When it’s time to outsource your fulfillment, it makes sense to choose carefully. Your fulfillment partner is essential to your operations. You need to find the best fulfillment services company for your eCommerce business. If you’re considering Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com, we’ve outlined the basic information you should know.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we can’t work with every eCommerce business that approaches us for order fulfillment services. We wish we could, but that would do a disservice to those businesses. We know what we’re best at, and we work with clients who can benefit from our top-notch services. For that reason, we sometimes refer people to our competition.
The truth is, there are several excellent eCommerce fulfillment companies in the US. Red Stag Fulfillment is just one of them. So, if you’re trying to decide whether Red Stag Fulfillment or Fulfillment.com is right for you, we’ve created this side-by-side comparison.
Why the best fulfillment company matters
Before we jump into the specifics of Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com, it’s helpful to review why the right fulfillment partner is so important.
Before there was Red Stag Fulfillment, there were two frustrated eCommerce entrepreneurs. Their business was doing well — almost too well. They tried multiple fulfillment companies and none could keep up. They knew that, without accurate and on-time fulfillment, their enterprises couldn’t keep growing. So they created a new fulfillment company. They were guided by the knowledge that eCommerce success is built on a foundation of great fulfillment.
Can your business afford late shipments, slow delivery, lost orders, or lost inventory? Probably not. That’s why you need to choose one of the top third-party logistics companies as your fulfillment partner.
Beyond quality, it’s important to assess areas of expertise. Choose a 3PL with experience managing products like yours and working with your business model. For example, if you’re running a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll want to choose the best crowdfunding fulfillment company. Your choice may also depend on the size of your business, your customer distribution, and the types of products you sell.
When you compare Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com, you see two very different business models. They differ on typical parcel weight and fulfillment warehouse locations. Minimum order volume and SKU breadth are also points of difference. Here’s what you need to know to choose.
What kinds of parcels does Red Stag Fulfillment ship vs. Fulfillment.com?
The typical parcel weight that Fulfillment.com warehouses ship is between 1 and 10 pounds. That matches the typical parcel weight for most eCommerce orders. If you’re like most eCommerce companies, most of your orders probably fall within that weight range.
Red Stag Fulfillment specializes in safely shipping heavy and bulky items. Our typical parcel weight starts at 20 pounds, and we can ship much heavier items. Heavy items often require special handling, and we are the experts in that. In addition, large packages can be subject to DIM weight pricing. We know how to help with that, too.
Are there monthly order minimums?
Some fulfillment companies have no monthly minimums. If you’re a startup or your business is seasonal, minimum order volumes might be a concern. You might want to find a third-party logistics company that doesn’t require minimum shipments.
Red Stag Fulfillment sets a minimum of 200 shipments per month, on average. We have some flexibility in that minimum. Fulfillment.com has a firm minimum. The company will only consider you as a client if you ship at least 1,500 orders each month.
Do these fulfillment warehouses have order-to-SKU requirements?
SKU breadth is the number of different SKUs you keep in inventory at a fulfillment warehouse. Your order-to-SKU ratio is the number of orders you ship compared to the number of SKUs you have on the shelves. Some fulfillment companies set a minimum order-to-SKU ratio. Still, understanding your SKU breadth to order can help you manage your inventory.
Red Stag Fulfillment doesn’t have a minimum order-to-SKU ratio. Fulfillment.com requires a ratio of at least 7.5:1. This means that, for every SKU you have in a warehouse, you ship 7.5 orders per month. For example, imagine a company that stocks 1,000 different SKUs. To meet the 7.5:1 ratio, that company would need to ship 7,500 packages each month.
National and international fulfillment operations: Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com
You should look at fulfillment warehouse locations when you choose your fulfillment partner. Your warehouse location strategy will vary depending on your business model. Do you want to minimize the number of warehouses you use to reduce carrying costs for stock? Or do you want your products close to your customers, distributed among several warehouses? Another consideration is whether your sales are regional, national, or international. You might prefer warehouses near large population centers. Or you could go with centrally-located facilities that reach a broad segment of the US quickly.
Red Stag Fulfillment has two order fulfillment warehouses. One is in Knoxville, TN, and the other is in Salt Lake City, UT. From these two warehouses, we can reach 97% of US delivery addresses in two days or less. We also ship international orders. If you’re looking for simple, efficient inventory management and order delivery, Red Stag is a great choice.
Fulfillment.com has five US warehouses. They are located in Atlanta, GA, Kansas City, MO, Las Vegas, NV, Salt Lake City, UT, and Scranton, PA. In addition, the company has four international warehouses. These are in Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia. If you ship across North America and internationally, Fulfillment.com can provide excellent delivery options.
Other considerations when you choose a 3PL services company
These are just some of the factors to consider when you look at Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com. You also might want to ask these questions.
What is your shrinkage allowance?
Shrinkage is the loss of stock in a warehouse. It could be a pallet that gets misplaced and is never found. Shrinkage might occur when products are damaged or stolen. Most fulfillment warehouses (though not Red Stag Fulfillment) have a shrinkage allowance. You pay for losses up to the allowance amount. The warehouse pays for anything over that.
Do you offer accuracy guarantees?
What happens if a package is packed or shipped incorrectly? Do you have to pay or will the fulfillment company cover the costs to correct the mistake? Find out what kinds of accuracy guarantees you can expect. In addition, ask about the error rate. Those two pieces of information should factor into your calculation of your actual fulfillment costs.
What are your reverse logistics services?
Returns are a fact of life in eCommerce. Your reverse logistics operations need to be efficient. Otherwise, this cost can hurt your profit margin.
Do you offer kitting or customization?
The ability to offer grouped or kitted items can increase your sales, particularly during the holidays. Adding a personal touch, such as a name, to a product can also be a selling point. Can your fulfillment company do the kitting and customization for you? If so, you’ll save money. And you have maximum flexibility for selling your products.
Can you create subscription boxes?
Subscription eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. If you want to sell subscription boxes, find a 3PL with experience to help you succeed.
Which eCommerce platforms do you integrate with?
You need seamless integration with your main sales platforms. Warehousing isn’t just about physically moving products in and out. Make sure the tech works well, too.
You may want to ask even more questions. Red Stag Fulfillment created a fulfillment company questionnaire to help you out.
Of course, before you choose your fulfillment partner, you also need to speak with a customer service representative. That’s the best way to find out about pricing and get an estimate of what your fulfillment costs will be.
You might even want to visit the warehouse. That way, you can see firsthand if the operation is well-run and the staff happy. Poor warehouse management and disgruntled staff don’t bode well for their fulfillment services.
When you consider Red Stag Fulfillment vs. Fulfillment.com or any other fulfillment service, there are many factors to think about. The cheapest option could cost you money through sloppy packing and inaccurate shipping. A warehouse close to one of the coasts might cost too much, in time and money, to ship orders across the country.
Your order fulfillment choice is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your company. It can affect customer retention, inventory management, and costs of goods sold, among other things. Take the time to do your research. Pick the company that will work best for your eCommerce business. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at Red Stag Fulfillment. We’re happy to help you find your best fulfillment company, even if that isn’t us.