The most crucial part of the supply chain is order fulfillment. To manage this successfully, using a 3PL (or third-party logistics) company will greatly assist you. But what if the performance of your 3PL isn’t as good as you expect? Maybe your 3PL can’t offer certain fulfillment aspects that your growing business now requires. Are their accuracy and speed not up to the mark? Does their way of fulfilling your orders something you do not like? Do they fail to respond when you need them the most?
If your current 3PL’s performance has instilled doubts within you, you should begin by evaluating how they’re doing in the following areas:
- Transportation and freight management (including claims)
- Warehouse management
- Distribution management
- Returns management
After you’ve decided that your existing provider doesn’t meet your expectations, it’s time to start searching for a new 3PL.
Questions To Consider When Choosing A New 3PL Provider
Of course, you’d want to ensure that if you’re switching, your new 3PL can exceed your expectations. So try asking these questions, the answers to which will assist you in meeting your warehousing needs.
- Can they meet your current and future business requirements? If you’re growing quickly, a good 3PL should be help assist you through proper fulfillment requirements. Make sure they are aware of any special permits or licenses required for your products, besides the proper storage techniques.
- Do they offer global shipping? If you currently ship internationally, or plan on doing so in the future, ensure they provide coverage to the countries you intend to ship to, in addition to competitive overseas shipping rates.
- How quick is their customer service? Ensure the company has an effective and organized customer service management system that’s available when you need them, especially if your business requires urgent deliveries or deals with large volumes.
- Do they provide a good tracking system? Since today’s consumers expect a decent tracking system to be part of a 3PL company, this service is a must. An accessible, responsive tracking system will allow you to keep tabs on each of your documents.
- Are they using latest technology? Technology is required to keep your logistics efficient by integrating your inventory management system and tracking shipments. If the company is using outdated systems, that’s a red flag.
- How much volume can they handle? If you have significant volumes of items to be delivered at certain times of the year, you should definitely make sure this company can manage the task. Ask how they’ll ensure that there won’t be many errors in processing your orders and their strategy during peak holiday seasons
- Can they manage inaccuracies and returns in an effective manner? Familiarize yourself with their process in handling fulfillment issues like returns, canceled orders, or incorrect addresses. Consult the company about the proper and timely handling of items in scenarios like these.
If it’s possible for your business, see if the potential 3PL company allows you to open a trial account so you can get a gist of their services. To ensure they meet your expectations, you can also consider signing a short-term contract in the beginning before committing to a long-term deal.
At NovEx, we offer complete end-to-end logistics. Businesses choose us due to three main reasons:
- Warehouse and assembly: We store your products. Based on your product and customer needs, we assemble, pick, and pack the product. Plus, we offer full tracking of returns, shipments, and inventory.
- Leading rates and fast, worldwide shipping: We offer best rates in the industry through our relationships with shipping companies and our ability to zone skip (by truck or air). We ship within 2-6 business days anywhere in the US. We offer international shipping by air or ship freight.
- Dedicated customer service: This is what makes us different. Other 3PL companies concentrate on getting your product in their warehouse – and know that changing a logistics partner is a challenge. However, we value our partners, and get your products shipped out as quickly as possible; NovEx also provides industry- leading customer service to grow with you.
Don’t be shy – give us a call at 801-566-6722 and see what we have to offer!