Who you decide to use as your fulfillment partner in your business is a big deal. It affects your customer experience, your branding and a whole lot more. Shipping an order to your customer is the last line of defense of what you as a brand owner can control with a customer interaction. So how do you know when it’s time to transition to a new 3PL?

They are constantly having issues shipping your product correctly

Seems pretty easy, right? Customer orders product ‘X’ from your website, your fulfillment partner or 3PL therefore ships product ‘X’ directly to your customer in a timely manner. Not so fast. Receiving orders at scale and shipping them correctly takes a ton of technology, organization and forward thinking on your 3PL’s part. They must have a Warehouse Management System (WMS) in place that works, the product must be received and put away correctly and they have to have the labor to maintain the order flow. If you are feeling pain on any side of this you may want to consider entertaining other fulfillment solutions. Cracks start to show pretty quickly when one or all of these touch points are having issues. The last thing you want is unhappy customers as a result of a poor fulfillment partner. At the end of the day, your customers get the final say on whether or not your order fulfillment is up to par. If it’s not, they’re sure to let you know, whether that’s through a surge in support tickets, bad reviews, critical social media posts, or simply a decline in sales. 38% of customers state that they’ll never shop a website again if they have a negative delivery experience. If your customers are consistently unhappy with the delivery experience, you’re using the wrong 3PL. Period.

Lessgistics shipping accuracy is 99.9% for our e-commerce fulfillment and 99.8% for our subscription box business. We have multiple, automated built-in steps in our picking-packing-shipping process that helps us maintain high levels of order accuracy. We partner with ShipHero as our WMS/TMS solution. It provides excellent visibility into your inventory every step along the way!

You have little to no interaction with them

So how are things going with your current 3PL? What else could they do to support your business? What current processes could be improved to make your life easier? If you don’t know or have never had that conversation it sounds like your relationship is purely transactional. Having that open dialogue with your current 3PL partner about how to make things smoother should be  part of the consistent back-and-forth communication. Unfortunately, a lot of 3PLs pull the bait and switch on their customers. They are engaged and enthused during the negotiation and even the onboarding phase. But soon after onboarding things start to change and it can become a black box. They are on to the next customer to land. This can lead to you starting to feel like you are losing your business as the visibility just is not there.

At Lessgistics, we are truly transparent and ready to make your life easier and your business more successful. We have standardized processes and systems but are always willing to go above and beyond to make sure every customer is satisfied. There is always an individual you can talk directly with to ensure your business is getting the treatment it deserves!

Your monthly invoice is full of hidden or surprise fees

This is one we hear about all of the time! “I received a pricing proposal from a 3PL, we negotiated, I signed a contract and then WHAM my first invoice is WAY more than I thought it would be.” How did this happen? Why did this happen? Unfortunately, this too is very common. The ability to have additional fees or pass throughs on your invoice is definitely a paint point in the industry. Many just think to themselves – “well I guess I missed something” and go ahead with their days absorbing the higher cost structure. It does not have to be that way. Pricing transparency and communication is a must in any business relationship — why would this be any different?  If you can relate, then it is time to start considering higher levels of transparency with your partners and possibly changing your fulfillment strategy.

Lessgistics prides itself on providing a very clear fee structure in all of our proposals and subsequent contracts. There are no hidden fees, monthly account minimum charges, and ad hoc fees that commonly plague the industry. You will know exactly what you will pay with each invoice with Lessgistics.

You are shipping your product yourself

When you launch a business online fulfilling the product yourself out of your home is pretty standard. Each order that comes in is like a gift from the e-commerce gods. You meticulously prepare, pack and ship the orders one-by-one dancing all the way. However, when you start to scale and these orders turn from 1 per day to 50 or 100 that feeling of excitement quickly shifts to feelings of anxiety or dread. You love the revenue but now can do nothing with your days except fulfill orders. What is the new marketing strategy? How are the paid ads going? What is the next product we should launch? If you are not sure of the answers to these questions, then you have a problem. You will never reach the next revenue goal you want to achieve because you are holding yourself back with operational matters.

Look for a 3PL like Lessgistics that focuses on direct to consumer e-commerce orders and subscription box kitting. We love growing with our partners and helping as much as possible along the way. With decades of experience in retail and logistics our company can provide valuable advice as part of our partnership. Many small business owners can feel alone without a partner to help navigate the uneven terrain of fulfillment. We are the partner that will function as an extension of your brand every step of the way!

Whether it’s better customer service, a more engaging customer experience or simply taking time off of your plate so you can focus on growing your business — you need a trusted partner in this space! Lessgistics has the experience, technology and expertise you need to take your business to the next level. Our onboarding process is seamless and we are looking for new partners like you to grow with us!