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5 questions to ask when looking for a fulfillment house

Choosing your fulfillment house is a critical decision as a business owner or manager.It may be the single most important decision you make for the long-term success of your business.If you have a great product, but you can't get the product to your customers, then your company will not be successful.

You will want to ask a few simple questions to see if a fulfillment house is equipped and ready to take you on.If you can get good answers for these questions, then you may have found the right fulfillment house.

1.Have you done a similar project or do you currently work with any of my competitors?
You are looking to see if this house has done a project with similar size, complexity and timeline.For instance, the ability to send out 10 videos a day doesn't speak to the complexity of sending out 2000 packages in a two-day period.

If the fulfillment house works with one of your competitors then it is easier to compare apples to apples instead of trying to match other projects to what you are currently working on.You may even ask your competitors who they use when you start your search for a good fulfillment house.Often they will have a good relationship with the fulfillment house and a referral is good for every body involved.

2.Do you have the equipment needed to fulfill this project or contract?
You should see a red flag immediately if the answer is no.Often the fulfillment house will say that they can get the equipment in a timely manner and that it isn't an issue.However, the big issue here is that it takes time to learn a new piece of equipment.The learning time will slow down production and you need to know how this is going to affect you.

This issue may not be a show stopper, but you need to know up front what you are dealing with.If the company is really what you want, but they don't have the equipment, you can look to see how long it will take them to get things up and running.It may be best to have a contingency plan too.

3.Do you have enough staff to handle my contract?
For instance, if the company has to double their staff to meet your needs you will also have to account for training time and lower production.You will want a fulfillment house that can easily add your business to what they are already doing.However, if you do decide to go with a smaller company that has to hire staff, just understand the issues that go along with that.

4.How is the fulfillment house going to ship my product?
Advantages and disadvantages exist for each type of shipping method on the market.Make sure you are clear up front with the fulfillment company on your expectations.You will want to make sure that they can also handle product tracking and that this information will be sent to the customer.Unless your product only costs a few dollars and is easy to replace you will want to pay for this service because it will be worth it instead of trying to fix problems later when they arise.And yes, the will arise.

5.Who do my customers contact when there are problems?
If you are in business, there will be problems.Packages get lost, packages get stolen, and packages arrive damaged.The industry standard is two to five percent.Ideally, the fulfillment house will handle these calls.If you run the customer service calls at your company, make sure your customer service has a good contact number with the fulfillment house that can resolve issues.

In summary, you want to ask enough questions to find out what kind of support you will be getting from your fulfillment house.Make sure they are ready to support you and that you will get additional support as your company rolls out.There are always problems when a new system is started up.

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