You’re already working with an e-commerce order fulfillment company, possibly shipping orders from multiple fulfillment centers nationwide. But something must be missing if you’ve found yourself reading this.
Finding the right fit in an order fulfillment company is critically important to the success of your brand. Since errors on their part can lead to a loss of customers and profits, their performance can make or break you.
Here are some signs that your current order fulfillment company isn’t the best choice for your brand:
Inability to Scale Globally
As your business grows, your order fulfillment partner needs to have the space and resources to keep up with a steady increase in orders, as well as peak season spikes. If they’re not keeping up and scaling their operations alongside you, orders will start to back up, leading to late deliveries and dissatisfied customers.
Just as importantly, there may come a time when you’re ready to “go global.” If your fulfillment company isn’t prepared to scale with you and ship your products globally, you’ll have to look for one who can.
The Price Isn’t Right
You don’t want to make decisions regarding your 3PL on price alone. After all, you get what you pay for. But you need to make sure your current order fulfillment partner is providing the best value for you. Evaluate the services they provide, the sophistication of their technology, and the quality of their customer care, and decide if their offerings suit both your needs and your budget. Be on the lookout for hidden fees and nickel-and-dime transactions that can quickly add up. Transparent and straight-forward pricing is something you should demand in an order fulfillment company.
Unable to offer Affordable, Fast Shipping
If your existing e-commerce fulfillment provider only has one fulfillment center, and you need to ship across the country, it’s unlikely you can offer your customers 2-day shipping without it costing a fortune. If you’re shipping nationwide, your 3PL needs to have at least bi-coastal fulfillment centers.
Increased returns from picking errors or damaged products
If your 3PL isn’t doing its job properly, your customers will be the first to tell you. You will see an increase in returns and a decrease in order volume, but that’s not the worst of it—bad reviews on social media could tank your business. Your customers don’t know these errors aren’t exactly your fault, and you can’t shift the blame. It’s your business this reflect poorly on, so if your e-commerce fulfillment company is not up to par, it’s time to start looking elsewhere.
Many e-commerce companies sell through multiple channels and have inventory spread across several fulfillment centers. Without the latest technology, it’s hard to know how much inventory you have left in stock and at which fulfillment centers, which can lead to lost sales and supply-chain inefficiencies. Keeping track of multi-channel sales requires a platform that consolidates all your orders, regardless of channel, into one system. It also needs to track all your inventory together, no matter where it’s stored, so you always know you have the optimal amount of stock.
This same software should allow you to upload your product information, manage incoming orders, set shipping and return options. If your current provider’s technology can’t handle these basic requirements, you won’t have the information or control you need to manage your business.
They don’t offer brand support
Just as in-house order fulfillment can eat up hours of time and money, so too can in-house customer support. If you want to focus on other aspects of your business, look for a logistics partner that can also handle your customer service. At Simple Global, we offer outsourced customer support as an option to our e-commerce order fulfillment clients. Our dedicated Brand Support Specialists will handle all of your customers’ inquiries with the attention and care they deserve. Your specialist will not only answer customer questions, but will also handle requests like canceling orders, issuing refunds, updating addresses, managing returns, and more.
If your current fulfillment partner isn’t meeting your needs, take heart. There is a better fit for your business out there. Take the time to learn about your options, look for transparent pricing models, and find a 3PL that will become not just a fulfillment provider, but a fulfillment partner!
Want to know more? Download Simple Global’s FREE Guide to 3PLs to see what a 3PL can do for you!
“We’ve been working with Simple Global since day one and we could not have gotten where we are without their expertise. They have been amazing partners from the days when we didn’t know what a 3PL was to the days where we can barely keep up with orders. We could not be happier with the level of service and support from everyone on their team.”
Keith Nowak, Founder & CEO