During this time when the coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to close or slow down, you might have discovered some weaknesses and risks in your supply chain. You might even have new priorities.
As we all begin to ramp business back to full capacity, now may be a good time to take a look at your logistics and maybe revamp a few things to make sure your fulfillment plan is ready for a restart.
Inspect Your Supply Chain
A failure in the supply chain can ruin your business. When people order something, they expect to receive it quickly and economically. If you can’t deliver that, customers will find someone who can.
During the COVID crisis, the goals you set for your business may have changed. Take a look at any new goals and make sure the partners you work with understand the changes and any new direction you might be taking.
Before you restart your business, make sure your partners are up and running as well and they have the resources to dedicate to you and your product.
Fulfillment partners are important to your business and its bottom line. A third-party fulfillment center might be a good idea and can help you save money in shipping costs, inventory, and fixed assets. Before COVID, you might not have needed one, but now you might.
Questions to Ask Potential Third-Party Fulfillment Partners
Picking the perfect fulfillment partner doesn’t need to be difficult. Pricing is important, but it isn’t the only factor to consider. Cheap prices might have added costs that pop up later including inaccuracies and returns which might lead to unhappy customers.
When looking for possible fulfillment partners, ask lots of questions and consider several factors.
- Location: Ask where warehouses are located. The closer they are to your customer base, the quicker products will reach them. Fast delivery leads to happy customers.
- Scale: The size of the operation, the types of systems they have, and automation can make a difference. Automation can mean increased efficiency, capacity, and accuracy. Choose a company that is big enough to meet your needs but does not sacrifice other things like efficiency and accuracy.
- Technology: Technology is at the heart of all aspects of fulfillment. It helps streamline both the ordering and shipping processes, minimizes errors, reduces returns, and maximizes customer satisfaction. Ask what technology your possible partner uses and learn how it can help you.
- Performance data and transparency: Partners should be able to show you performance data to help you assess end-to-end performance. Key performance indicators can provide feedback on sales efforts and help you determine discount programs, free shipping discounts, etc. If a fulfillment partner will not show you data, they might not be committed to co-creating value for both you and them. Partners should not keep secrets or claim performance information is proprietary. They should be willing and able to answer any questions you may have.
Make sure potential partners fit intoyour business’ climate and culture. They are an extension of you and your vision so you should share some of the same goals and future plans.
Importance of Fulfillment Partners
COVID changed some priorities and brought out some new concerns. As we work to restart our economy and ramp up our businesses, workplace safety has taken on a whole new meaning with the importance of keeping a physical distance and regularly disinfecting and sanitizing.
Fulfillment does not need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Aero Fulfillment Services can streamline your fulfillment needs, simplifying everything while saving your company time and money while improving delivery time.
Since 1986, Aero has been the right choice for many Fortune 1000 businesses to make their fulfillment more effective, more efficient, and easier to manage.
Contact us today to ensure your fulfillment plan is on track.