How to Choose a Fulfillment Service

By | March 19, 2010

When you run a business and you need to decide on a fulfillment service to work with you need to be sure that you are going with one that will help your business thrive. Because there are a number of fulfillment services that are now available you may be wondering how to go about choosing a fulfillment service that will suit your needs.

When choosing a fulfillment service there are several factors that you should consider. These factors include:

•    Can they Handle What you Sell: Depending on what you sell you may require special needs to be met. For example, if you sell digital goods that first must be created or generated you need to find a fulfillment service that specializes in that area.
•  Can they Handle your Volume: If you sell a good number of items each and every day you need to be sure that the fulfillment service will be able to handle your specific volume. A good rule of thumb is to take a tour of the warehouse and the rest of the facilities if you can to ensure that your needs will be met both presently and in the future should your business grow.
•    Where is the Warehouse Located: If you have customers all over the world this is a little less important, but if the majority of your customers are in one concentrated area then you will want to work with a fulfillment service that has a warehouse somewhere close by. This will ensure timely deliveries of your products and help to build up your reputation.
•    Dependability: This is paramount. You have to ensure that the fulfillment company that you choose is going to be dependable. A great way to find out a company’s track record is to ask them for some references. Some websites of fulfillment services will also have customer testimonials. If you find that neither is available then don’t go with the service.
•    Level of Responsibility: Many fulfillment services will not be held accountable for theft of goods, loss of goods, or damaged goods. This can add up to a big chunk of change for you so you need to find out just how willing the fulfillment service you are considering is to take such responsibilities. Usually, those that have good inventory systems will be more reasonable as well.
•    Cost: Find out all your costs upfront. Some fulfillment services charge a set up fee and some don’t. Some offer an all inclusive price and some charge on an ala carte basis. Know what you are getting into before you decide. If you unknowingly go with a fulfillment company that charges all sorts of little hidden extras then you may be in for ‘invoice shock’ once the first month comes due.

The most important aspect of your business is ensuring that the customer is happy. The first thing in making a customer happy is getting them their goods in a timely manner. This can be accomplished by taking your time and doing your homework in order to find the right fulfillment company for your business’ needs.

Read fulfillment service reviews to help you decide which company is right for your needs.

One thought on “How to Choose a Fulfillment Service

  1. Dan

    Thanks for the tips. I’m starting to think I need a fulfillment service and don’t know where to start.

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