With customers placing orders for your products online from all over the country (or across the world, if you do business internationally), you want to maximize the reach of your fulfillment warehouse.
It’s also imperative that you partner with experienced third-party logistics professionals to help ensure that your supply chain is as robust and reliable as possible.
With that in mind, here are some tips on how to choose a warehouse to take care of your order fulfillment requirements before connecting with the 3PL team at Warehouse Specialists, LLC.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A FULFILLMENT COMPANY?
As you research how to find a fulfillment center, there are some key details to consider, including:
- Where are the company’s warehouses located? You will want a partner with multiple warehouses, especially if you anticipate growth in size or scope.
- How fast can the organization ship products? With so many customers becoming accustomed to two-day or next-day service, you risk shoppers abandoning a purchase, scared by lengthy delivery periods.
- Can the fulfillment team use your branding when packing products? To extend your brand in the marketplace, you may prefer to use shipping boxes that have your company’s logo and slogan on the exterior.
- What is the company’s return policy? Returns are inevitable for any business shipping products to customers. Make sure that the warehouse team you partner with has experience in returns management. It’s best if your logistics partner has a system to note which customers are serial returners, so you can treat them with the appropriate level of attention .
- Does the 3PL company promote transparency? Your company deserves to have access to real-time data about your items as they are received, stored, picked, and packed, so you can track them during shipment.
HOW DOES A FULFILLMENT COMPANY’S WAREHOUSE LOCATIONS IMPACT BUSINESS?
Ideally, your warehouse will be in an area where it’s the most cost-effective to ship items to different geographic regions. Companies selling products online will want to keep location in mind when determining where to ship items for warehousing and fulfillment.
When selecting a fulfillment center, you will need to take into account where your customers are located. If they are all in the same region, you’ll know which zone your warehouse should be located.
Depending on the nature of your business, you might prefer to use a warehouse near your manufacturing center.
Sometimes, the best approach is to work with a third-party logistics service provider that has warehouses in multiple locations.
Shipping zones are important factors to consider when fulfilling orders. They are broken into eight zones in the U.S., numbered Zone 1 through 8. Third-party logistics professionals measure zones by ZIP codes, not by miles. Zone 1 refers to the originating point and the destination will be anywhere from Zone 2 (nearest) to Zone 8 (farthest).
The cost and time to ship orders will increase the farther apart the zones are. You will want to partner with a fulfillment team that can leverage warehouse space in hubs all across the country to control expenses.
CONSULT WITH WSI TODAY ABOUT SELECTING THE RIGHT WAREHOUSE FOR FULFILLING YOUR NEXT ORDERS
WSI is a family-owned 3PL business with more than 50 years of experience in the industry. We take pride in our small-town values, while delivering major-league distribution services via the nation’s 17th-largest third-party logistics network spanning more than 15 million square feet.
We maintain campuses near major transportation and metropolitan hubs, serviced by the country’s most extensive rail-served public warehouses network. For urgent shipping needs, we offer next- or same-day service throughout most of the lower 48 states.
This vast network helps us offer you flexible and scalable warehousing and fulfillment services for a wide range of products, from B2B to B2C.
For assistance in selecting the right warehouse for your company, contact WSI today to speak with a fulfillment expert.