Switching to an Order Fulfilment House



April 2020 - Feature, Fulfilment, Uncategorized



Making the Switch

As your business grows, it’s impossible to handle everything yourself, especially if you want to focus on new products, growth and sales. Whether you’ve been bootstrapping your start-up by doing all your own picking, packing and shipping or your current provider isn’t measuring up, switching to a new third-party fulfilment company can seem daunting. Investing in the right fulfilment house can really pay off, but what does the process of moving involve?

1. Research

To find the right company, establish what you need, then search for these criteria. Some questions to consider;

  • Do you have a specialised product? See if the companies you come across have similar clients.
  • Can the company offer bespoke services (even if you don’t need them yet)?
  • Narrow down your options by looking for case studies on the company’s website – do they reassure you?

It’s worth remembering that the fulfilment house doesn’t have to be local to you, or your production location. A decent sized business will have local and global clients, so consider all locations.

2. Contact, visits and quotes

Once you’ve got three companies to consider, give them a call and ask them about the first steps. At JEM, we love to discuss your requirements and let you know what we could do. We can offer a tour of our facilities and a demo of our fantastic IT services. We would then send you out our fulfilment guide which includes a variety of services and costs based on the information supplied to date. You’ll have the set up and ongoing costs, no guess work or unexpected charges. When you’ve worked out exactly what you want, we supply a detailed proposal.
When getting proposals from multiple companies, make sure you’re clear about what the company charge and provide for the following areas;

  • Set up costs (and how much additional SKUs will be in the future) including how they will integrate your data (processing customer orders)
  • The fulfilment fee – which will depend on the frequency, quantity, size and product assembly requirements for dispatch
  • Trade orders
  • Product insurance
  • Management fees (e.g; this covers stock updates, reporting, meetings)
  • Ongoing IT requirements
  • Storage
  • Packaging, mailing and courier costs (including overseas)
  • Customer tracking information (if required)
  • Waste and sustainability policies
  • Returns and exchanges
  • Additional services such as facilities to bank customer funds, barcoding, e-commerce offerings (including a website), bespoke services such as hand-written notes to customers or customer service contact.

3. Transparency, trust and decision time

Once you’ve spoken to your companies, visited sites and obtained quotes, it’s decision time. If you find that your first choice isn’t the cheapest, do go back with a like-for-like quote to see what they can do. Price is important, but it isn’t the only deciding factor. Are you confident that you’ll be using an efficient, friendly team? Double check that they have given you all the information you need and there won’t be any surprises further down the line. How long will it take to switch everything over? At JEM, we can do it in a matter of days.

It’s a good idea to ask for references, so you can talk directly to a few existing clients, particularly any that share any similarities with your business. We are confident that all our JEM customers would be happy to recommend us, just ask us to pass on the reference details.

 

Talk it through with us

Here at JEM we understand what a big deal it is to consider trusting someone else with part of your business. With us, you get all the benefits of our expertise and over 30 years of experience. We are set up to label, kit and package on demand. Your products will have dedicated order staging areas for product assembly and kitting so you can have the products sent out shelf ready, retail display ready or straight to the customer, in whatever combination you need.

Our dedicated IT team use the latest software to help you with data manipulation for promotion, giveaways, competitions or customer rewards. We’re always up to date with the latest GDPR rules, so you don’t have to worry about that either.

Contact us today to find out what we can do to help you grow your business.