Not all print on demand fulfillment providers are created equal, and partnering with one that does not meet your company’s needs can result in stunted growth or even customer loss. With contracts, perceived risks, and logistical headaches, it may never seem like the right time to switch providers. However, evaluating your current fulfillment partner and retail fulfillment strategy is critical to positioning your company for future success. And, as it turns out, changing fulfillment providers isn’t as difficult as you might think.
GLOBAL ECOMMERCE SALES GROWTH
Global retail sales will continue to rise, capturing a larger share of the retail market. According to Statista research, online retail sales will reach $6.51 trillion by 2023, with ecommerce websites accounting for 22.3% of total retail sales. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed by a dynamic industry as the eCommerce industry has grown. Furthermore, many brands and retailers have struggled to navigate the complexities of the ever-changing logistics and fulfillment world. Fortunately, resources and teams are available to assist in resolving these fulfillment issues.
7 SIGNS IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT PROVIDER
1. Their technology is too basic or too outdated.
To begin with, a 3PL must now provide fulfillment software with order management capabilities. It’s only possible to assess the customer experience’s quality if you have visibility into the status of orders in warehouse.
However, being able to track orders is only sometimes enough. If you have to manually upload orders to your fulfillment provider’s system, you’re wasting time. As a result, your customers’ orders are not shipped as quickly as they should be. In addition, you should be able to integrate your ecommerce order fulfillment software with your ecommerce platform. This will allow the orders to automatically pushed as soon as they are placed.
2. They are not constantly progressing and improving.
Ecommerce is constantly changing, and so are customer expectations. However, your print on demand fulfillment provider isn’t thinking ahead if they haven’t changed or expanded their technology, operations, or facilities since you started working with them. When it comes to ensuring fulfillment and your technology, processes, and orders are streamlined and optimized for scale, “good enough” is the wrong mindset. In addition, not all 3PLs have the resources required to keep technology and operations up to date. If so, they are unable to assist you in scaling.
3. You are not receiving value for your money.
The cheapest 3PL isn’t always the best, but if you’re paying a premium for order fulfillment, you should be able to see the value to your business. Technology, warehouse management capabilities, customer support, customization options, and geographic footprint can all add value compared to a traditional 3PL. Furthermore, many 3PLs are notorious for charging hidden fees for every little movement. When a 3PL is the best fit for your company, the cost should be well worth it.
4. They have no ability to learn and adjust to the needs of your business.
When taking on new clients, there is always a learning curve. Each one has its own set of rules. However, if the team is still not catching on after the initial onboarding period, it may be time to look closely at the situation. If your shipping volume increases exponentially as your business grows, your current 3PL may be unable to support you. As a result, the inability to learn the business could indicate that your current provider isn’t prepared to work with your product.
5. They have massive unanticipated price increases.
In most industries, price increases are unavoidable. When it comes to the logistics industry, change can happen overnight due to the volatility and fluctuation in the pricing of hard goods. Your provider is aware of this and should have included a plan for dealing with these changes with you in the initial statement of work. If your provider fails to communicate price increases clearly and regularly, it will force you to pass some of these costs on to your customers. Remember that a great partner shares good and bad news and works with you to find a solution.
6. They make habitual mistakes that they haven’t learned from.
The logistics industry has always been and will always be a bit hectic. With the continuous evolution of delivery methods and fulfillment strategies, “being a little hectic” will remain true. So, yes, both parties will make mistakes. However, keep an eye out for habitual errors, which appear to reoccur every month. If you’ve identified the source of these issues and addressed them with your provider, but they persist, it’s likely a sign of a lack of skill or proper resources to address your business needs. Be on the lookout for these habitual errors, as they can stifle growth if not addressed properly.
7. Their expansion is outpacing your expansion plans.
If your current provider isn’t proactive in planning for future growth, it’s time to rethink the relationship. A good print on demand fulfillment provider will work with your forecasting models and have a plan for year-over-year growth and seasonality. Check that your current provider has adequate space and resources and is committed to your expansion plans. Doing so can avoid headaches when your company reaches its peak performance.
SWITCH TO FULFILLPLEX
Consider switching to Fulfillplex if you’re looking for a new print on demand fulfillment provider. We understand that transitioning from the familiar to the unfamiliar can be difficult, but we are here to provide a controlled, well-managed experience that reduces risk and helps set you up for long-term success. There are no two businesses that are alike. As a top ecommerce fulfillment company, we will collaborate with you to find the best solution for your specific requirements. Contact us now.