Steps to Choosing the Right Order Fulfillment Center

All businesses strive to execute their orders quickly, accurately and efficiently. The key to a smooth and successful fulfillment of an order is in choosing the right fulfillment provider. A trusted partner or service provider who will help the business grow is what every online business needs. However, the challenge is finding a reliable and efficient partner.

‘Delivering quality goods on time – each and every time is what customers want. And that’s what the fulfillment process is all about.

Outlining the requirements in terms of inventory requirements, deadlines and volumes can help identifying the correct fulfillment provider. It also helps preparing for a smooth transition.

  • Planning during transition: During transition from one fulfillment provider to another it is important to give sufficient time to the existing provider to complete their schedule. It is equally important to give details of shipment early to the new provider to plan shipment early. Planning for freight early can save bucks.

Choosing the right fulfillment provider: While there can be no one-stop-shop solution for choosing a great order fulfillment partner, these tips can help:

  • Handling volumes : Ask questions! Is the fulfillment company big enough to handle the shipping volume required by your business? Is it equipped to handle peak season requirements or an urgent large volume? How quickly can it scale to meet a surge in demand?
  • Industry awareness : There are requirements, regulations and specifications for each industry. For instance:

    Packaging and temperature control: Pharmaceutical industries may have stringent packaging and temperature control requirements. The fulfillment center’s awareness of the industry is vital.

    Documentation requirements: Mistakes in documentation can be very costly, especially when goods are moving between countries. Although, there are insurance for such circumstances, processing and claiming the insurance could be a waste of time and resources.

  • Global network : A good network overseas helps in smooth flow to get the product in case your company deals with overseas markets.
  • Visibility : A complete view of the cargo transport details, status of current and pending orders at any stage during the transit of goods.
  • Good insurance coverage : Ensure that the forwarder has a high level of cargo insurance to cover your products so that damage or loss of shipment is properly compensated.
  • Financial stability : In their transactions. Let’s consider a situation where the business has paid the freight forwarder; however the forwarder is unable to pay the ocean carrier.
  • Pricing : Lastly, yet the most important factor is if that the freight forwarder provides a competitive pricing.

Asking for references can help in determining what their customer satisfaction level is.

Human power! Efficient staff who are motivated and well-informed can add the personal touch that can enhance business performance. Be it outsourcing of a new function or transition of a service provider – it is important that the teams function in tandem for a smooth movement.

  • Coordination between the two teams helps the new team understand their roles and the transition process.
  • Training the staff to reduce errors: Errors are inevitable. How a business handles an ‘error’ situation is what matters to the customer. Customers understand that the business is genuine when they keep the customer informed and take corrective actions and give the customer value for money.

The fulfillment process includes everything from receiving an order through shipping the goods to the customer. A satisfied customer is more likely to come back for more orders. Customer word-of-mouth and positive reviews bring in new business and a well-defined fulfillment process helps achieve this goal.

To know more about MAI's expertise in contact center and fulfillment services, please drop in an email now!

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