Are you aware that only half of all small businesses are still operating after five years? If you want to thrive, you may need to consider outsourcing some of your processes. But you don’t want to select just anyone to handle critical parts of your operation. 

Keep reading to learn about the 5 things you should consider when choosing order fulfillment partners!

1. Check the Product Packaging Choices

When you’re looking for a packaging partner, it makes sense that you would want one with a variety of product packaging options. You’ll need boxes that are sturdy enough to prevent damage to your products. And you’ll want options that can feature your company’s branding on the surfaces of the box.

Look for corrugated, paperboard, and plastic boxes. Also, check for poly bags and other shipping options for smaller products. A good fulfillment partner should have a full assortment of choices. 

2. Know Where the Fulfillment Supplier Is Located

If you’re shipping products to people all over the United States, you’ll want to partner with a supplier that has warehouses in different regions. When warehouses are strategically located near customers, that speeds up the delivery time. 

Make sure you choose a fulfillment supplier with the capacity to meet your needs, too. In other words, they should have enough warehouses to keep up with demand. 

3. Consider the Speed of Delivery

How quickly can the product get to the customer? With two-day shipping now a common expectation, you need to know that your packaging partner can come through with fast shipping. 

A potential partner should have data on on-time deliveries to share. And they should have an efficient system using software to ensure on-time deliveries. If a delivery does not arrive on time, ask how they handle it. 

4. Look at the Costs

When you add a fulfillment supplier, you’re trying to save money. Do the math to make sure that storage fees and shipping costs won’t hurt your bottom line as a company. 

Ask about different plans, or how prices may change after a certain time period. Compare rates among different suppliers, too, before making a choice. 

5. Evaluate the Communication

Finally, pay attention to the clarity and consistency of communication. A fulfillment supplier that fails to respond promptly to questions or offer a clear explanation of their process is not one you want to have. They should have a mission that aligns with your goals as a business. 

Your supplier should use software to keep shipments on track and provide tracking information to customers. And they should be transparent about shipping delays or other issues that come up to help mitigate problems. After all, your fulfillment partner is a reflection of how you are doing business!

Choose the Right Order Fulfillment Partners

Streamlining order fulfillment can result in a more efficient and prosperous business. Just be sure to choose a partner with a variety of packaging choices to meet your needs and a quick delivery process. It’s also wise to check where their warehouse is and ensure that you’re getting a good value for your investment. 

When you’re ready to improve your supply chain process, contact us so we can help!