Before jumping into a logistics partnership, put on your detective cap and take the time to research your potential partnership with care. Since a third-party logistics company directly handles your valuable inventory and acts as a connection between you and your customers, it’s essential that you take the time to uncover the fundamentals of their business operations.
With careful research, a solid distribution partner can become an integral part of your operations and will improve your customer relations, but finding the right partner to connect the links in your supply chain is key. So, what kinds of research and questions should you ask before joining forces with a third-party logistics company?
Learn From Personal Experience
While many logistics companies promise the moon and stars, a few minutes spent reading through company reviews and learning about their track record with other companies is a great starting point. You will gain valuable insight into their level of customer service, characteristics that make them a valuable partnership, and other important information that will prepare you to find the best partnership for your logistics needs.
Ask Important Delivery Questions
Instead of asking general questions about the warehouse fulfillment center’s services, come up with a list of questions related to your specific logistics needs. If you are searching for a faster delivery solution within the US, ask about average delivery times, the cost of shipping various product amounts, and how they can simplify the receiving process for your suppliers. If your goal is to promote a faster delivery time on your company website, learning every detail about the shipping practices allows you to promise your customers faster delivery times with confidence.
Learn About Fulfillment Capabilities
If you have a company with evolving inventory demands, an effective logistics partner will be able to manage these ongoing changes without a problem. Some fulfillment questions to consider as you discuss a potential partnership could include:
- How quickly can you fulfill orders once my inventory has arrived at your facility?
- How do you track and store inventory?
- Can you organize products into kits/bundles for product promotions or discount deals?
- What is the cost to store my inventory? Are there bulk inventory discounts?
- Can your company fulfill orders once I receive sales on my eCommerce platform?
Research Safety Procedures
Just as important as fast delivery and professional inventory organization, don’t forget to ask about product safety considerations. Do they offer padded packaging solutions to prevent inventory damage during transit? How is inventory kept safe while at the facility?
Trusting another company to handle your products is a big step, a logistics partner can guarantee that your inventory will be protected from weather damage, theft, and other potential risks. Any professional logistics company that offers kitting services organized storage, and has a well-connected distribution network should be able to answer any of your questions with ease.