Choosing a fulfillment partner for your business is a critical decision that can help drive the success of your brand. Picking the right one can bring significant operational cost savings that will lead to your brand growth. Picking the wrong one can prove costly on many levels.
Follow these 5 steps when it’s time to choose a fulfillment partner and you’ll be better prepared to make the right decision.
STEP #1 – Choose a company that can meet your needs
There are many fulfillment companies out there – and many will claim to meet your every need and promise to ship your product accurately and on time. But do your homework and make sure you choose a company that is knowledgeable about your industry. They might even have several clients that are in the same market as you. It’s also important that their capabilities meet the needs of all your sales channels – multichannel, ecommerce, retail, subscription box, etc. Some companies specialize in just one area of order fulfillment, like ecommerce or services tailored to start-ups or small business. Make sure the fulfillment services and technology they offer match what your brand needs – not only for today, but also for the future. Working with someone that can grow with you is key. They need to understand you, your brand and your business model.
STEP #2 – Choose a partner that will grow your business
A good fulfillment partner wants your business to grow and succeed as much as you do. They’re also willing and able to adapt and grow with you as your business grows. The services they offer, from their integration technologies to their reporting systems, should be customizable and scalable. Unplanned circumstances with your business can happen – it’s the nature of the industry. Make sure you choose someone that is flexible, scalable and capable of working with you through any unexpected situations that may arise. Your fulfillment partner should be driven to provide process improvements.
STEP #3 – Choose someone that offers a wide range of shipping solutions
Getting your product where it needs to be – on time, every time, accurately, and cost effectively – is what gives your customers a great brand experience. To get your product delivered fast and accurately, you need to rely on major shipping carriers. But ecommerce and other retailers are at risk of being overcharged for their small parcel shipments. That’s why you should always choose a provider that has established relationships with all the major shipping players and can deliver creative solutions based on transit times and costs.
PFC, for example, can drastically reduce a company’s shipping costs – sometimes by as much as 50% – by doing a thorough analysis of their shipping history and requirements. You can learn more about our Small Parcel Shipping Analysis here.
STEP #4 – Choose an experienced and reputable company
If you choose an inexperienced provider that’s new to the industry, you run the risk of delivering a poor brand experience to your customers. Don’t tarnish your brand reputation. Work with an established, reputable company that has years of proven experience and staff that is trained and knowledgeable in all areas of the business, from their call center specialists and fulfillment operators to their technology staff. Ask for customer references and testimonials from individuals they work with. You should also visit their facility and meet the entire team.
STEP #5 – Choose a partner that can provide seamless integration
The key to getting fast and accurate delivery of your products lies in the fast and accurate processing of your orders. The best way to make that happen is to hire a fulfillment provider with technology that can integrate directly in your sales channels with visibility.
At PFC, our omnichannel technology allows for seamless integration with the most popular shopping carts and CRM/ERP platforms via API. We can also integrate EDI order processing and communication for shipping into major retail channels, and are always optimizing and expanding our integration solutions so our customers stay ahead of the curve. Understanding compliance by channel is critical.
Choose a fulfillment expert that can save you costs and improve your brand experience – connect with PFC! Call 1-800-493-7063 or email PFC today to get the conversation started.