Transitioning order fulfillment operations, whether moving to a new provider or implementing outsourced fulfillment for the first time, doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process. Partnering with the right fulfillment provider can optimize operations and accelerate the growth of your online business! Here are four tips to make your transition to a new fulfillment center as smooth and efficient as possible:
1. Prep for the Big Move
Proactive preparation will pave the way to a smooth and efficient inventory transfer and onboarding experience. Prepare existing and future inventory according to the receiving requirements put in place by your new fulfillment provider to speed up receiving. If you have a team that handles inventory on your behalf, be sure to provide necessary training.
Communicate with your team by outlining expectations and necessary steps, scheduling deadlines, and providing resources to facilitate all aspects of setup. The following timeline shows RSL’s onboarding process for outsourced fulfillment:
2. Plan Freight Transports Early to Save Money
The physical transition of inventory to your new fulfillment center should be planned out with time. Provide your existing warehouse ample time to schedule a pick-up and your new fulfillment center enough time to arrange your first shipment. While air freight is faster than land or ocean, arranging freight early allows for more cost-effective transport methods that still meet your receiving schedule.
Outsourced fulfillment can alleviate time consuming tasks for online business owners such as freight, by providing an all-in-one freight solution. RSL’s SmartFreight provides eCommerce businesses with dock-to-dock inventory movements. The professionals at SmartFreight prepare the rate quote, create the bill of lading, book the carrier, schedule the pickup, and manage the shipment through delivery.
3. Understand the Onboarding Process
Depending on the complexity of your business model, products, and integrations, the average onboarding transition can take anywhere from 10 days to 45+ days. Understanding your team’s role in the onboarding process, as well as what is involved on your provider’s side allows for a smooth transition. It is crucial that both teams work together during the onboarding setup- ensuring the smallest of details are addressed, and preventing hiccups in the future.
Rakuten Super Logistics understands the complexity of altering your online business’ operations. To improve our clients’ experience during this transition and reduce onboarding times, we developed a comprehensive onboarding process called “RSL SmartStart”. The concierge-style customer integration is designed to provide customers with 1-on–1 support and ongoing communication that helps quickly and easily navigate the onboarding process and get your fulfillment up and running.
4. Utilize Support Resources Available
Use the resources available to you to the fullest extent. A well-established order fulfillment partner will provide the support resources necessary to help you overcome any obstacles along the way. Having a dedicated team of onboarding specialists, IT support, and client services ensures you successfully complete the necessary steps for a speedy transition.
Communicate with your onboarding team along the way to address any questions and concerns you may have regarding integration and setup. RSL can provide assistance with integrations through our network of platform partners for custom APIs. Once integration is completed, have your team test out the new procedures to ensure orders run smoothly and any issues are addressed before going live.
Transitioning to outsourced fulfillment with a new fulfillment partner is an exciting endeavor!
We understand the commitment to your customers and the importance of speedy, accurate order fulfillment. Whether you are outsourcing for the first time or have outgrown your current fulfillment provider, our team of fulfillment consultants know how to get you started and quickly ramped up to meet the needs of your growing business.
Ready to scale your eCommerce order operations? Give us a call at 866-955-7793 or contact us here to learn more about outsourced fulfillment. We look forward to providing you with the right solution to optimize the growth of your eCommerce business.