When Hiring a 3PL Provider – Experience Matters

Entrepreneur Working on Order Fulfillment Plan

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, it’s certainly no different.

Order Fulfillment is a realm that is in constant flux. To do it accurately and cost effectively, you’ll need specialized systems, management, labor and expertise.

Freight carriers and programs are ever-changing, technology is evolving and consumer expectations are becoming more demanding. A 3PL Provider with experience is going to be on top of these changes and shift you into more advantageous programs quickly. Outsourced fulfillment centers often have years of experience across many product lines, campaigns and industries. But don’t go judging experience by age alone. You’ll want to make sure that you match experience of your 3PL Provider with your own business needs, or better yet, the needs of your customers.

As you take the time to speak with prospective 3PL Providers ask them about the specific products that they have experience with. A few questions to help get you started as you seek out that perfect 3PL Partner could be the following:

  1. “How long have you been in business?”
  2. “What associations do you belong to?”
  3. “What support vendors do you work with?”
  4. “Can you provide references from a client in a similar industry as mine?”
  5. “How much experience do you have with integrating technologies?”

It all boils down to finding a company that specializes in your industry. This is important because different industries have different distribution requirements. Most Fulfillment Companies service various industries, and that’s fine. Just make sure that the 3PL Provider you choose understands the requirements that your customers have in the distribution chain.

If you’re in the process of seeking a partner for 3PL needs, we’d love to start a conversation with you. If you have more questions or need help on your search process we would also encourage you to download our Ultimate Guide for detailed tips on choosing a 3PL Provider that’s right for you!