If you’re looking for a fulfillment house to provide pick, pack and ship services for your eCommerce orders, there are plenty of 3PL companies to choose from. What you may not realize, however, is that some of these companies can provide several services that go above and beyond basic B2C fulfillment operations. In this article, we’ll look at 5 of these value-added services in greater detail – services that could be critical to your brand.
5 services to look for in a fulfillment house
1. Multi-channel fulfillment. If your business has both B2C and B2B customers, it can be very inefficient to handle these fulfillment needs separately. Such a fragmented approach typically leads to too much inventory, too much warehouse space and too many truck-runs – plus redundant management structures. All of which results in too much expense.
It’s much smarter to partner with a 3PL provider that offers multi-channel fulfillment – a holistic fulfillment strategy that can fulfill orders for all your sales channels using one master inventory. Look for a 3PL with the systems, space, and expertise to process B2C orders rapidly and efficiently, while at the same time understanding the strict routing guide requirements of big box retailers. It’s all fulfillment, but these channels have very different demands.
2. Kitting services. Warehouse kitting is the process of taking multiple SKUs and combining them in a package to create one new SKU. Common examples include the following.
- Subscription boxes that feature an assortment of related items
- Professional skin care regiments that include cleanser, toner, face mask, and moisturizer
3PL providers that specialize in fulfillment-house kitting services can handle high-volume projects on a regular basis, while maximizing efficiencies associated with labor time and cost.
3. Custom packaging. A nicely branded box or bag will trump a generic one every time, setting the stage for a more positive customer experience. It’s your first chance to wow a customer and differentiate your brand from the competition.
Nearly every aspect of your product packaging can be customized by a fulfillment house – from the design of the outer package to the dunnage inside.
Importantly, “custom” doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. There are plenty of personalized packaging approaches that can help your company make a distinctive first impression without putting a substantial dent in your budget. These include using filler material in your brand colors or closing boxes using tape printed with your company’s logo.
Such customization isn’t just attractive, it’s practical too. Your 3PL can help you tailor a box’s measurements more closely to its contents to reduce costs associated with dimensional weight pricing.
4. Returns processing. Many online sellers find eCommerce returns management difficult to handle. But not all 3rd party fulfillment houses have a great solution for processing returns when a customer sends an order back.
When a 3PL has expertise in managing the outbound order flow and processing returns, it creates an integrated, closed-loop solution for managing your inventory.
5. Call center services. Product fulfillment is all about creating a great customer experience. Some 3PLs offer fulfillment call center services, where staff handle any issues that may arise during the fulfillment process. This gives you the benefit of excellent customer service resources (directly integrated with the warehouse), without having to staff this function and invest in the advanced call center technology required to run such an operation.
At Amware Fulfillment, for instance, we employ a dedicated team of customer service specialists that can handle inbound calls, customer service emails, product information, order and shipping status inquiries, and promotion inquiries.
Fulfillment house services that go above and beyond
Amware Fulfillment provides the services described above and many other value-added services. We offer these services across our nationwide fulfillment house network, which includes 16 facilities in 6 major markets. This network enables you to speed delivery times and reduce parcel costs by putting your products closer to your customers. To learn more about the benefits of working with a fulfillment expert, contact Amware today.