’s time for your business to get help with your fulfillment operations, but you’re not sure how to choose the right fulfillment partner? As a recognized Multichannel Merchant Top 3PL Provider for 4 consecutive years, PFC is a trusted fulfillment partner for businesses of all sizes and across many industries. With 40+ years of experience, we know a thing or two about fulfillment and ecommerce shipping! Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors that go into choosing the right fulfillment center for your business.
What Is a fulfillment center?
First things first – Fulfillment 101. A fulfillment center is often referred to as a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Some people think a fulfillment center and warehouse serve the same purpose, which is not the case.
Fulfillment centers have bigger functions than warehouses. Inventory is typically stored in smaller quantities at a fulfillment center – and it’s turned over quickly. The job of a fulfillment center is to process customer orders efficiently and at a competitive price. And a lot goes into making that happen.
Here are some key aspects to consider before choosing your next fulfillment center:
Since most 3PLs have close ties with the major shipping carriers, they’re able to get competitive rates and more flexible pickup times for their customers.
For example, fulfillment centers can often provide a signification reduction in the shipping costs of a business’s small parcel shipments. Through careful review of shipping terms, parcel weight and delivery destination, a fulfillment center like PFC can rate shop to find the most appropriate shipping method for our customers’ needs. This can be done through a small parcel shipping analysis. Ask any potential 3PL you’re talking with to explain how they ensure the best possible shipping model and costs for their customers.
The location of a fulfillment center has a much bigger impact on operating costs and services than some realize. A strategically-located facility in the central U.S. will optimize an order’s days in transit and also optimize your shipping expenses.
Another benefit to having a 3PL partner with operations in the middle U.S. is that real estate and employee wages are lower when compared to the East and West coasts. At the end of the day, the cost of doing business with a fulfillment center in Iowa is less expensive than working with one in New York.
Did You Know? PFC’s centralized warehouse location and drop trailer program with carriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS allows us to reach 80% of the U.S. population in just 1-3 days.
The technology that a fulfillment center uses has a significant impact on all parts their fulfillment operation – from order accuracy and processing speed to shipping costs and returns processing.
When deciding which fulfillment center to partner with, make sure you choose one with sophisticated automated warehouse management and fulfillment systems that seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform. This ensures transparency and lets you easily access valuable real-time reporting & analytics for your business.
Some 3PLs offer specialized fulfillment processes like kitting and assembly or subscription box services. Kitting and assembly services might include gift wrapping, handwritten notes, shrink-wrapping or automated bagging.
Subscription box fulfillment services can offer innovative, personalized package solutions and create a memorable brand experience. Subscription boxes are trending in practically every industry, but health/beauty and nutraceutical/supplement are some of the most popular.
If your business struggles to deliver good customer service to your customers, you can benefit tremendously from choosing a 3PL that offers customer support services. Some 3PLs offer inbound and outbound call center services that are designed to support customers through various channels – standard mail, phone, email and social media. And customer care specialists should be expertly trained on the businesses they support to ensure greater customer satisfaction.
Did You Know? PFC’s call center services exceed industry standards for average speed of answer (ASA), average talk time (ATT), abandonment rate and agent turnover.
About Promotions Fulfillment Center
At PFC, our clients’ success is our #1 priority. Since 1974, our team has delivered outstanding quantifiable results, with turnkey solutions in ecommerce & web fulfillment, promotions and contact center services – all backed by leading technology. Retailers and ecommerce brands that partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35% and have significantly improved their program ROI.