Whatever industry you’re in, make sure you invest in a fulfillment partner that’s as dedicated to your business’s success as you are.
Successfully navigating today’s shipping and logistics landscape is no small task. Between volatile international trade policies, shifting e-commerce demand, and technological disruption driving market innovation, carving out a space for your business to thrive can be daunting.
That’s where fulfillment partners come in. Whether you’re looking for a third-party logistics (3PL) partner or an integrated logistics services provider (ISP), leveraging the industry insights of an experienced player in the logistics space is a smart move. Indeed, fulfillment partners can help businesses of varying sizes — and budgets — design and implement logistics strategies that work for them and their customers, all without having to bring those capabilities in-house.
With that said, picking a quality fulfillment partner is imperative. The right fulfillment partner for your business will be able to meet your current needs as well as speak to your growth goals. While you do want to find a 3PL or ISP that works for your budget, however, making the decision wholly based on the price tag of managed services can cause headaches and more expenses down the line.
To help illustrate the importance of investing in a substantive working relationship with a trusted fulfillment partner, consider what could go wrong by cutting corners. From delayed shipments to lackluster customer support, the wrong fulfillment partner can cost your business.
1. Inefficient Shipping
When it comes to today’s fast-paced shipping landscape, you’ll be depending on your fulfillment partner to minimize costs — without forgetting to dot their i’s and cross their t’s. To that end, the wrong fulfillment partner may lack the industry footprint to take advantage of strategic shipping opportunities. They may not know how to pursue negotiated rates or they may not be able to offer you multi-location distribution. Plus, if they’re charging you too much for shipping because they’re not packaging correctly, the costs could add up.
2. Late and Incorrect Shipments
In a logistics environment increasingly defined by giants such as Amazon and Walmart, it’s important for smaller and mid-sized outfits to stay competitive. That means that your fulfillment partner should be providing you with the platform to offer customers fast and accurate shipping. Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, customers who feel they can get their packages faster somewhere else very likely will. Similarly, customers who lose faith in your ability to send them what they ordered will bring their business elsewhere.
3. Subpar Customer Support
Today, customers want regular updates, a clear picture of where their order is in the pipeline, and, most importantly, reliable customer support. The best fulfillment partners will be able to offer your customers all of these in a helpful, approachable way. However, fulfillment partners without the experience or resources to offer dependable customer support may leave customers wanting. With research showing that one-third of customers are willing to cut ties with a company after a single negative customer service experience, it’s crucial to get it right.
4. Lackluster Unboxing Experience
Unboxing has become a pivotal part of the consumer experience. Indeed, Google reports that the amount of time people have spent watching unboxing videos is equivalent to watching Love Actually more than 20 million times. That means that businesses need to be investing in quality packaging materials and designs to ensure that their products spark joy upon arrival. The best fulfillment partners will be able to work with you to provide this experience to customers, but cutting corners with your selection of a 3PL or ISP could leave your customers underwhelmed.
5. Poor Inventory Control
Your fulfillment partner should be standing by to help you navigate surges in demand and holiday rushes. With the right inventory control technology and best practices in place, you can avoid backorders and supply chain disruptions. However, fulfillment partners without the experience to navigate these challenges successfully could cause you to lose valuable business if customers have to go elsewhere to get what they need.
Investing in the Right Fulfillment Partner
As with every business decision, you’ll need to decide where cost and value intersect in the most strategic way possible. While you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to paying for fulfillment services, going for the lowest bidder may cause more problems than you think you’re solving. To that end, make sure you invest in a fulfillment partner that has your back — and that has the resources you and your customers need.
With more than two decades of experience in the shipping and logistics industry, Primary Freight has the fulfillment know-how businesses need to successfully navigate today’s logistical challenges. Between our award-winning customer service team and advanced warehousing and distribution facilities, we can help businesses of any size and budget execute their fulfillment goals.
If you’d like to learn more about how award-winning shipping and logistics services from Primary Freight, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.