Choosing a Warehousing and Fulfillment Partner

by Will Schneider

Choosing a warehousing and fulfillment partner can be an overwhelming experience.  Oftentimes, it is the last thing that a company considers before launching a product.  But making this decision doesn’t have to be difficult.  And with a little thought during the planning stages, companies can make the best decision for all of their warehousing and fulfillment needs.

Analyze Your Needs

In order to make the most informed decision, a company must have a thorough understanding of its warehousing and fulfillment needs. One critical factor to consider is the geographic needs of your business. Is it important that your warehousing or fulfillment partner is located close by?  Will you be shipping all throughout the country or world? Where is your manufacturer located and how does that relate to your geographic requirements?

Second, a company must explore its needs related to technology. Do you have a web store in place currently? If not, what are your technology needs? Web stores range from very basic (with low monthly costs) to complicated and highly customizable (with larger up front costs). Furthermore, the reports that accompany your web store are vital to making the most informed decisions. Does the web store offer real-time reporting? Finally, if you already have a web store, does the warehousing and fulfillment company have an interface to download orders, send out tracking information and offer inventory reports?

Third, warehousing and fulfillment companies usually specialize in certain types of projects. For example, some companies are quite proficient at e-commerce fulfillment, while others focus on B2B projects. Finding out what types of verticals potential warehousing and fulfillment providers specialize in will assist you in selecting one that best suites your needs.

Compare Warehousing and Fulfillment Companies

Taking the time to search for a quality warehousing and fulfillment company is an important step in the process. makes it easy. Simply fill out a quote request form and receive up to 5 responses from quality warehousing and fulfillment vendors.

Of course, knowing what to look for will ensure a successful choice. Use the tips below to make the best decision on a warehousing and fulfillment vendor.

  • Obtain a list of all warehousing and fulfillment charges
  • Determine how many customers the warehousing and fulfillment company has
  • Ask how many locations are under management and where they are located
  • Ask for references from existing customers
  • Check the vendor’s BBB rating
  • Obtain a tour of the facilities
  • Obtain a demo of all technology systems and reports
  • Ask for an understanding of the processes and procedures of the vendor
  • Ask for historical error rates of the warehousing and fulfillment company
  • Gain an understanding of the customer service support mechanisms of the vendor

Make the Best Decision

By taking the time to understand your needs and the capabilities of each warehousing and fulfillment prospect, you will be able to make the most informed decision. Remember, the back end storage and distribution of your product is an important part of your business that deserves adequate time and consideration.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 at 2:08 pm and is filed under Warehousing and Fulfillment Resources.