What You Need to Know About Hiring an Order Fulfillment Company
Order fulfillment, so much more than receiving orders, packing orders, shipping orders. It’s more about customer service and having the right partner in place. If you sell things, anything, you know that order fulfillment is your lifeline and when it comes to finding a third-party vendor – the decision can be daunting.
Finding a fulfillment partner is a bit like dating. When all the hype of marketing materials and snazzy websites fades, it’s those who can rise above the fray to differentiate themselves that make the cut. It’s the substance and trust that make the relationship work for the long haul. Because fulfillment is more about the relationship than it is the box, we’ve outlined some things to consider when shopping for your next partner.
Beyond the Box – 8 Questions to Ask Before Signing with an Order Fulfillment Partner
What services are included in your pricing?
The number one question. Just make sure that the pricing given has all the elements you need and look for bonus adds, like an account manager. These folks are worth their weight in gold. They are an extension of your brand, your team, they’re just located in the fulfillment center, so they can keep constant watch on your items.
Do you offer ecommerce cart integration that will work with my cart?
Does their fulfillment software seamlessly integrate with the platforms you use? WooCommerce, eBay, Amazon, Shopify, etc.
What do your turnaround times look like?
Reputable and reliable fulfillment houses will generally ship the same day on all orders received before 3PM local time.
Is your warehouse climate controlled? Do you have refrigerated storage spaces?
No matter what you’re selling, chances are your products would be better off in a climate-controlled atmosphere. Maybe you need refrigeration?
What kind of carrier relationships and cost saving strategies can you offer?
Not all carriers are the same. They all have strengths and weaknesses. It’s important that your fulfillment partner can provide you with the best value for you and your products. The goal being expediting delivery while being frugal with costs.
Are you the type of company that is poised to grow at the speed of my business?
Changing fulfillment houses can be painful, make sure the one you choose is not only poised to support your growing needs, but proactively seeking ways to encourage your company’s growth.
What kind of transparency, reporting and analytics do you offer?
Transparency is imperative. You should expect a proprietary cloud-based WMS (warehouse management system) that always provides complete transparency of your inventory and orders . A fulfillment house that doesn’t provide transparency is one you cannot trust. It’s your brand and reputation on the line.
What about custom packaging?
If you’re sending something that requires a personalized, high-end touch, ask what your options are. A full-service order fulfillment partner should understand and be accommodating to your needs. You may only need the Honda, so don’t pay for the Bentley, but if you want the Bentley, make sure it’s available.
There are a lot of companies out there willing to tell you anything to get your business. Keeping you – well that’s another story. The good news is there are reputable and reliable businesses, like JM Field who treat clients like partners and values your business, as they would their own.
Owner and President, Jack Field, has a habit of saying, “If you’re making money, we’re making money.”
JM Field’s core philosophies revolve around the notion that an investment in your business is an investment in theirs. This is evident in the fact that each client gets a dedicated account manager, whose sole purpose is to serve as an extension of your company, representing your best interests – at all times. It’s the company’s holistic responsiveness and attention to detail that makes for superior customer service, which is proven day-in and day-out, year after year.
Their order fulfillment clients come from a diverse range of industry sectors, including travel, beauty and hair care, dietary supplements, apparel, technology, education, entertainment and more. Some JM Field clients include CBS Sports, AutoNation, Grande Bay Resort, Silversea Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Keratin Complex, Amadeus, Kaplan University and BalanceDiet, to name a few.
From the receiving dock, to their shelves and back out to your customer’s doorstep, you can count on the speed, accuracy and consistency that the JM Field team brings to work every day.