Outsourcing your eCommerce fulfilment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is not a quick or easy decision.
You have worked hard to grow your business and you are entrusting an external party to respect that commitment and do right by you, your company and, ultimately, your customers. That said, how do you know you have chosen the right fulfilment partner? Orders that continue to reach your customers on time and in perfect condition is certainly one indication, but you will feel even more confident in your decision when there are obvious signs that your 3PL provider truly values your business.
1. Dedicated account management
A 3PL provider that values your business will assign a dedicated account manager to oversee your fulfilment requirements. Your account manager should be easily accessible and will act as your primary point of contact for any queries or concerns you may have, offering personalised support and ensuring your orders are picked, packed, and shipped to your exacting standards. Your account manager will also be devoted to understanding your unique business goals, need and priorities – even better than you do – so that they are best positioned to provide strategic guidance on improving your order fulfilment operations.
2. Regular & transparent communication
A 3PL provider that values your business understands that importance of regular and transparent communication for a successful partnership. They will proactively keep you informed about relevant developments, including the progress of your shipments, inventory levels, and any potential service disruptions. Whether through phone calls, emails, or a robust customer support portal, a reliable 3PL partner will ensure you are always kept up-to-date with the status of your fulfilment operations. Regular communication also extends to promptly addressing any concerns or queries you might raise. A responsive 3PL provider should be attentive to your needs, providing you with peace-of-mind that you can rely on them to respond to support requests and resolve issues efficiently.
3. Understanding your unique business needs
A 3PL provider that values your business will take the time to understand the unique needs of your business and any potential challenges you might face. They go beyond offering a standard fulfilment solution and proactively inquire about any service or technology features that they could introduce to their service in order to streamline your eCommerce operations. By tailoring their fulfilment offering to meet your specific requirements, they demonstrate a genuine commitment to providing a solution that aligns with your ever-evolving business needs.
4. Performance monitoring & feedback gathering
A 3PL provider that values your business will place a strong emphasis on performance monitoring and feedback gathering. They will appreciate how invaluable your insights are and will actively seek your input on tangible improvements to their processes or systems that could create a positive feedback loop that benefits both parties. Regular surveys, feedback sessions or performance reviews are good signs of a proactive and customer-centric 3PL partner. By involving you in the decision-making process and acting on your suggestions regarding improvement areas and efficiency gains, your fulfilment provider creates a more collaborative partnership that fosters growth and mutual success.
5. Proactive problem-solving
A 3PL provider that values your business takes proactive measures to identify and resolve potential issues before they escalate. They may even provide solutions to problems that you did not even know you had. They anticipate challenges that could arise within your supply chain – such as major incidents that could impact inbound and outbound deliveries – and implement preventive measures to minimise any potential disruption to your business and customers. This proactive approach to problem-solving demonstrates a commitment to continuous optimisation and excellence, ensuring the smooth-running of your eCommerce operations.
6. Continuous innovation
A 3PL provider that values your business understands the importance of continuously innovating, whether through ongoing service enhancements or investment in state-of-the-art technology. This is vital to improve overall service efficiency and ensure greater control and visibility over the fulfilment process, with the potential for your business to make significant cost savings as a result. Adopting technology such as real-time inventory management software, data analytics systems, and shipment tracking tools enables you and your 3PL to stay at the forefront of industry trends, so your business benefits from a competitive edge.
7. Future-planning for your growth
A 3PL provider that values your business is invested in your long-term success and growth. They actively engage with you to understand your expansion plans, upcoming product launches, or promotional campaigns, in addition to the support you will require during peak seasons or periods of increased demand. Taking the time to understand your business objectives enables them to better align their logistics strategies and resources in order to support your growth trajectory. Moreover, the right 3PL partner will offer a service that is scalable, flexible, and adaptable to your changing business requirements, so you can capitalise on new growth opportunities.
Value in being valued
Choosing the right 3PL partner for your fast-growing eCommerce business is vital, as it can significantly impact operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and profitability. You want to partner with a fulfilment provider that truly values your business, as they will actively contribute to your overall business objectives and ensure maximum return on your investment. Remember, the best 3PL providers are those that go above and beyond their contractual obligations. They become an extension of your team, working tirelessly to provide a fulfilment solution that is fit for your business and meets the growing demands of your customers.
If you are ready to partner with an eCommerce fulfilment provider that will prioritise your business, get started with Zendbox today!