When vetting fulfillment partners, learning about the onboarding process is critical! It is a great test for “fit”– that is the “fit” between your company and the fulfillment partner.
Run away if the onboarding process is unclear, long, complicated, or disorganized! Oftentimes, this means that the fulfillment partner’s focus differs from your company’s focus.
For example, a third-party logistics company might do a lot of pallet shipments to large physical retailers, then get an inbound lead from a Shopify, direct-to-consumer brand. Working with Carts and Marketplaces, picking and packing individual orders, and shipping small parcels is very different from pallet shipments to retailers.
Assuming fit is right, the onboarding process should look as follows:
Step #1 – Day 1. Initial Call (basic facts about your company, etc.).
Step #2 – Day 2. Materials from the fulfillment company are sent to you (qualitative attributes, pricing, etc.).
Step #3 – Day 3. A follow-up call to talk through details.
Step #4 – Day 4. Decision made to a partner.
Step #5 – Day 5. Brand/s grant access to their stores and marketplaces so the software can speak to each other (i.e. warehouse management software). Initial inbound instructions were sent. The brand/s are given an overview of the Client portal and introduced to anyone they will be working with on a daily/weekly basis.
Step #6 – Day 12. Initial inbound receiving and put away. Orders are flowing from Stores/Marketplaces to the fulfillment partner. The first shipment is sent.
Contact us today to talk about your unique onboarding needs (i.e. existing lease in your facility, moving from another fulfillment partner, etc.).