Business is booming, but the orders are backing up and you don’t have time to train a bunch of new employees to help take up the slack. What is an eCommerce business to do?
You could hire a great pick and pack service. Of course, not any average 3rd party logistics company will do, you need the best 3PL because your customers deserve it. Hiring a great 3PL also gives you a lot of peace of mind and can reduce your returns rate, adding even more value to your relationship.
Interviewing Your Potential Pick and Pack Service
It’s always a good idea to ask a future business partner some probing questions. After all, you want to make sure they know how to handle your goods and that they will do so in a way that allows you to remain a part of the action.
Here are a few 3PL questions to get started with:
- What data do you collect? It’s become an age of data points, they’re absolutely everywhere. If they’re not on your pick and pack floor, there’s a serious problem.
Your 3rd party logistics company should be interested in improving their processes, and that always starts and ends with data. The more the merrier, especially when it’s data that can be applied to your logistics.
- How do they manage inventory control? Again, the data has to be there or you need to walk away. It can be easy to make major mistakes with inventory if there aren’t processes in place to prevent them.
3PL bar code scanning is an easy way to keep track of each and every item in your warehouse so each pick is as perfect as possible, as well as giving you actionable information about how your customers choose your products.
- How accurate are their picks? A 3PL with a lot of data collection points should be able to easily tell you how accurate their pick and packs are. Obviously, no one is perfect and there could have even been a shipment of mislabeled items in their warehouse, but you definitely want to choose a 3PL with a very high pick accuracy percentage.
- What do they do about returns? Picking a 3rd party logistics partner that also handles reverse logistics is a move that can save you a bundle down the road. With returns to eCommerce companies exceeding 30 percent of purchases in some sectors, the bigger you get, the harder that reverse logistics processing will become.
- What else can they do for you? Some pick and pack services can do more than ship orders out the door. Ask about customer service options that might allow your online customers to reach an agent for help with placing an order, climate controlled warehousing for your delicate goods or even literature fulfillment for catalogs and mailers.
Choosing the best pick and pack service for your eCommerce store is a great way to ensure a long and fruitful run. Instead of spending all your valuable time sending out orders, you can be taking care of new customer acquisition or finding new places to peddle your wares. Leave the packing to the pros and do what you do best!