Moving to a new 3PL is a daunting task that requires a solid action plan. You’ll have to move all your inventory to the new provider’s facility (or facilities) without dropping the order-fulfillment ball. Frankly, it’s not going to be easy. But with a good plan, you can break down the process into manageable steps and enjoy a smooth, seamless transition.
Stagger Your Inventory
Moving everything to your new provider’s fulfillment center is going to take some time. If, like Simple Global, your new 3PL has fulfillment centers in Europe and Asia, you could be shipping your stock all around the world! Don’t try to move it all at once. While your inventory is in transit from your old 3PL to your new one, it won’t be available for filling orders.
Keep inventory in stock at your old 3PL to continue fulfilling orders until you’re well established at the new fulfillment center. When things are up and running at the new fulfillment center, you can transfer the rest of your inventory and fully transition your fulfillment operations.
Factor in New Transit Times
Once you sign on with your new 3PL, you’ll want to begin sending inventory from the factory directly to your new provider’s fulfillment centers. Since these fulfillment centers will be in different locations, maybe even in different countries, than your old 3PLs, transit times will likely be changed. Keep these new transit times in mind when figuring out when to reorder inventory—and make certain your manufacturer has the new address!
Be Transparent About Potential Delays
If there’s even the slightest chance that your customers might experience a delay in receiving their order, let them know. It’s always better to be open and honest, and if they’ve been pre-warned, they are less likely to have cause for complaint. Highlight any benefits that the change in 3PLs will bring to the customers such as lower shipping costs and faster deliveries.
Changing 3PLs can seem like a lot of work, but when the benefits outweigh the time and cost needed to make the transition, it’s worth making the investment. Your customers will thank you for it!
Still evaluating 3PLs? Contact Simple Global. Whether you’re taking your first steps into international ecommerce, or you’re an established brand ready to take the world by storm, our global order fulfillment centers can make it happen.