Tag Archives: Kit Building

Six Things to Look for in a Fulfillment Provider

24 Jan

When people think about order fulfillment, they usually think about pick, pack & ship. However, order fulfillment is about much more than the ability to pick items off a shelf and fill boxes. A good fulfillment house is a partner to you in many ways, including print, procurement, and kit building. Here are a few key points to consider when looking for a fulfillment partner.

  1. What is the accuracy rate of the prospective fulfillment company?
    Ask the prospect for their pick-error rate. While industry average is a 99% accuracy rate, many companies have a much lower rate (and many will have much higher). Pick errors are expensive in terms of time, shipping and product expenses, and–probably the most important of all–customer satisfaction. Make sure you choose a fulfillment company with a low pick-error rate.

    Quality Fulfillment

    Fulfillment is more than just pick, pack, and ship.

  2. Will the vendor do procurement if asked?
    Fulfillment partners who are willing and able to take of your procurement needs can help shorten turnaround times, reduce shipping costs, and save you valuable employee time.
  3. Can the fulfillment vendor save you money on printing costs?
    Printing at or near the fulfillment company means reduced shipping expenses. One thing to consider, too, is whether the vendor has internal digital print capabilities or outsources their printing. Costs will be lower if they print in-house.
  4. Does the vendor do enough shipping to offer savings on postage and freight?
    Fulfillment centers use overall volume to negotiate discounts with freight carriers. This allows them to spread shipping and handling costs across all their clients. Taking advantage of these discounts will help offset the costs of hiring a fulfillment center.
  5. Can they save you money by combining literature with premium items or products?
    Rather than using two separate fulfillment vendors for literature and product/premiums, consider finding a vendor who can handle all types of fulfillment. This will simplify ordering and save money. Often times, too, orders can be packaged and shipped together, reducing costs. And, you’ll also have better accountability with only one company managing your fulfillment operations.
  6. Does your vendor have an experienced team of people who will be working on your behalf?
    Quality fulfillment centers train their employees on products, processes and safety. This means you have a happier customer and lower costs due to efficiency, accuracy, and safety.

As you can see, having the right fulfillment partner can not only make things easier for you, but can save you time and money. Next time you are in the market for a different fulfillment services company, consider what else prospective fulfillment suppliers have to offer besides pricing, packing and shipping.

Fulfillment Service Charges: What Do They Mean?

8 Sep

So you are ready to contract with a fulfillment company! This is truly a defining moment for your business.  Whether you email, fax, or have orders linked from your shopping cart, fulfillment companies charge for a variety of services.  The following terms and definitions may help you decipher the line items on the price quote:

CC Transaction: This is the charge to have the fulfillment company handle the processing of credit card transactions for you.

Kit Building:  This fee usually involves combining individual items to make sets or kits. 

Order Processing: Usually this is a cost per order that includes the printing of the packing slip and shipping label, picking the first item, plus picking each additional item.  This may also include a minimum fee for low order quantity or file alterations on your orders.

Product Assembly/Assembly: Usually, this is the cost for assembling products to make them ready to sell.  An example would be folding and poly-bagging t-shirts for proper storage. Assembly can include combining multiple products into an individual sku, labeling products, and pre-packaging items. One purpose of assembly is to avoid higher costs when items are shipped out individually at a later date.

Purchasing: This the fee to have shipping or product supplies ordered for you.  Usually includes checking inventory levels periodically and re-ordering as needed.

Receiving: This fee includes checking in product shipments, restocking storage/pick locations and entering data; usually charged per carton or pallet.

Returns: The fee to process items returned by your customers. 

Setup:  This is the initial charge that covers the cost of the preparations needed to handle your products.  These preparations may include the loading of data and  linking the shopping cart into the fulfillment software, phone connections and special storage requirements.

Warehousing:  Cost of storing your product, usually charged by the pallet or cubic foot.  Some companies count this on a weekly basis and then determine the average for the month.

Mediascope offers all of the services listed above, plus many more. Give us a call today at 1-888-644-0844 to discuss how we can help your transition to working with a fulfillment company!