Communication is a critical component of any business management strategy, but it is particularly important in the world of order fulfillment. Companies need to make sure their orders are getting fulfilled properly, and customers need to be able to reach the fulfillment providers if any issues arise. With a proper flow of communication from start to finish, everyone involved with the order fulfillment process can be much happier with the results. Read to learn some communication strategies you can employ to ensure success with your order fulfillment.
Understand the Communication Options Outlined in Your 3PL Contract
Every third party logistics provider is a little different in the way they handle shipping, packaging, labeling, order fulfillment, and the like. In many cases, your means of communicating with your order fulfillment provider will be outlined in your contract. This will explain what measures you can take to contact the company, how often you can contact the company, which phone numbers or email addresses you need for various issues that may occur, and more. Understand what type of arrangement you’re in or getting into, and request changes to be made if you are not satisfied with your options.
Be Clear about Which Order Fulfillment Services You Need
The term “order fulfillment” is an umbrella that covers a wide range of services you may need. Explain to your 3PL company what specific services you are looking for, and ask them about any complementary services they offer that may work in your favor. You can build a solid foundation of communication if you are clear about your intentions from the start. This also ensures that your order fulfillment company can live up to your expectations, rather than leaving you disappointed because they didn’t know what you needed.
Have Regular Meetings with Your Order Fulfillment Provider
Successful companies update their business strategies and operations a regular basis to keep up with current trends. That means that your company and your order fulfillment provider are both subject to change the way you operate during the course of your contract. If you have monthly or even weekly meetings with your order fulfillment provider, you can keep each other up to date the transitions you’re going through and make suggestions how you can help one another get through these changes together. The more you tell the 3PL company about your plans, the better they will be able to help you execute them.
Correct Issues Early on
Don’t wait until you’re ready to cancel your contract to report a problem. Many issues that arise for order fulfillment are the result of lacking communication, or a miscommunication from one party to the next. If you inform your order fulfillment company about an issue early on, they can take the steps necessary to correct it. For instance, if your customers are reporting delayed shipping times, it may be because your quoted estimated shipping timeframe is too short. Talk to your distribution center and see if you need to adjust the timeframe to something more accurate.