If you’re up to your eyeballs in postage stamps and Styrofoam, you may want to hire a fulfillment service to handle your shipping. But before you do that, here are 5 questions you should ask fulfillment companies before giving them the job.
If you are struggling to keep up with your orders and want to know how to choose the right company to help you, you’re in the right place. Read below for five questions you should ask all potential fulfillment companies!
1. Can Your Fulfillment Warehouse Handle Unexpected Busy Times?
A crucial question to ask companies you are considering partnering with is how they will handle sudden upticks in orders. Even if you plan for busy times like holidays and promotions, sometimes you aren’t ready for it.
Quality fulfillment centers should have a detailed plan for times like this. Ensure they have a strong warehouse management system that can help optimize the process.
A system will help you identify the most picked items so you can place them closest to the packing area.
2. What Quality Assurance measures does the Fulfillment Warehouse Have?
Nothing leads to a bad review and/or unhappy customer more than them receiving a broken or incorrect item. As such, be sure to ask your fulfillment center about their quality assurance process.
Barcode scanners are a common tool to assist in correct picking.
Additionally, centers should have a method for tracking product movement throughout the process. This is especially helpful in large facilities that may also assemble items before packing them.
Many fulfillment centers can also help you manage customer returns.
3. Can You Access Real-Time Inventory Updates?
It’s important to know your product levels. An important question to ask a potential fulfillment center is how their warehouse system will connect to your online store.
Customers want to know right away if a product is actually sold out. Ask if inventory levels will update as soon as someone makes a purchase or if there is a delay.
Keeping systems in communication and current lets you better manage products and keep you from ordering more than you need.
4. Is The Fulfillment Company A Customer Oriented Organization?
You should also ask centers about what they do to make the customer happy. Ensuring they understand your brand and typical customer is a great way to start.
Work with them on custom packaging and customer support issues.
5. Can You Leverage The Fulfillment Companies Shipping Discounts?
Shipping is a major cost for any business, especially as more customers expect it to be free for them. Many fulfillment centers work hand in hand with mail carriers to batch their shipments in order to save money.
Be sure to ask how their labeling and tracking system will work with mail carriers. It is important that a customer can track their item from the warehouse to their doorstep.
Get Your Packages into the Hands of Customers
Ask these five questions to all fulfillment companies you are considering in order to find the best possible partnership. No matter what you are selling, customers will be happy when they receive your products in a timely manner.
Ready for more information? Get a free online quote of our most popular fulfillment services!