Choosing the right order fulfillment vendor is hard. Your fulfillment provider is the very link between your products and your customers. Maintaining that relationship is important, but things change as you and your business evolve. It would help to analyze whether your fulfillment provider is keeping up. It might be tough, given that you are invested in the relationship. Here are four questions to determine if you have outgrown your fulfillment provider.
1. Communication Problems?
Your fulfillment partner is the link between you and your customers. They need to communicate with your customers when they have issues and keep you updated about everything happening in the warehouse, inventory, systems, logistics, and more. For example, an order was lost, an incorrect shipment went out, or a manufacturer sent damaged inventory. They should contact you first. Similarly, if something is holding up their operations (for instance, their computer network is down and orders cannot be processed) they need to let you know to keep your customers informed. If your partner is not communicating the nitty-gritty with you, you probably need to find someone else who will.
2. Are You Spending Too Much Time On Order Processing?
You decided to hire a fulfillment partner to make your life easier and give you more time to focus on core business operations like marketing, sourcing products, and interacting with your customers. You shouldn’t be spending time on order processing or invoicing- once the order is placed and the checkout process is over, your fulfillment provider is supposed to take over.
If you are filling out order sheets, tracking orders, or checking inventory levels, it means your fulfillment partner needs to step up their game. Or you need to find a new one!
3. Do They Treat Your Products/Customers As Their Own?
Fulfillment vendors need to treat your products and customers as their own- that’s the only way your customers will get a seamless, personalized experience. If you observe that your fulfillment partner shows a lack of concern for your customers in the contact center or is not keeping up with what your brand stands for, it’s time to move on.
4. Are Returns Taking Too Long?
Returns are a pain to deal with, and this is the one area where you can lose time and money if it’s not handled well. Your fulfillment partner should speed up that process, not slow it down. If customers complain of a long turnaround time on returns or inconsistencies, your partner isn’t the right fit.
If you’re running into any of these issues, it could be time to find a new fulfillment provider – and wouldn’t you know it. We happen to provide some of the best-personalized fulfillment services around.