How To Make The Most Out Of Your Outsourced Fulfillment Operation

by Gwen Carrington | eCommerce Fulfillment, Outsourced Fulfillment

WarehousePhoto

Sometimes, the key to maximizing ROI from your outsourced fulfillment operation isn’t choosing the right fulfillment service.

It’s making sure you are letting your fulfillment service do their job by following proper procedures.

I know what you’re thinking…

“You’re an outsourced fulfillment service. Of course you would want people to make your job as easy as possible! Less work for you, more for us right?”

I won’t argue that there isn’t a little truth to that. After all, everyone wants to partner with someone who’s easy to work with.

But there’s a certain threshold of work that needs to be done on your end, regardless of who you’re working with, to make your outsourced fulfillment a success.

For example, information on when you’re shipping inventory, new SKU information, promotions you’re running, all these things are necessary to ensure that your fulfillment partner can prepare for whatever you’re doing.

In fact, just a little more effort than the bare minimum could greatly boost the speed, accuracy, and overall efficiency of your outsourced operations. Regardless of what kind of fulfillment service you’re using, here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the most from your partner:

How To Ensure Your Inventory Is Received Accurately

Receiving involves the inspection and counting of thousands of different items, and well as organizing and arranging them for optimal picking requires a systematic approach.

Even with the latest barcode technology, mistakes can occur if boxes are not labeled correctly.

The best way to ensure you are maximizing receiving accuracy is to tell your fulfillment partner what to expect!

If you are sending 19 rubber ducks and 12 candles, tell them that! That way if they receive 18 rubber ducks and 13 candles, they can recognize a disparity and inform you immediately.

How To Make Sure All Your Orders Get Out On Time

Speed is critical to maintaining customer loyalty among your shoppers.

So there is nothing quite as frustrating as watching your orders fail to get processed within 24 hours.

If you have a good fulfillment partner, here’s what you can do to maximize your speed of processing:

Don’t wait till the last minute to prepare your inventory. The sooner your products are received properly, the sooner they can be picked, packed, and shipped.

Make sure you take care of any possible back orders or shortages before they become a problem! Some fulfillment services will send you low inventory alerts so you can ensure you are never “sold out.”

Finally, if you know that your order volume spikes in October, tell your fulfillment partner. The more they know about your business, the better they can be prepared and get all your orders out on time.

In other words, communicate. The more you and your fulfillment partner exchange information, the more likely you will be on the same page.

Following all the above procedures will not guarantee that you have high accuracy, speed, or inventory accuracy. That depends a great deal on what fulfillment partner you’re using. But it will ensure that you are giving your fulfillment partner the tools necessary to achieve that 100% accuracy rate, same-day shipping, and the level of inventory accuracy you would like.