4 Tips for Selecting a Fulfillment Partner

Apr 15, 2014 2:46 PM  By

Your company will make few decisions more important than choosing a fulfillment services partner. Why? In the eyes of your customers, you and your fulfillment services supplier are one and the same.

The wrong partner can negatively affect your business to its core. But the right partner can take your business to new heights you otherwise would not be able to reach.

Toronto-based Precision Total Precision Fulfillment shares these four tips for selecting a fulfillment services partner.

Find Complete and Specialized Fulfillment Services 

Fulfillment services can range from simple warehousing and shipping to third-party logistics (3PL) services for your entire supply chain. Considering the importance of the fulfillment services you choose, you do not want to change suppliers very often, if ever. That means the fulfillment company you choose today should be able to grow with you and continue to provide service into the foreseeable future and beyond.

Many businesses like yours may not know all the ways a fulfillment supplier can help. It would be a mistake to choose a supplier who only met your known requirements, instead of finding one that can bring options to the table that you had not considered or knew were possible.

In addition to core services, like warehousing, product assembly/packaging, and shipping, the following are among the specialized services that leading fulfillment companies provide:

  • Marketing & Promotion, including loyalty and mobile solutions
  • Sales & Order Management, including web, fax, email, phone, EDI, XML and direct-to-consumer orders
  • Branded ecommerce Solutions
  • Inbound and Outbound Customer Interaction Services
  • Back Office Support, including database management, order entry, invoicing and reporting
  • Customized Inventory Tracking
  • Online Order/Shipment Tracking, including electronic proof-of-delivery

Think About Fee Structures

The wrong structure can hinder your bottom line. Beware of too many upfront charges and/or hidden fees. Deal with a company that is willing to work out a transparent structure that suits your budgeting. After all, you’re the customer.

Turnaround Time

A company might offer complete fulfillment services, but if they can’t turnaround your product quickly when needed, it could cause serious problems. 24 hours is not unreasonable.

Location, Location, Location

Find a supplier that has easy access to your markets; current and future.