5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Fulfillment Center
Updated: Jul 23, 2018
You can offer the most successful product in the world, but without a top-rate fulfillment center supporting your efforts, all your hopes for its future could be lost. The center you choose must be a true partner, keeping your orders running smoothly, helping you grow your business, and offering unmatched customer service.
It’s understandable that you’re going to be anxious about trusting your entire operation to a fulfillment center. You’re going to want a partner who can bring it, with state-of-the-art capabilities, a high degree of trust, the ability to resolve issues quickly and effectively, and no need for you to babysit.
With that in mind, here’s a checklist of questions to keep handy when shopping for the fulfillment center that will best serve you and your sales growth:
What are the most important qualities to consider in a fulfillment center?
Right off the bat, we consider two qualities:
· A robust warehouse management software (WMS) system that gives you full visibility into your inventory and order history. This system should always provide quick and readily available communication.
· Instant access to an actual, competent human being -- not voicemail. You should be able to contact your fulfillment center representative in real time, 24/7, for immediate response, solutions and answers. Not acceptable: getting a call back within 24 hours or more. That rep should also be intensely familiar with your account -- no time for learning curves.
What is the best path to integrate my order process system with the fulfillment provider -- and how much should that cost?
If the fulfillment company is a good one, then it can integrate pretty much any existing online shopping cart platform -- and do it relatively quickly.
Our recommendation: Shopify. This platform seamlessly integrates with most WMS systems.
The cost to integrate your system with a fulfillment provider: free (in most cases).
My current fulfillment center doesn’t like me to visit or point out areas that should be changed. Is that normal?
Uh, nope. It’s your business and your product on the line. You have every right to know what’s going on, or to suggest ways to improve the fulfillment process.
We always welcome our customers to visit and make any suggestions that they think will help. In fact, we have a few companies that keep a staff member at our facility full-time, just for that purpose. That’s cool with us.
Do fulfillment centers offer on-boarding training?
Not all of them do. Ours does. In fact, we like to intensify the training at the very beginning of the on-boarding process. That sets us on the right foot, with a strong start.
During this time, our fulfillment center learns all about your company and your product. We learn exactly how you want your product packaged. We also make sure we understand any nuances or special requests that are important to you.
Many times a company will come into our fulfillment center to do a hands-on training session with the staff. If a client cannot make it in person, we can do a video meeting or phone call.
How can I expedite the process for inventory being received?
Have the outer carton clearly labeled and create a purchase order (PO) to let the fulfillment center know what product to expect.
To speed up the process: limit each carton to one SKU (if you can). Also, barcode your items, which will help make the process more accurate as well as fast.
You may have additional questions, and we’re ready to answer them. Click
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