Customer experience is everything. Through the magic of social media, one customer’s experience with your brand, good or bad, can potentially influence thousands of people. For ecommerce brands, this makes choosing a third party logistics (3PL) provider to fulfill customers’ orders accurately and on-time, an extremely important decision. Here are three things ecommerce retailers should DO and one thing that they should NOT DO when choosing an outsourced fulfillment services provider.
- DO: Look for a provider that focuses on the end consumer. A 3PL that considers their client’s customers to be their customers too, generally offer features and services like quick order turnaround times and competitive shipping options that support the best possible experience for your consumer.
- DO: Look for a provider that is data / technology driven. In addition to reviewing a 3PL’s investments and utilization of warehouse management (WMS) and order management systems (OMS), consider other ways that they use data to make meaningful business decisions. Integrations with a business intelligence (BI) tool can help transform raw data into meaningful and useful information and the real-time reports and analytics provided mean that leadership makes decisions based on hard data. These informed decisions save you, the client, time and money. Additionally, ask what integrated solutions like warehousing, co-packaging, fulfillment, transportation, reverse logistics (returns), and distribution does this provider offer? Many 3PLs specialize in a few services. Others claim there is nothing they cannot do. Select a provider with a proven track record in those services most critical to servicing your customer. For example, The Jay Group’s Integrated Transportation Solution enables merchants to track packages right to the customer’s door with final mile delivery tracking.
- DO: Look for a 3PL provider with experience efficiently scaling their operations to fit changing business needs. The efficiency of your supply chain is directly influenced by how proficient a 3PL is to scaling bi-bidirectionally. Because demand might contract for any number of reasons, you need a 3PL that can rapidly scale down the processes within your supply chain. Conversely, you also need a logistics provider that can handle sudden spikes in demand and be adaptive to Peak Season volume variability while maintaining high levels of quality. Find a 3PL that already has clients both larger and smaller than your organization. A 3PL that can scale will constantly be making small adjustments as requirements change.
DONT: Don’t settle for a just a good 3PL. Make sure to choose a GREAT 3PL. While a good 3PL can check the boxes of your current fulfillment needs, a GREAT fulfillment center is one that works with you to grow your business. Choose a fulfillment service provider who will partner with you to anticipate your business’s needs and proactively offers solutions for the long term success of your company.
LEARN MORE: If you’re looking for a new fulfillment partner, check out The Jay Group. The Jay Group has been an industry leading 3PL provider since 1965. Today, top ecommerce retailers rely on The Jay Group’s experience, customer focus, and technological integrations to deliver the best possible experience to consumers.