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Changing Fulfillment Services Does Not Have to be Hard.

 In eCommerce, Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Shipping

 

Here is a guide to switching fulfillment companies to increase customer satisfaction, lower costs and focus on what you do best.

 

“After having two bad experiences with other fulfillment centers, Elite OPS has been amazing.”

Dr. Noah Lebowitz – Founder Supreme Nutrition

 

Change is Never Easy

Switching from doing your own fulfillment or switching from using another fulfillment company (3PL) can be a daunting experience.  Long term contracts, set up fees, the cost to transport your inventory, all of these concerns can make you think twice about moving.

In this guide we will help you understand the pros and cons of switching.  We will help you evaluate whether you need to change, how to choose the right fulfillment company and how you can prepare for a seamless transition.

“We have been using Elite OPS as a fulfillment for our company for nearly 4 years. They are fast, honest, and best of all… Accurate!  After having two bad experiences with other fulfillment centers, Elite Ops has been amazing. Their technology is great and allows fast and accurate fulfillment and shipping. We have a dedicated customer support rep that handles anything we need. They have had no issue keeping up with us as our company has grown.”

Dr. Noah Lebowitz, Founder Supreme Nutrition

 

Should I Make a Switch?

For those entrepreneurs who are still shipping their own products the reasons for switching are abundant, but the decision is more difficult.

  • Its my baby, I cannot give up control
  • No one will give the attention to detail that I give each shipment
  • My reputation is on the line
  • It will probably cost more
  • I will be a little fish in a big pond

If you are already using a 3PL the reasons are more apparent.

  • Mis-picks
  • Shipping delays
  • There are hidden fees we did not know about
  • Inventory is always off
  • We already paid set up fees
  • Poor communication
  • You have put a lot of expense, time, and effort in partnering with your fulfillment company
  • They cannot scale
  • Their technology does not give us what we need

eCommerce is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy.  To keep up you need a partner that outperforms your expectations, saves you time and money, and helps you keep happy, returning customers.

 

What to Look for in a New Fulfillment Partner

Whether you are shipping from your garage or a 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse, at some point you will outgrow your current fulfillment arrangement.  It is critical to understand what to look for in a new partner.  Getting your product to your customer may seam simple, however, it can be very complex.  Fulfillment involves the following processes:

  • Receiving
  • Warehousing and Storage
  • Pick & Pack
  • Shipping
  • Returns

In addition, you may need help

  • Procuring your product
  • Kitting and assembly
  • Freight management

When looking for a new partner consider the following functions of a fulfillment company.

 

Inventory Management

Companies are looking for a partner to manage their inventory needs who has the experience and technology to handle your materials and keep track of them through a state-of-the-art warehouse management system (WMS).  You need to know how much inventory is selling and how much you have on hand. You need to monitor the receipt of new inventory and manage current inventory to maximize your sales.  This is especially important during holiday season when sale explode. Real time access to inventory levels, lot and expiration date tracking, damaged goods, returned products, and inventory aging are critical to your success.  It is also important to know when inventory levels are being depleted via “safety net” notification.

 

Shipping Rates and Options

It is critical that your fulfillment partner offer a range of freight shipping services to ensure you get the most reliable and cost-effective delivery method for your orders.  Larger 3PL’s can negotiate lower shipping rates because of their volumes.  They should pass these savings on to their customers to facilitate higher sales through faster and cheaper shipping rates.

Whether your customers require overnight delivery or are satisfied with slower delivery to save on shipping costs.  eCommerce sellers can take advantage of shipping partnerships we’ve established in order to save time, money, and to make their businesses more competitive online.

 

Data Analytics – KPIs

A good 3PL will provide you with visibility into our operations and performance, and also hold themselves accountable, Analytics tool should provide charts to help you with everything from year-end reporting to better supply chain decision-making.

Data can be a competitive advantage, and customer reports show an analysis of product you should stock, days of inventory left before you run out, impact of promotions on stock levels, each shipping method’s average cart value, shipping cost, and days in transit, your fulfillment cost per order, storage cost per unit, and much more.

 

Dedicated Account Manager

Account managers serve as the link between the fulfillment Company and the specific accounts (customers) they have been assigned to handle. They listen carefully to a client’s needs and figure out ways to achieve these objectives.

If a problem occurs, say a delivery mix-up, account managers work with the appropriate people within their company to resolve the situation. And whenever customers need questions answered, they know exactly who to contact for prompt, reliable answers.

 

Warehouse Management System (WMS)

An industry-leading warehouse management system should be able to operate efficiently and securely to handle your needs. From receiving your product from your suppliers to shipping it out to your customers, it should handle every aspect of your business.  Advanced shipping technology ensures that correct products are shipped to the correct customers in a timely manner.

“We’ve used Elite OPS for several years and have had a great experience with them. We use several fulfillment companies across our product line and Elite is very competitive and handle our complicated requests quickly and easily. Several of the other fulfillment companies we use seem to struggle with similar requests. Our business can be very cyclical and in boom times Elite always steps up and takes care of us!”

Alex Layton – Legacy Food Storage

 

 

Elite OPS has been a leader in Shipping and Logistics for over 25 years. Contact Us to find out how we can help you Save Time and Money on Procurement as a Service, eCommerce Order Fulfillment, and Kitting and Assembly.

Call 855-553-5490 or Click Here to Request a Quote!

 

 

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