A fulfillment “Request for Proposal” (or RFP) is a major part of the process in looking for a fulfillment center. When you send an RFP, you’re basically using it as part of your vetting process in assuring a warehouse you want to work with is top quality.
As much as you might think every fulfillment center is the same, they’re really not. Many of them across the nation vary greatly in functional quality, technologies, and designs for specific business structures. It’s hard to know this, however, without asking vital questions to help you discern what works best for you.
An RFP is basically a set of inquiries that look more deeply at what the fulfillment center offers. They may give you the basics in their marketing, yet it’s hardly ever enough to know everything.
So what’s contained in a fulfillment RFP? Let’s take a look at the questions you should ask, and anything else you need to include to achieve thorough vetting.
Asking Whether the Partnership Will Truly Work
Always remember that when working with a fulfillment center, you’re going to need to work closely with them like any other business partnership. One of the first statements you should make in your RFP is telling the warehouse exactly what you’re looking for in a fulfillment center.
By telling them directly what you expect, they can better know whether you’re both going to have a successful partnership. It’s best to know early and not realize you’re not a match halfway into a busy customer buying season.
Listing Your Business Concerns and Problems
Giving the fulfillment center a list of your most serious shipping problems, the fulfillment center can better understand where you’re coming from. They’ll also know whether they’ll truly solve your problems with their technology.
Logistics require a lot more challenges now, so if you find out from this that they aren’t completely up to speed on shipping technology, it’s best to move on to someone else.
Some warehouses might have superior technology, yet just don’t have experience shipping products like yours, or equipped for your business structure. Transparency in your RFP scopes this out fast.
Providing Details About Your Company
The more your considered fulfillment center knows about your company, the better it can serve you. It’s unfortunate many business-warehouse relationships go on generalities rather than truly knowing every detail about one another.
Tell them about when you opened, your owners, and your sales figures over the last several years. Listing your strategic goals also matters so the fulfillment center knows whether their own growth can handle your future logistics expectations.
If they tell you they probably won’t have any technological growth over the next few years, it’s a possible red flag.
Inquiring About the Scope of the Warehouse’s Services
Asking what the warehouse provides in the way of services helps you pin down what you really need and what might become a waste of time and money. Tell them about what your average order totals are and the type of shipments you need for every customer.
You also need to inquire about how many international orders they can handle if you’ve opened up to overseas markets. Plus, don’t forget to give details about what your product (or products) are so the warehouse understands how to appropriately handle shipments.
Your products may need unique special handling as well, and not all warehouses can accommodate this. In addition, ask about inbound volumes, communication methods, and your expectations in how packaging should occur at receiving and shipping.
Contact us at insightQuote so you can use our FulfillmentCompanies.net site to vet a fulfillment center that works for you. We’ll help you through the RFP process.