Having a secure warehouse is a prerequisite for and fulfilment warehouse. but when it comes to fulfilment services what do you really know about what to expect and how are you being treated by your existing supplier?
When listening to customers we hear the same gripes about their existing fulfilment service. So let's clear up a few smoke and mirror tricks that some fulfilment companies like to pull.
1. Management fees on your account.
Now this seems to be the biggest constant headache of all our clients moving from any fulfilment service provider in the country or in Europe. For reference, this fee should cover the time involved to produce reports, manage workflow and deal with problems on your account. We do not charge fees for using our software tools as they help both you and our team to increase productivity. We have even seen fees go up in cases where volumes of orders have slowed down! We don't know why either.
Your account manager should be able to understand your sales channels and your stock items. Good account management talks to you about stock level planning for promotional times and postage/ shipping implications for your product lines. But great account management helps you with your process start to finish from attracting clients online to helping you get your packaging right for postage savings and security of delivery. Now, what do you pay your management fee for?
2. Postage Markups
You may or may not know that there are postage discounts available with the Royal Mail and with couriers depending on volumes you are sending out. Now, the real smoke and mirrors here are with the fulfilment warehouse posting items on their account which admittedly using economies of scale can benefit you as some pass on 'some' of the discounts but did you know that all fulfilment service providers can post out using your account details? I understand that you may not reach certain thresholds to enable discounts but it's definitely worth exploring. Only if you've got all the facts you can truly make up your mind.
3. Storage fees
However you ship your goods to your fulfilment service provider we all have to store your goods in a planned way to make it most efficient to pick and pack. Do you know how you are charged for your stock to be stored? There are many ways to do this some work by the pallet/bay space, some buy volumetric totals. Just make sure you art having the wool pulled over your eyes. Ask the question. Is my stock being stored most efficiently and how can I lower my storage fees? You may be surprised at the response.
4. Packaging costs
This is a fascinating subject with lots of variables to go through. Most fulfilment service providers should steer you to the best route to get your packages out under certain postage thresholds and in secure parcels to maintain the integrity of your items.
Now we all know where to get packaging from and economies of scale apply here to give you better value. But are you getting what you want or need? Some fulfilment companies will force their own packaging styles and products. Just make sure it's right for you and your products.
We are an open book when it comes to warehouse visits and stock taking. Why not book some time to come and see us. You may be surprised at what you find.
Want to know more about our fulfilment services?
Why not give us a call on 01242 802410 or fill in one of our enquiry forms today.