If you’re in the business of ecommerce, then at some point in time (whether it was in the past or whether it is in the future) you will (or already have) considered the services of a fulfilment company. The reasoning is very straightforward and simple: as an ecommerce business, you want to focus on sales and marketing and have professionals take care of the actual logistics.
The truth is that the logistics are often very cumbersome, and they certainly aren’t as easy as one might suspect. In order to save time (and be able to focus on what matters: the growth of your enterprise), you need the experts. But how do you choose the right one? Here’s your step-by-step guide to finding the ideal ecommerce fulfilment company.
It’s often easy to think of an alternative that gives you the best price and the most economical option, but that’s not always the best choice, especially not when it comes to a fulfilment company. The fulfilment company will, after all, be your link between you and the customer, and you want it to deliver quality results. Budget is important, of course, but don’t make it your main criteria.
Price and budget
When it comes to the pricing, make sure you understand the pricing scheme – and make sure you have it laid down on paper in the form of a contract that is easily understood by all parties. How will you be charged if your items do not complete a truckload? Will you be charged extra for work outside the contract, and if so, how?
You may be tempted to hire the services of a fulfilment contractor that is near to your point of outlet (the factory or production facility); although it might be wiser to find a service that has its facilities near major transportation means, such as highways, intersections, and so on. It makes transportation more convenient. Compare their location and weigh it against the various costs you may incur.
An ecommerce fulfilment provider that uses state-of-the-art technology tends to be a lot more efficient, and this may mean lower costs as well as faster service.
Are your goods secure? Does it carry insurance?
Here’s one more thing you want to look out for: you want to make sure that the contract you are offered is amenable to seasonal variations. Sometimes your business is up, sometimes it is down – that’s part of having an enterprise. It’s not good to be stuck with a steady contract if it means you win during the up times but lose during the down times. A good partner understands this and makes adjustments. You want flexibility. You want a partner that takes care of you.
Image courtesy of renjith Krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net