When you go to Google and search say “Fulfillment Services” you will find there are a large number of fulfillment companies out there. Look long enough and many start looking and sounding similar. Here are some things to think about and consider on your path to finding the perfect fulfillment partner.
Fulfillment Focus – There are many many fulfillment companies out there and their fulfillment focus can vary greatly. Look for a fulfillment partner whose focus is what your needs will be. There are fulfillment companies whose focus is in printed materials, very large marketing mailings, B2B or B2C. Retaining the services of a company whose focus is related to your needs will help in your success.
Technology – We live in a new technology age for sure. Information and technology drives everything to be more efficient, convenient, faster and streamlined. Looking for a company that is not only up to date but more importantly willing to work with you to come up with solutions to keep your orders moving is important. Finding a partner that has the resources and ability to be flexible within their technology maybe something you will want to put high on your consideration list.
Location, Location, Location – The location of your fulfillment house may or may not matter, though you may want to think about it if your products are sold only regionally or if your products are very heavy. Another consideration may be that you would have need to view or periodically you or your sales force may need to pick inventory up. Other factors may include a state’s tax law on fulfillment services or the locations relationship to incoming ports if your products are imported.
Size Matters – The size of your fulfillment company could matter. Your daily volume may require a company with a large staff or possibly your inventory is very large and lots of warehouse space is required. Maybe you are just starting out and need a company that can help you through the process, give you the attention you need to succeed and then grow with you. A smaller company may be better suited to working within your present systems. Either way there is probably a properly sized fulfillment company to fit your needs.
Cost – seems obvious enough and is ultimately a major consideration. Look fro quotes that are transparent and straight forward as possible – watch out for buried extra costs. Make sure given quotes let you calculate your per order costs easily.
Personality – yes it is business and bottle line we are in business to make money but having partners that you feel comfortable with is an advantage. Choose a company you feel you can develop a good working relationship with, one you will be comfortable with approaching should an issue arise and one that is receptive as well. We all work hard to make our businesses successful – might as well enjoy the ride as best you can.
Tucker Roveto, president
The Fulfillment Company