How to Measure the Qualities of Good Fulfilment Services?
The first question to ask is this: how many things do your fulfilment services do for you? The more control your fulfilment partner has over your order receipt, stock management and delivery processes, the better its quality is likely to be. So when you’re thinking about which fulfilment service to pick, make sure your prospective partner can offer you things like stock management and communications management.
Of course the ultimate mark of fulfilment services quality is the response of your customers to the experience of ordering and receiving your products. A good fulfilment is one the customer doesn’t even notice. It’s only when things go wrong that customers sit up and start scrutinising the ways in which their orders are being sold and delivered to them – so if you’re not hearing from your customers you’re likely to be on the right track.
There are several attributes good fulfilment services must have. Key among these attributes is the ability to go further than the competition. For example: will your fulfilment partner help you with ecommerce from a communications standpoint as well as from an order fulfilment point of view? The company that sends emails out to your customers on your behalf and provides easy tracking updates for them is the company that is increasing your customer’s service experience tenfold.
So much fulfilment these days is about volume – shipping as much as you can as quickly as you can and hang the personal aspect of it. That’s all well and good until something goes wrong and no-one knows who to talk to. If you want a good experience with a fulfilment services provider make sure you choose a company that gives you a dedicated account manager and shows a real interest in helping you do what you do, better.
Many smaller businesses have little idea how they can most efficiently fulfil orders. And why would you? Your business is about creating a product, marketing that product and refining it. Fulfilment is a completely different animal – the business of your fulfilment services partner. One of the core advantages to using outsourced fulfilment – and one of the key ways in which you will be able to measure the quality of your fulfilment partner – is that you can get advice on streamlining and redesigning your own processes to facilitate better order fulfilment.
It’s about expertise. You’re good at designing and building the products or services for which your business is known. A fulfilment services company is good at managing those products, and making sure they get to your customers within the time you’ve promised.
To this end, a quality fulfilment service will provide you with a dedicated account manager. Your account manager is there to run every aspect of your order fulfilment process, in tandem with your wishes and the way in which you want your customers to experience your company. Ultimately, your order fulfilment services partner is there to be part of your company: and that’s how you can tell you’ve got a good one.
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