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Fulfillment and Distribution
Top 4 tips for Fulfillment and Distribution
Tips for Selecting the Right Fulfillment House
When choosing what fulfillment service to partner with, keep the following criteria in mind:
- Be certain to outline all aspects of your expectations with the fulfillment house and what exact services you wish the fulfillment house to provide. Being upfront will eliminate any potential misunderstanding and ensure that your fulfillment outsourcing needs will be handled correctly.
- Ask for references from the fulfillment house. Ask to speak with current customers that utilize the fulfillment house for a similar set of services as you will be requiring. This input will help you locate the right fulfillment vendor for your specific needs.
- Evaluate the geographic location of the fulfillment house. While many companies prefer to work with a fulfillment service that is in relative proximity to their physical location, others prefer to work with a centralized location to maximize their shipping costs. Furthermore, if you receive shipments directly from manufacturers, choosing a location that is close to your manufacturers maybe a wiser financial decision. Some fulfillment houses work in coordination with other providers or may have multiple locations to handle your companys specific fulfillment needs.
- Discuss manpower concerns with potential fulfillment vendors. Fulfillment houses often times employ a core group of permanent employees and supplement staff with temporary workers during peak periods. Discuss with the fulfillment house how times like these are handled.
- Request a detailed quote that offers any and all charges associated with your fulfillment services contract. In some cases, fulfillment houses charge fees for services that are not outlined in the initial contract. To avoid this scenario make certain the fulfillment house provides you will all potential charges.
What Fees are Associated with Fulfillment Services?
- Set-Up Fees: Fulfillment houses charge set-up fees to help cover their costs of acquiring your business and preparing their system to take your products.
- Order Processing Fees: This may include a flat amount for each order, plus a charge for each additional item in the package. (some cos have min. volume requirements).
- Storage Fee: This is a monthly fee that reflects the amount of storage space your products take in the fulfillment house warehouse.
- Product Assembly: A fulfillment house can often assemble your product or kit for you, charging you on an hourly basis or a time-costed per-piece basis.
- Inbound Call Center Services: Many fulfillment houses also provide in-house call center services to answer phone orders etc while other fulfillment providers outsource this aspect of their process.
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