If you’re looking to select an order fulfillment center for your business, you should keep an eye out for a few key traits. Of course, you want to choose a fulfillment center that is just as committed to your organization’s mission as you are. However, it’s important to get even more granular before deciding on a center.
Typically, the things you want to look for are related to standard criteria such as track record efficiency, location, facilities, and conflict management. But vetting and selecting a fulfillment center requires a level of detail that you may not have anticipated. Here are 4 things to watch for:
Years in Business
This isn’t to say that younger organizations and startups are not worth considering. Rather, it simply means that it’s easier to make a sound assessment if you are able to look at the fulfillment center’s track record and hear about their relevant industry experience. If you feel confident choosing one that has not been in the business for long, but has a representative that showcases excellent capability, then make that call. In this case, still seek out as many customer reviews and endorsements as you can find.
Problem Solving Capabilities
If the representative you speak with is promising you entirely issue-free operations, this is a red flag. The occasional mishap or oversight is simply unavoidable. What does matter is how the fulfillment center addresses problems when they do happen. Ideally, they should act efficiently and take a critical look at any issues to determine how to avoid future repetitions.
If things are dealt with but just swept under the rug afterward, they could easily occur again – especially if the rest of the team is not briefed about what went wrong. Make sure you also determine where the responsibility falls if a mistake is made; good companies are often willing to take ownership.
If a fulfillment center under consideration still sticks to old-fashioned document and logistics management procedures, sadly they should not be at the top of your list. Using dated, paper-based procedures instead of the latest software and desktop applications to run a fulfillment center is enough to seriously compromise efficiency, even if they do everything else right.
Customer Service and Availability
Outsourcing your company’s order fulfillment to an external party can be nerve-wracking. Although it will prove beneficial for your business in the long run, you don’t want to work with a fulfillment center that doesn’t offer the support you need. There’s nothing more stressful than calling in and not being able to find anyone to talk to – after all, this organization is responsible for the condition of your products and your brand reputation among consumers. If you need to get in touch, someone should be available for you right away.
eShipper stands ready to provide you with practical, low-cost shipping solutions as well as an eOrder Online Inventory Management Program that offers a full suite of fulfillment solutions and services. Why not contact us today?