One of the most persistent questions surrounding the selection of a fulfillment service company concerns geographical proximity. Put another way, many ecommerce business owners want to know if it’s necessary to choose a fulfillment service company that’s close to their business’ physical offices. Wouldn’t it make more sense, the question goes, to hire a fulfillment service company that keeps its fulfillment center nearby?
The logic for such a decision is both well-grounded but nonetheless a little obvious. By using a fulfillment service company that’s within driving distance of your own business offices, you have the convenience of seeing your inventory and interacting with your fulfillment service company management. But such close inspection isn’t actually healthy for the business relationship.
The relationship itself is a partnership, which is to say that the fulfillment service company is capable of managing their own part of their fulfillment agreement. By attempting to keep constant tabs on their operations, you actually only distract them from their duties in keeping your order fulfillment running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. That can only hurt your ecommerce business in the long run, which means loss of profits and business development.
Trusting Your Fulfillment Service Company, No Matter Where They Are
The great advantage of the internet and cell phone tools such as Black Berries and PDA is that you don’t have to be near your fulfillment service company to closely monitor their activities and your own inventory stored in their warehousing facility or fulfillment center. Simply by accessing their own resources, you can track and monitor your fulfillment and inventory movement.
Many fulfillment service companies also include sufficient warehousing management ability to accept your inventory directly from the wholesaler or manufacturer, meaning you don’t have to resend your inventory to their own facility. This gives you greater convenience, and also lets you concentrate on other aspects of your business growth. Again, your fulfillment service company will almost certainly provide up to the minute information about your inventory as well as the other aspects of your outsourced order fulfillment.
Making the Right Decision
Another way to build trust in your fulfillment service company is to find references and testimonials that make assurance of their quality and responsiveness to client requests and questions. You can find such references in chat rooms, forums, message boards, and also from the fulfillment service company itself.