A stagnant business is any owner’s nightmare. Businesses require progression to be able to succeed. By creating goals and guarantees, it can allow any business to move forward and generate more sales. Stagnation can happen to any business, even 3PLs. For an eCommerce business, it’s important to work with 3PLs that constantly drive fulfillment forward.
By working with a fulfillment company that constantly moves forward, it can in turn help your business grow and increase customer satisfaction. But what are the signs of a progressive 3PL? In this blog, we will discuss 5 key factors that help drive fulfillment forward.
Pick, pack, and ship
Pick, pack, and ship services are the bread and butter of fulfillment services. However, there is so much more that goes into these services that separates good fulfillment from great fulfillment. Successful order fulfillment involves much more than shelves of neatly stacked products.
To drive fulfillment forward, 3PLs need to maintain good inventory management and pick the right pick and pack methods. By doing this, fulfillment centers can increase speed but also maintain consistent order accuracy.
For Red Stag Fulfillment, we know pick, pack, and ship are the heart of our operations, and that is why we complement our pick and pack services with accuracy guarantees and redundancies. We believe that orders should be correct every time, with no excuses. From zero warehouse shrinkage to bicoastal pick and pack warehouse fulfillment, we aim to offer our clients a full range of pick and pack order fulfillment services.
We know that warehouse shrinkage can affect your business. Every lost or damaged product ticks your shrinkage rate higher and makes it harder to turn a profit. For a 3PL to continue to drive fulfillment forward, the business needs to think about the shrinkage of its clients’ products. By implementing security measures and internal procedures, a 3PL can decrease its shrinkage to almost zero.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we have a zero shrinkage guarantee. However, we know we are not perfect, but we try to be pretty darn close. If any of your products are lost due to theft, damage, or improper handling, we will reimburse you for the item’s wholesale cost. But we combat the potential by implementing strategies to ensure that it remains as close to zero as possible.
Our processes are the reason we can be so confident. The redundancies and processes used will help us with our goal. We train our warehouse staff on how to handle stock and reward them for error-free stocking. Our receiving process is quick and efficient by getting your inventory on the shelves quickly and doing double-checks to ensure everything was done correctly. Finally, we utilize 24/7 security monitoring to make sure everyone is safe and catch any disturbances that might occur.
As mentioned before, the sooner the inventory gets from receiving to your fulfillment center’s shelves can reduce shrinkage. However, inbound shipments stranded on the receiving dock are a drain on your business. How? If your inventory isn’t processed right when it is received, it can make your online store inaccurate. As the shipment sits, your online site will reflect incorrect inventory, which can convince someone to shop elsewhere.
To drive fulfillment forward, 3PLs need to think of procedures to ensure that stock is moved quickly and efficiently to their shelves.
Sometimes 3PLs can skip the shelves altogether to get orders out faster. For example, Red Stag will utilize cross-docking to handle any backorders that are present. By doing this, we provide quick shipments to customers that have been waiting for their products — increasing customer satisfaction overall.
U.S.-based customer service and personal account management
Customer service on the fulfillment end can sometimes be overlooked. Think back to a time that you might have experienced a mishap that required an urgent fix from your fulfillment partner. Were you able to contact them right away? Did you have an account manager on the fulfillment side that you could contact for help? These are things to consider in a fulfillment company. A 3PL that prides itself in internal, U.S.-based customer service also cares about driving fulfillment forward. And with 58% of consumers dropping companies based on poor customer service, it can be essential for your eCommerce business to have the ability to talk with your fulfillment partner quickly.
At Red Stag, we care about offering the best service we can for our clients. Our customer service is completely 100% U.S.-based. Each client has the opportunity to work with a personal account manager to ensure any mishaps that occur are addressed immediately.
A 3PL that utilizes a multi-warehouse strategy drives fulfillment forward by offering faster shipping times and potentially cutting costs for their clients. There are numerous reasons that multi-warehouse locations can benefit an eCommerce business, but the two biggest factors are shipping speeds and cost. You can fill orders from the nearest location, minimizing cost while increasing the speed of delivery. And with outsourcing your inventory management, your 3PL can monitor shifts in customer demographics. By doing so, your 3PL can move inventory to the warehouse that is closest to your new demographic.
For Red Stag, we started initially with our Knoxville, TN, location but have grown to operate warehouses in Salt Lake City, UT. These two warehouse options available to our partners ensure that we can reach more than 96% of American homes within two business days. However, we aren’t stopping at two locations. Our next set of warehouses under construction now are in Sweetwater, TN. We want to target locations in major domestic markets to get our clients’ products to their customers faster at lower costs.
Is your 3PL driving fulfillment forward?
After looking over this list, you should ask yourself, “is your 3PL driving fulfillment forward?” If you feel like your fulfillment partner is stagnant, it might be time to look at other options. There are plenty of factors that can help 3PLs drive fulfillment forward, but we think it can be summed up to these five factors.
If you are in the market for a new fulfillment partner, why not fill out our questionnaire to help point you in the right direction? Want to learn more about how RSF continues to drive fulfillment forward? Let’s talk!