Features to look for when choosing a warehouse fulfillment center
When you need an offsite storage and logistics solution, you are faced with a huge decision. You need to find a balance between a convenient location and a manageable cost. This all depends on finding a warehousing partner that is easy to work with. It represents a huge aspect of your company’s ability to meet shipping needs and maintain a positive overall customer experience. This is a difficult decision and one that should not be taken lightly.
Before you start looking, here are some important aspects to look for when deciding on a warehousing partner.
They should have the capabilities you need
Understand the storage requirements and apply them to your warehousing solution. Do you have products that are flammable or hazardous? Do they need to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment? The third-party fulfillment center should have the capability to accommodate these special circumstances. This will be evident early in the process but you can eliminate a number of candidates if they don’t have the capability to store your products.
They should be scalable
As your business grows, so will your storage and logistics needs. It will waste your time and resources to select a warehousing solution that is maxed out as soon as you sign a contract. You can save time and effort by doing your own research and estimating your current and future storage needs.
Remember to consider your customers
The location of your warehouse should be able to serve the regions you need. It is pointless to have a warehouse in Cleveland for example if you intend it to serve Florida. This sounds elementary but it underlines the importance of warehousing and logistics when it comes to satisfying customer needs. Not only will deliveries be faster but being closer will reduce overall shipping costs. This is especially important if your products have a short time to market and are highly perishable. Faster deliveries and lower shipping costs are benefits that are passed on to customers and when they are happier with reliable service, the more likely they are to remain loyal customers.
How do they communicate?
All logistics companies need to be able to communicate to their clients and vendors. If the logistics company relies on old technology or if communication doesn’t seem like a priority, look elsewhere. You need to be able to trust this company to perform an important function and constant communication is key. Their use of technology is also evident in how your products are stored and how picking and shipping is accomplished.
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The main goal of warehousing and logistics is to satisfy customer expectations. When your company successfully masters the fulfillment process, picking, packing, and shipping quickly becomes one of your business’s biggest assets.
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