5 Things to Look for in a Fulfillment Vendor
Today, marketing departments are getting pressure to cut, cut and cut again, while still being held accountable for delivering measurable results. But instead of deciding between cutting budgets or personnel, is there another way to do more with your existing resources? One strategy is vendor consolidation, but how do you choose the right vendor?
Here are some tips to find the fulfillment vendor that's right for you. Find a vendor that:
1. Aligns strengths to optimize resources and work efficiently toward your business objectives. With shrinking marketing budgets, you should align yourself with a fulfillment partner that understands marketing’s goals. This partner should allow you to focus on your goals and not worry about “managing” a vendor by providing high levels of services and being accountable for helping you meet your objectives.
2. Provides a breadth of services to fill the gaps in your marketing mix. Select a vendor that looks beyond the basic pick, pack and ship methodology and provides you with services that make your job easier. Look for a vendor that provides services such as customer support, material procurement, printing personalization and analytics, which will help you get a better return on your investment. Being able to get multiple services with one partner allows you to fill in missing gaps.
3. Enables your marketing department to focus on its core business competencies while it handles those marketing functions outside your comfort zone. The right partner can optimize your marketing programs and create efficiencies that free up your marketing department’s valuable time. It can implement recommendations that reduce time to market and increase store productivity, which decrease the amount of time needed to manage the program.
4. Offers solid expertise and experience both within your industry as well as its own. An easy way to measure this is by requesting case studies that relate specifically to your industry as well as examples with similar requirements. This information provides you with a clear indication as to whether the vendor understands the challenges you face.
5. Identifies areas of improvement and cost-saving opportunities beyond the established scope of responsibilities. Pick a partner that has a proven track record of looking out for its clients’ best interests. Select a company that can provide examples of where it has identified areas of improvement and cost-savings opportunities beyond the established scope of responsibilities for its clients.
Mike Moroz is president of Archway, a Rogers, Minn.-based fulfillment services, supply chain management and marketing operations management company. You can reach him at (866) 791-4826.