You have an order fulfillment provider, you have shipped them your goods and they have been shipping out all your orders. Simple enough right? Well, shipping and logistics aren’t always as simple as you may think! Communication goes a very long way. In this article we will go over the importance of coordinating with your order fulfillment provider and when it can really make the most difference!
Large Inbound Inventory Shipments
No one wants to have orders in the system and no inventory to ship them. That being said, companies must also factor in the costs of storing their inventory at a 3PL order fulfillment company. You may not want to be out of stock, but you also don’t want to have overstock sitting at your order fulfillment provider’s facility.
Typically, most companies have their busiest season in the 4th quarter. The holiday and sales season. Yes, the quarter that features monster sales and promotional days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As well as huge holidays like Christmas! In order to avoid being out of stock, what some companies will do is ship a very large amount of inventory to their order fulfillment service provider right at the start of the quarter. As you can imagine, this can cause bottlenecking at the receiving docks. It is crucial to coordinate with your order fulfillment provider to let them know how much inventory you will be sending over to ensure they can accommodate you and will be ready when your inventory arrives. It is also worth noting that inventory storage rates typically go up in the 4th quarter. So always calculate and send only what you know you will move in a timely fashion!
Letting Your Provider Know About Sales and Promotions
This is such an important time to coordinate! When you have plans for a big sale that you know will have an impact on your order volume, reach out to your provider and let them know ahead of time! The last thing you want is for there to be any delays in your orders because you have flooded your 3PL with orders they did not see coming. Orders that are way higher volume than what is typical.
A simple message will let your order fulfillment provider know when you may see a spike in order volume. They will be able to prepare and ensure your orders continue to flow and ship out as they would on any other day! This can make a huge difference for you and your support team. It will reduce order status inquiries, keep you and your provider happy and everyone will be conducting business as usual!
Sharing your plans for the future and communicating them with your 3PL order fulfillment provider can make a world of difference. As a matter of fact, at the start of the 4th quarter at InterFulfillment, it is required! We send out a survey to each and every one of our customers asking them to provide their plans for the quarter. Including any inbound inventory, they plan to ship to our facilities as well as plans for promotions that may lead to fluctuations in order volume. This simple 5-minute survey ensures that we can continue to provide the highest possible quality 3PL services in the marketplace! Even when our operation is at its busiest!
And even outside the 4th quarter, we can’t tell you how much we appreciate it when our customers keep us in the loop! Our goal is to be the best 3PL provider possible, and coordinating with our customers is a key part of that! What are you waiting for, request a quote, and let’s get started!