Download our Fulfillment Partner Checklist
Learn the questions to ask in seeking for the perfect fulfillment provider
Download our FREE 20-page, informative e-Book that leverages 15 years' experience in Order Fulfillment, Customer Care and Value-Added Services!
Sophisticated Fulfillment Providers have logic-based technology that lowers shipping costs by determining the optimal shipping carrier and method in order to accomplish the client’s goal, on a package-by-package level. For example, these systems can be programmed to simply choose the lowest cost service to a customer address. Or, complex logic can be employed to … Continue reading How Intelligent is Your Shipping?
The choice of fulfillment partner is critical. How your fulfillment services are performed can be a direct reflection of your brand. It’s important to take the time to do your homework and select a fulfillment partner that best represents you and your product.
As our team prepares for the Electronic Retailing Association’s Great Ideas Summit (February 26-28 in Miami), we will be meeting with several companies wrestling with the question of whether to outsource order fulfillment, customer care and value-added services like returns or kitting and assembly. You probably have already considered outsourcing, but what answers should you be … Continue reading To Outsource or Not to Outsource? That is the Question!
Direct Response Fulfillment is unique from other distribution channels that you may have experience with. If you’re a first-timer to Direct Response, we would recommend that you seek support from partners with significant expertise in the industry. If you currently work with providers outside of Direct Response, think twice before assuming they have the optimal … Continue reading 8 Ways Direct Response is Different
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” That’s what they say anyway. The truth is, there’s a lot to get done as you approach the end of the year. And if you are putting together a holiday party, you for sure have a lot on your plate. There’s selecting a venue, deciding the entertainment, … Continue reading Three Reasons Our 2017 Holiday Party Rocked
Let’s be honest, your core business is marketing and selling products, not shipping them. And because you have a business to run, we’ve highlighted just the five top reasons why outsourcing fulfillment can help maximize profits and keep your focus where it belongs – growing your business. 1. Focus on growing your business, not running … Continue reading Thinking of Outsourcing Fulfillment? 5 Reasons to Act Now
by Ayal Latz Several strategies exist when it comes to management of back end functions for a direct to consumer campaign. On one hand you can take the multiple vendor route, where each takes its own function, such as Customer Service, Order Management, and Fulfillment. On the other hand, some choose a vendor providing turnkey … Continue reading 4 Benefits to Turnkey Order Fulfillment
The week before Thanksgiving, the a2b Fulfillment staff gathered together for the annual potluck holiday lunch to share their favorite dish. As always, the spread of food was both delicious and abundant. Options ranged from turkey and southern fried chicken to green beans, collards and macaroni and cheese. There was also a full table of … Continue reading Why We’re Thankful This Year
Bryce McCuin, Director of Marketing for a2b Fulfillment, recently sat with Doug McPherson of Response Magazine to talk about how fulfillment providers are working to keep consumers happy, even amid their rising expectations. McPherson: What are three key issues facing performance-based marketers when considering their fulfillment partnership today and why are they so significant? McCuin: First and … Continue reading Keeping Consumers Fulfilled
The month of November is right around the corner; which means shopping lists are being filled out and retailers everywhere are rolling up their sleeves. A new holiday season is upon us and it is expected to be another big one. Just how big? The National Retail Federation says they expect to see holiday retail … Continue reading Holiday Sales Expected to Rise
Whether you’re a startup or entrepreneur that just launched a product and the picking and packing has you pulling your hair out, or you are an established brand seeking to gain operational efficiencies through outsourcing, deciding on the perfect fulfillment partner to handle your customer orders is a big deal. The Fulfillment Provider that you … Continue reading Seeking a Fulfillment Partner? Choose Wisely!
At a2b Fulfillment, we constantly study carrier rates and programs. Earlier this year, we discussed the changes that affected 2017 with regards to major carriers. Specific rate changes by service, zone and weight and package size vary due to carriers’ response to market demand, target market share goals and an attempt to neutralize the very … Continue reading How Can I Improve Carrier Rates?
Christmas in July? Seriously? Yes, we are only halfway through the year. But like it or not, the savvy retailers are already preparing for those crucial holiday shipping days that will be kicking off come Black Friday. In fact, a recent survey from Campaigner suggests that 62% of retailers identify early preparation as their most helpful … Continue reading 7 Ways to Prepare for Shopping Days
You pour a lot into marketing and selling your product. There’s developing the creative, buying the media and product performance to name a few. As precious as today’s customer journey has become, you may consider integrating Customer Service in with your Fulfillment Plan. Many Fulfillment Providers will offer post-sale customer care where a customer can … Continue reading Customer Service in Your Fulfillment Plan
a2b Fulfillment recently returned from the Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fl. This event brings together direct selling industry executives, suppliers and educators in an effort to protect the direct selling opportunity and advocate for the support of independent contractors and entrepreneurs. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for networking with direct selling industry peers and … Continue reading Direct Selling – Strength in Numbers
It’s no secret these days. Fast shipping is the new norm. And fulfillment location plays a major role in reducing transit time (and saving on your shipping costs in the process!). You must be geared to reach customers quickly if you want to keep up these days. If you handle your own order fulfillment, you’re … Continue reading 3 Factors for Selecting Your Fulfillment Location
Technology drives everything in today’s Fulfillment Operation. System capabilities evolve constantly. This in turn drives efficiencies, decision making and the customer experience. Were your PC and software the same five years ago as they are today? Not even close. The same goes for that of a Fulfillment Provider. Many in the consumer direct space have … Continue reading Technology That Drives Order Fulfillment
Tomorrow, close to 1,500 logistics-industry and Georgia business professionals will come together for the 2017 Georgia Logistics Summit in Atlanta to discuss industry best practices, the latest logistics technology innovations, and ways to make their logistics business more efficient and effective. Every year, the Summit brings prominent speakers from accomplished shippers in the industry, as well as leaders … Continue reading Georgia Business is on our Minds
When it comes to warehousing, the options are endless. Warehousing and storage are going to depend on the needs of your particular business. What you store or ship largely determines the type of space you need to select. Your larger warehouses usually provide multiple options of specialty storage, while others focus on specific ones. Storage rates … Continue reading Warehousing 101
Having a fulfillment provider with the infrastructure to meet your shipping needs is extremely important. You must establish a fulfillment plan based around the specific needs of your business. But these days, there are many options from which to choose. The e-commerce fulfillment boom of recent years has been a big one and it doesn’t look to … Continue reading Scalability in Your Fulfillment Plan
If you’re like us, you are in the midst of hopping planes, building agendas, requesting meetings and packing up those ever-so-lovely back walls, banners and kiosks. What are we referring to? You guessed it – trade show season! If trade shows are a big part of your marketing strategy, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I … Continue reading 6 Veteran Tips to a Better Trade Show Season
This just in: big things are happening with Savannah port shipping. And much of it pertains to the size of containers coming in each month. As we’ve talked about in previous articles, the expansion of the Panama Canal was a promising step toward bringing more business to the southeast and the state of Georgia. The … Continue reading Big Things Happening in Savannah
Meet Dean Perigard, Director of Operations for a2b Fulfillment. Dean joined a2b in April of 2015 after a successful 14-year career with Orchard Brands, a catalog company with numerous brands, where he served as the General Manager of their Eatonton, Ga. distribution center. If he is not overseeing warehousing and logistics activity, you most likely will … Continue reading Employee Profile – Dean Perigard
Several providers offer a suite of e-commerce fulfillment services, including fulfillment, order management, customer care, value-adding services (kitting and assembly), shopping cart (or integration with a third-party cart) and reverse logistics (returns and refurbishment). You might have a need for several of these functions and can create a custom package with one supplier, simplifying your … Continue reading Fulfillment Services – Which do I Choose?
When you outsource, you’re bringing in an expert that will deliver service at a higher level of skill and accuracy. It’s why you assign a CPA to do your taxes or hand legal matters over to an attorney. These are individuals that have spent years honing their craft. When it comes to hiring a 3PL Provider, … Continue reading When Hiring a 3PL Provider – Experience Matters
Should your Fulfillment Center also manage your returns process? How a company handles returns directly affects the bottom line. Be sure you choose a partner with experience in that area. A great Returns to Profit program can accomplish 5 goals: Improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty by making the returns process customer-friendly. Allow the customer … Continue reading 5 Goals for a Solid Returns Program
Oh, the holiday office party. The challenge to find what to wear, what to say to those coworkers you don’t quite know and the challenge to be well behaved once the drinks begin to flow and the DJ starts spinning. The struggle, as they say, is quite real. Though pulling together a party like … Continue reading Three Reasons Our Holiday Party was Better than Yours
The following article appears in the December issue of Response Magazine. Some things are just unavoidable this time of year: holiday shopping lists, contemplating New Year Resolutions and Carrier Rate Increases. Like clockwork, major carriers are unveiling charts highlighting the rate increases for shipping packages and this year’s list is a lot to absorb. What’s … Continue reading Carrier Rates on the Rise, Plan Accordingly
We’re excited to be able to introduce this new 20-page, informative resource that leverages our 15-plus years of experience in the fulfillment industry. This guide is a terrific resource to help you better understand the fulfillment process; as well as lead businesses down the path to selecting the best order fulfillment partner that suits their … Continue reading Guide to Choosing the Right Fulfillment Partner for Your Business
Last year, retail analyst firm IHL Group released a report noting that retailers lose a staggering $1.75 trillion annually due to overstocks, out-of-stocks and returns. Of that total, returns makes up $642.6 billion annually. With these figures in mind, it’s important these days to ensure a strong Returns policy is in place. The prevention and later … Continue reading 3 Key Objectives for a Return Policy
a2b Fulfillment is excited to be joining the more than 5,000 e-commerce professionals attending Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas, TX, September 26th-28th. Presented by Shop.org, the event helps attendees discover new ideas, get actionable takeaways and build strong relationships with the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world. For those that happen to be attending … Continue reading a2b is Headed for Dallas!
by Bryce McCuin Direct Response Marketers have unique needs when it comes to order fulfillment. Ever since our first foray into Direct Response Fulfillment over ten years ago, we have loved the excitement and high volume of the industry. In fact, it’s Direct Response that created the drive for us to expand our services from Business-to-Business into the multidimensional … Continue reading 8 Ways Direct Response is Different (Infographic)
Debbie Skerly is no stranger to the Direct Response and e-Commerce Industries. With over 20 years of experience as a Business Development professional, Skerly has worn many hats. As Director of National Advertising Sales for The Electronic Retailing Association, she presented numerous advertising solutions for Direct-to-Consumer marketers. Today, as Vice President of Business Development with … Continue reading Debbie Skerly Leading Launch of Industry Women’s Council
by Bryce McCuin Customer expectations continue to change the way that delivery is structured. With carriers testing Saturday deliveries in select markets and same-day delivery gaining momentum even within the small-to-medium sized merchant realm, it is evident that consumers (particularly those pesky Millennials like myself) are raising the bar on delivery times. Someday, we may … Continue reading The Need for Speed (Infographic)
6 Ways to Personalize Your Order Fulfillment Process by Ayal Latz Sophisticated marketers pay attention to who their customer is and serve up ads and shopping experiences based on behavior. You see it all the time with banners popping up showcasing the exact product you’ve searched for online just moments ago. “That’s funny, I was … Continue reading Thinking Inside the Box
by Ayal Latz As we discussed in last week’s post, not all order fulfillment is created equal. Shipping retail can be complex and costly if not handled appropriately. One of those methods, Drop Shipping, continues to gain popularity. With its process being arduous and closely managed by the Retailer, we thought we would take a … Continue reading The Art of Drop Ship
Navigating the Potential Minefields of Retail Order Fulfillment by Ayal Latz You might be asking yourself, are all retail orders fulfilled the same way? What’s the difference between order fulfillment in one area versus order fulfillment in another area? Well, let us break it down for you. These days there are various requirements that Marketers … Continue reading Shipping Retail Explained
by Ayal Latz A version of the below article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Response Magazine It has been almost a decade of planning and construction, but the Panama Canal expansion is nearly complete. Originally scheduled to open in 2014 during the famous waterway’s 100th anniversary celebration, the Canal is set to … Continue reading The New Panama Canal
LaQuan has been an important member of the Accounting department at a2b Fulfillment since 2014. We recently sat down to take some time to learn more about what inspires her. 1) What led you into Accounting? I’ve always worked well with numbers and “Organization” is practically my middle name so those two things go hand-in-hand … Continue reading Employee Profile – LaQuan
a2b Fulfillment will be exhibiting at the next Great Ideas Summit on January 26 – 28, 2015. The Great Ideas Summit brings together the direct response industry’s most influential leaders to hold high-powered meetings, close global deals, and develop new digital marketing strategies. Featured speakers include Becky Bui of Global Marketing Solutions. Her team helps … Continue reading a2b Exhibits at Great Ideas Summit 2015
Meet our Customer Care Contact Center Assistant Manager, Nicohle! Nicohle has played a pivotal role in creating a positive experience for our clients’ customers since joining a2b Fulfillment in 2011. As an assistant manager within the customer care division of our fulfillment center in Greensboro, Ga., she works directly with the on-boarding of new clients … Continue reading Employee Profile – Nicohle
a2b is a proud Sponsor of ERA’s D2C Convention which will be held in Las Vegas from September 16 – 18, 2014. D2C is one of the largest direct response events in the Direct to Consumer Industry, attracting thousands of Direct Response marketers. Look for our giant sign at the event, which highlights our key … Continue reading a2b Sponsors 2014 D2C Convention
Things just don’t slow down here at a2b Fulfillment. We just returned from a successful show in Chicago and are now preparing for a full agenda of direct response networking events. What’s next? ERA NETWORKING On Tuesday, Gary Latz hops on a plane to Canada for ERA’s Network Toronto event. This reception will be held … Continue reading On the Move with a2b
E-commerce merchants are busy getting ready for the annual Internet Retailer Conference (IRCE) to be held in Chicago. Events kick off on Tuesday June 10th and conclude on Thursday June 12. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the largest e-commerce industry event in the world. It is jam-packed with educational presentations and hundreds of exhibitors … Continue reading 5 Ways E-commerce Merchants Increase Efficiency
Ayal Latz recently sat with Ed Fulford, Manager of Communications, Georgia Ports Authority and AnchorAge Magazine to discuss fulfillment, e-commerce and how the surge of technology has impacted the logistics business. *Q1: How will moving to a direct-fulfillment DC model impact things like the necessary square footage of a facility and the number of employees? … Continue reading Q&A with Ed Fulford, Georgia Ports Authority
This article on delivery originally appeared in Response Magazine – May 2014 The days of “allow 4-6 weeks for delivery” are gone. Unless you have been living in a cave or stuck on a deserted island for the past five years you already know this. The bar of consumer expectations continues to rise until one … Continue reading Balancing Speed and Costs
a2b President, Ayal Latz was featured in a recent article by UPS Compass covering the “9 proven shipping tips from successful businesses.” Within the article, business owners share invaluable tips for saving time and cementing customer relationships. Below is an excerpt from the article highlighting Latz: Founder and President Ayal Latz couldn’t get the kind of … Continue reading 3 (of 9) Proven Shipping Tips
We’re excited about prepping for the annual Response Expo to be held in San Diego. Events kick off on Tuesday April 29th at 5:30 pm. The show concludes on Thursday May 1. This is a great opportunity to enjoy this direct response industry event which is jam-packed with educational presentations and scores of exhibitors and industry … Continue reading Response Expo Sponsor 2014
a2b Fulfillment was featured in the latest issue of Inbound Logistics Magazine. The piece covered Georgia’s advantages within the Logistics industry and highlighted a2b and company president, Ayal Latz. See the full excerpt below: Here to There Logistics operations are all about getting products from Point A to Point B, according to logistics provider a2b … Continue reading Georgia: Logistics Sweet Spot
Fulfillment center security is serious business when it comes to protecting the goods of our clients. At a2b Fulfillment we take a multi-layered approach to ensuring that the goods entrusted to us are safe and secure. So, you may be wondering, how do we do it? Let’s start by looking from the outside in. Exterior … Continue reading Does Your Fulfillment Center Security Measure Up?
Meet a2b’s Inventory Control Manager, Adam! He has been an employee of a2b for over ten years now and has seen just about everything during that tenure. Outside of managing inventory for our e-commerce fulfillment operation, Adam can most likely be found working on his own craft brew (he’s actually won a few competitions for … Continue reading Employee Profile – Adam
Retail Online Solutions January issue includes an article highlightig the role that a2b Fulfillment plays in supporting our client, Neogenis Labs. a2b Fulfillment assisted in a seamless transition for this fast-growing e-commerce company’s needs. Click on the link to read more….. http://bit.ly/LeMDtc
a2b Fulfillment held its annual Christmas party for employees and their families this holiday season at Festival Hall in downtown Greensboro, Ga. Good food, plenty of fun and great companionship were shared by over 130 employees and their families and guests. The guest of honor was Dr. Holiday, a trained comedic hypnotist. Several doubtful a2b … Continue reading Night to Remember or Forget?
In a few short weeks you will begin to receive higher freight bills from your carriers. Most carrier increases will be effective January 6, 2014. Very generally, you should see a 3.9% increase. When this realization sinks in, you have several options: Jump out your office window Yell and scream at anyone who cares to … Continue reading How to Fight Increasing Shipping Costs
This article appeared originally in Response Magazine – August 2012 In a perfect DR world no sale would ever be cancelled. No product would ever be returned. Since that perfect world is elusive, Marketers need to be prepared for returns. A well-thought out strategy and procedure for handling returns can reduce returns, lower costs, and … Continue reading Returns: The Good, Bad and Pretty
Wouldn’t it be great if consumers were always happy, never changed their minds and never returned the product that they ordered? Just think of the savings in cost, hassle and the need to staff customer service agents. What a boost to the bottom line that would be. Now snap out it! We all know that’s … Continue reading Returns: Turning the Bad into Good
There are countless theories on why the USPS is in financial crisis. But regardless of the underlying reasons for the USPS’ troubles, the postal service has been making a lot of headlines as of late for rate increases and plant reorganization that will affect both businesses and consumers alike. USPS First Class mail time could … Continue reading USPS Cuts Back, Causing First Class Mail Delays
Last week, we discussed annual shipping cost increases and provided some useful tips on packaging optimization and how to work with your fulfillment house in order to effectively manage the higher costs. This week, we wanted to continue the topic about yearly contract negotiation to focus on the importance of the dimensional factor that is … Continue reading Circumventing Dimensional Factors Reduce Shipping Costs
Death, taxes and annual shipping cost increases. Every January, most of the package carriers increase shipping prices. For 2012, DHL has already announced their increase. And it won’t be long before other carriers follow suit. This past January, UPS and FedEx announced average increases of 4.9 percent, and USPS wasn’t far behind at 3.6 percent. … Continue reading Strategies for Adapting to Annual Shipping Cost Increases
Direct Response marketers can save money on shipping costs by learning lessons developed by package consolidators. Consolidators combine many packages into one larger unit. This one heavier item ships at a lower cost per pound than the many lighter packages. Upon arrival at a hub, the larger package is broken down into the components for … Continue reading How to Save Money Drop Shipping
Canada is our friendly, like-minded neighbor to the north with a considerable collective buying power that seems to be getting more and more attention from big business. Major U.S. retailers, both storefront and online, have recently begun to acknowledge and respond to Canadian consumers by opening fulfillment centers in the country. With a population of … Continue reading Major E-Retailers Opening Fulfillment Centers in Canada
a2b just returned from a busy and exciting few days at the Electronic Retailing Association’s 21st annual D2C Convention in Las Vegas. The convention is the one show for the direct-to-consumer industry and direct response fulfillment distribution experts, and features “top notch, industry-focused education sessions; outstanding networking opportunities including the Opening Reception; and special events … Continue reading Record Crowds at D2C Convention
“Reverse logistics” – what exactly is that? Many readers don’t understand what it means or its implications for businesses. And you’re not alone – many attempts have been made to define reverse logistics, but the explanation often makes the concept even harder to understand. Logistics is defined by The Council of Logistics Management as: The … Continue reading Reverse Logistics 101
It goes without saying that financial times are tough for just about every business in the current economic landscape. Managers are facing difficult decisions concerning where to cut spending while still maintaining the same level of quality and service. Outsourcing to a third-party logistics company can be a viable solution to save valuable time and … Continue reading How to Save Time & Money with Your 3PL
Consumer-direct campaigns have always eyed the 33,000,000 Canadian market. But fulfilling orders from a US-based fulfillment center to a Canadian consumer is not an easy task. Transit times are long, tracking is poor and each package must pass through customs. In many cases, the Canadian consumer must pay duties to the delivering carrier upon receipt … Continue reading Fulfillment in Canada – a2b’s Newest Endeavor
It’s the inevitable – a data entry error, a customer gives the incorrect address, or the receiver refuses the shipment, thus sending your perfectly packed order right back to your door. However, if you’re using the United States Postal Service, you’re not only getting the package back but a hefty bill to go with it. … Continue reading USPS Adds Hefty Returns Pricing
Managing the order cycle from capture to post-sale customer service without the right tools is a juggling act. Afraid of dropping the ball? Allow a2b Fulfillment to act as your safety net with our innovative Order Management System solutions that tie the front and back ends together and put you in control of your campaign. … Continue reading Order Management System Solutions
The United Parcel Service’s freight division will raise non-contractual shipping rates in North American by 6.9% beginning August 1st as reported by the Wall Street Journal this past Friday. However, for companies with existing contracts for ongoing shipments the raise will not immediately effect such clientele as their contracts are negotiated individually. Various insiders suggest … Continue reading UPS Raises Non-Contractual Rates
As the economy revives and businesses thrive, many companies are facing a dilemma for storage and shipping. The solution? Fulfillment services. A recent article by The Wall Street Journal revealed fulfillment centers provide the warehousing and distribution needs many business-owners and entrepreneurs seek as their companies grow and time and space become limited. New York … Continue reading Fulfillment Popular With Entrepreneurs
Don’t overlook what a fulfillment center can really be to both you and your customers. Traditionally thought of as the back- end warehousing, pick, pack and ship operation, a fulfillment center can be so much more depending on your individual needs!
At a2b Fulfillment the core goals in our third party logistics firm consist of the following cost-effective, service-oriented elements: Order Fulfillment, Warehousing and Storage, Co-packing and Kitting and Shipping Solutions. However, there is another element to our business that isn’t found on our website or service listings, but one in which we take great pride … Continue reading Going Above and Beyond for Customers and Community
The federal Commerce Clause regarding Internet sales tax can be broken down simply: If an online retailer has a physical presence in a particular state, such as a business office or a warehouse, it must collect sales tax from customers in that state. If an online business does not have a physical presence in a … Continue reading The Internet’s Future as a Tax-Free Zone
Returning items are an inevitable part of doing business. For Marketers returns have been viewed only as a negative. Today a2b Fulfillment has a seamless returns process that can actually help you lower costs, establish greater customer loyalty and create a revenue stream. a2b Fulfillment introduces “Returns to Profit” an innovative concept to make logistics … Continue reading a2b Fulfillment Introduces Returns to Profit
Logistics Management Review By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor June 21, 2010 With various reports suggesting a vote on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization is imminent, a labor component of the bill is still at the center of a high degree of acrimony between parcel shipping industry bellwethers FedEx and UPS. In March, the House … Continue reading Parcel shipping: Vote on Labor Looms
“Packaging changes demand “gentler” handling equipment” By STAFF | From the Quarter issue The trends toward eco-friendly packaging and increasingly varied product displays will influence the kind of material handling equipment that’s used in distribution centers. Get ready for kinder, gentler material handling equipment in the warehouse. As manufacturers reduce packaging to meet sustainability goals, … Continue reading New Article from CSCMP
Thanks for viewing a2b’s order fulfillment blog. We are very excited to kick off this blog with articles to keep you posted on our company, related industries, clients and affiliates as well as anything else that you may request. As a third party logistics provider, we offer a wide array of services from order fullfillment … Continue reading Welcome to a2b Fulfillment’s Blog