The world of logistics, supply chains, fulfillment and distributiare critical cogs in a complex maze of modern-day commerce. Some companies focus their expertise one of these components while others dive in to all four. Still others take ancillary tasks by the inherent design of the processes. A fulfillment provider, for example, might want or need to tackle distributiof product in their facility as a service to clients or in exploring possible avenues for business growth.
In all cases, however, it is important to fully understand the unique characteristics of these arenas and how they apply to your particular business model. Nearly every company at some point reached a point in their growth progressithat required partnering with a reliable fulfillment provider. In fact, many start-ups and small to medium-sized companies rely such a relationship in daily operations. Even enormous corporations with dozens of franchise locations count sound fulfillment executiin order to attract and retain customers while accommodating strategic growth. What, then, is most important when you reach that space where you can’t handle everything yourself?
It’s a matter of trust
There is no shortage of fulfillment providers out there and they all promise great things. The first place to start when sifting through options is diligent research. The last thing you want to do is transfer truckloads of product, your pride and joy, to a warehouse and then have it all sent back if the provider doesn’t meet expectations, initiating a frustrating and expensive cycle. Investigate a potential provider’s reputation, service track record, and customer testimonials if available. Knowing your new partner can deliver the goods, literally and figuratively, goes a long way in establishing mutual trust and a strong foundatifor future growth.
What can they do for you?
A solid fulfillment provider must have the chops to accommodate everything your company needs. While the traditional elements—warehouse operations, fulfillment, shipping—are most companies’ wish lists, you want a provider that offers extra support and most importantly, can switch gears at critical moments to ensure uninterrupted operations. For example, real-time monitoring of inventory allows you to accurately order and ship product to every customer every time.
It’s no secret that shorter distances mean faster delivery times, lower expenses, and ultimately satisfied customers. A fulfillment provider with a locatior locations located in strategic areas ensures your product is stocked, picked and shipped in the shortest possible time. If your company operates a national or global scale, look for a provider with many established locations.
Ship with confidence
You might have the greatest product the market but it’s all for naught if you spend more shipping than manufacturing and marketing. The best fulfillment providers have established shipping rates with partner companies, and they constantly work to offer you the lowest prices. This is a big deal, as lower shipping costs are a major draw for customers. An online shopper with a cart full of items is likely to abandthe entire purchase when faced with steep shipping costs.
Research your fulfillment partner options, be patient and prepare for a bright business future.