Find a New 3PL to Benefit Your Business in 2022
The holiday season is an undeniable test for how well your 3PL fulfillment needs are being met. Did your orders ship in a timely manner? Did they arrive to customers on time and in perfect condition? Were you able to track your merchandise and integrations? Was someone there to answer the phone or respond to an email when you had pressing questions about your inventory?
With the rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, and an evolving ecommerce landscape, it has never been more important to partner with the right 3PL fulfillment company. As we begin a new year, new quarter, and new season, now is the time when many entrepreneurs reflect on whether or not their 3PL needs are being met. Key reasons to reexamine your 3PL provider include:
- Poor performance issues such as delayed deliveries, inaccurate items picked, and inventory discrepancies
- Billing and invoice inaccuracies such as abrupt pricing changes, incorrect shipping rates, and billing inconsistencies
- Technology barriers, including reporting problems and/or incompatibility with your CRM or sales platform
- Insufficient resources or the inability to meet the needs of your growing business
- Poor customer service as illustrated by failure to communicate and a lack of consistent support when problems arise
If you’ve encountered one or more of these problems, it’s time for a change. Sticking with an under-performing 3PL company can result in inaccuracies, delays, and lost customers that ultimately damage a business’s reputation and bottom line. Plenty of ecommerce brands feel this burn in the form of:
- Financial Loss: Order cancellations, high expedited shipping costs, and free replacements erode a company’s profit margin.
- Damaged Reputation: Poor online reviews can cause long-term damage to your company’s credibility.
- Lost Customers: Nearly 60% of people won’t return to a company that fails to deliver proper service.
- Wasted Time: The time and human resources required to repair fulfillment problems can spiral out of control after multiple issues.
But you don’t have to deal with that!
Outsourcing fulfillment can seem like an intimidating endeavor at the start because it means the shipping function of your business is completely out of your control, so you must rely on your partner to keep your reputation intact. If your fulfillment services are falling short and causing your brand to suffer, the time is now to switch to a 3PL that has it together and has your back.
When beginning the search for your new 3PL, the path to a smooth transition begins by establishing goals and expectations for your new provider. This involves outlining your requirements for orders, inventory, and special services, as well as expectations regarding time frames and reporting. The best fulfillment companies collaborate on specific service-level agreements (SLAs) that will govern your entire relationship. Make sure that you “ink” these details in your contract. Once an SLA is set, establish procedures to help ensure that you receive what you need from your new provider. Here are some important points to cover:
- System Integrations: Ensure the new provider can successfully integrate with your CRM or sales platform.
- Shipping Schedules: Clarify shipping and delivery time frame goals, then ensure your new provider can meet them.
- Key Points of Contact: Designate a primary point of contact and confirm how you can best reach that individual.
- Meeting Schedules: Determine how often you and your provider will meet and the method of said meeting (virtual conference, phone call, in-person meeting).
- Reporting Frequency: Establish a reporting protocol that will enable you to plan monthly and quarterly progress reviews.
Additionally, as you and your new provider work together to cover these points, make sure that you’ve taken measures to minimize disruption within your organization. For example, you should determine in advance how much product you’ll need to move to the new facility as you exhaust existing inventory with your previous 3PL.
With all that being said, the single greatest key to a successful 3PL transition is ensuring that your new fulfillment provider is a perfect match for your company and its goals. Reach out to Ruby Has Fulfillment today to discuss yours, and learn how your brand can benefit from switching to the most reliable name in 3PL .
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