If you haven’t read Part 1 of our Dos and Don’ts When Choosing A Fulfillment Services Partner, read that first here.
Here are some more key things to look for when choosing your fulfillment services partner:
Don’t Be Afraid to Look Out of State
There are fulfillment services in nearly every state across the country – so stretch your search radius to find the best fit. Since you’ll likely be shipping across the country as well, it doesn’t make sense to stick with a fulfillment house just because it’s close to home. While choosing something in your area does allow you to visit the facility in person but that doesn’t always make it more convenient for your customers. Consider where you are, where your products are most likely to go and where the fulfillment house is located when making your decision.
Do Look for a Financially Stable Fulfillment House
When you work with a fulfillment services company, you’re essentially “marrying” your company to theirs. A fulfillment house with a proven track record and a stable financial history is one that you can confidently join forces with. You’ll be able to rely on them for the long run. Although a start up fulfillment house with lower prices might seem tempting, sometimes the chances that they’ll be there for you in the next five to 10 years are slim.
Don’t Forget About Your Variable Fulfillment Needs
Depending on the type of business you’re in, your fulfillment needs may have multiple spikes throughout the year. Sometimes these spikes are predictable – especially if your business is seasonal – but sometimes you may find yourself with increases due to a special promotion. Ask each potential fulfillment house about their quick-to-market capabilities. The right fulfillment service for you should be able to scale up and down based on your needs.
Do Avoid Excessive Service Fees
While quality fulfillment services don’t come cheap, you need to be cautious about excessive service fees. When a fulfillment house nickels and dimes their clients on each transaction, it can be a warning sign. On the other hand, too low of a price can be a warning sign, too. Your research and decision-making criteria should include a range of pricing you’re willing to work with. This way you can easily see if the service fees from a company are excessive.
Choosing a fulfillment services partner can be a complicated process, but by keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind you can find a company that you can work with for the long run.