Finding a fulfillment center that can take on the challenges of your business is something requiring extensive vetting. However, once you find one, it’s easy to become complacent to the warehouse’s basic operations. You may think it’s going to run on automatic pilot forever without developing a close working relationship.
Holding Your Fulfillment Warehouse Accountable
As noted by many logistics experts, you shouldn’t treat your fulfillment center like a commodity. When you nurture a better relationship with them, things can run the way you expect to keep your brand intact.
With that in mind, is your fulfillment running smoothly? Perhaps you haven’t checked in with your fulfillment center for a while after becoming complacent to their procedures. If you’re starting to notice a few things slipping in maintaining your delivery services, it’s time to visit the warehouse and ask some serious questions.
After you address these questions head-on, it’s important to maintain a good relationship to avoid having to seek another 3PL warehouse for logistics improvement.
Are Orders Shipping Out Accurately?
Statistics show that 39% of all retail companies face problems with accuracy in delivering products to their customers. This falls squarely on the fulfillment center you work with, and you may notice too many errors lately.
After several order errors, it can quickly start to erode trust with the customers you’ve worked hard to acquire. While you’ve already invested a huge percentage of your budget into labor expenses, this extra cost is essential to make sure the fulfillment center gets things right.
It’s time to do an audit of the warehouse you work with if you see too many inaccuracies in orders lately. More than several in a week’s time should become a red flag.
Is Cart Inventory Matching Your On-Hand Inventory?
Not being able to fulfill an order becomes even more of a frustration for your customers. The job of your fulfillment center is to make sure they relay what your inventory is so your cart inventory matches your on-hand inventory. Having to suddenly tell a customer your product is out-of-stock after they’ve placed an order is true retail anathema.
Keep daily communication going with your fulfillment center to get on the same page since they can’t operate at your level without your input.
Are Customers Receiving Orders On Time?
Maybe you’ve solved the inventory problems, but what about the method of getting your products to customers? Are customers starting to receive those items later than intended? If so, it’s time to look into what’s happening on the delivery end of your fulfillment center.
Location is everything in the 3PL warehouse you choose. Perhaps they’re in a geographic spot that isn’t conducive to the regions you need to target. Being closer to interstate highways and ports can help shave off time getting packages faster to your intended customer bases.
Do You Receive Products from Suppliers in a Timely Manner?
Getting your products sent to the warehouse from suppliers and manufacturers is another problem that might start to lag. Call your suppliers and find out what’s possibly occurring to slow down deliveries. Having constant low inventory immediately sends a message to consumers you’re not keeping your operations running optimally.
Are Returns Being Processed Quickly and Timely?
You always need a good return policy if you’re dealing in e-commerce. Your fulfillment center should deal in reverse logistics to make sure all returns go smoothly. The only way to make this happen is to assure the warehouse has the best technology to track information on inventory levels and to liquidate items.
Making sure fulfillment communicates this information to you helps you save money and time having unsaleable products stack up in the warehouse.
Reading metrics is essential for any company to get a 360-degree view of what’s happening. Don’t ignore the analytics in your fulfillment center since it can tell you so much. Especially look at their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) where you’ll see some clarity on what the warehouse is doing and what their performance outlook is.
Contact us here at FulfillmentCompanies.net so we can help you find a fulfillment warehouse right for your industry.