What Questions Should You Ask Your Next 3PL Provider?

How do you determine which 3PL provider is the best? An indispensable part of business operations, it is important to let 3PL suppliers manage your supply chain. This is why you should not just choose anyone.

Although it is not uncommon to compare the pros and cons or read customer reviews, we recommend that you go further. As with finding new employees, the best way to find out which 3PL company is best for you is to interview your best prospects. Although this may require more work and more time, it is ultimately worth it. If you are worried, then the following questions should be at the top of your list.

3PL-Provider丨ChinaDivision
3PL-Provider丨ChinaDivision

1: How do you meet my e-commerce needs?

Before choosing to change to another 3PL provider, make sure you understand the person you are hiring. Although they may be similar, there are differences between the two companies. In the rapidly changing world of e-commerce, it is important to understand how potential 3PL companies can meet your exact transportation needs. 

Believe it or not, there are logistics companies everywhere that are not involved in e-commerce, or because of demand, they are new, which means they may lack experience. If you are an e-commerce company, it is important to choose a company that can meet your needs. To find the perfect match, don’t choose a company that only meets general e-commerce needs but fully meets your e-commerce needs.

2: What logistics services do you provide?

When it comes to freight, every company has its preferred method. You own yours, and the 3PL providers own theirs. You want to make sure everything is aligned. However, you also want to make sure that you have the right to choose and that the company you choose is willing to accept it. 

Many companies claim to provide “one-stop” services, but not everyone does. You should investigate your potential 3PL companies to find out if they are as they claim. Trust us, if you don’t want to fall into any trap, please pay more attention to freight.

supply-chain丨ChinaDivision
supply-chain丨ChinaDivision

3: To what extent do you assume responsibility and how to deal with claims?

The question is divided into two parts, which can catch the other person off guard. Everyone likes them, but no one wants to answer them, which makes the two-part question so big. 

The assumption of responsibility is an important aspect of transportation (whether it is domestic or international transit), so we recommend this issue as a surprise attack. The correct coverage will give you peace of mind, and it will help ensure better customer service.

4: How did you handle or correct errors in the past?

This is a multifaceted problem. On the one hand, this is a way for you to view the company’s mistakes. On the other hand, it reveals how the interviewing company handled these errors. Early mistakes are not always bad, so we remind any 3PL companies that have not made mistakes. 

Ideally, you will want to find a company that has grown through errors. To be sure, their recent records and customer reviews should be evidence of their improvement. Handling errors also means that you know how to resolve the mistakes, whether something similar has happened to them.

What is the reason for changing the 3PL service provider? (Ⅰ)

Before you consider changing 3PL service providers, you need to sort out the current business framework. It is important that you understand the impact of 3PL on your business.

To continuously grow your revenue and the number of customers, you need to maximize customer satisfaction. Today, customer satisfaction generally comes from two points: efficient delivery and satisfactory products.

If your 3PL cannot help you provide a first-class customer experience, then you may miss potential customers and revenue. These customers will turn to stores that can meet their needs, that is, your competitors.

Either way, you need a 3PL partner who can satisfy your customers, who can help you meet the ever-increasing customer expectations.

3PL-service-provider丨Hollingsworth丨ChinaDivision
3PL-service-provider丨Hollingsworth丨ChinaDivision

When should you consider changing 3PL service provider?

Order fulfilment outsourcing has advantages and limitations. One of the benefits is that it can save you time and money, and an excellent 3PL service provider can also help you improve customer satisfaction. 

The bad point is that when the customer places an order in the shopping system, the next process is out of your control. One thing that worries you more is that you need to bear the risk of 3PL’s imperfect processing of your orders. Therefore, ensuring that 3PL is appropriate is crucial.

  1. Package lost during order fulfilment
  2. 3PL has not made continuous progress and improvement
  3. The current 3PL is not enough to support your business scale
  4. The technical support provided by 3PL is too simple or outdated
  5. The current 3PL service is not worth the money
  6. Customer satisfaction continues to decline

If the above errors or shortfalls happen frequently, the loss caused by your 3PL has exceeded your budget, and the profit of the order is continuously reduced. At this time, you should probably find a more suitable partner.

How to Make the Most of the Order Fulfillment Warehouse?

From our previous customer surveys, we can find that many e-commerce sellers are curious about the warehouse planning rules. How are order fulfillment warehouses planned to increase the operating speed?

  • 1. Divide the warehouse into specific operating areas for picking, unloading and packing, which can facilitates employees to complete their work quickly.
  • 2. The door inside the warehouse should be opened outwards, and the effective area of the warehouse should be used reasonably.
  • 3. While reducing the channel space in the warehouse as much as possible, ensure the smoothness of the in and out channels to ensure that the stacking of goods will not affect the operating efficiency of the employees in the warehouse.
  • 4. While ensuring safety, increase the stacking height of goods.
  • 5. Make reasonable use of walls and shelves, and wrap the columns in the e-commerce cloud warehouse so that the columns will not block the access.
  • 6. Try to ensure that the route of goods in and out of the warehouse is one-way and straight, and minimize the tortuous passage. Besides, please avoid inefficient operations like reverse movement.
  • 7. The storage of goods should be placed in a position that is convenient for loading, unloading, warehousing and extraction.
  • 8. Set up a separate safe passage for the warehouse, and at the same time ensure that no debris can be stacked in the passage, and ensure that the passage is unblocked at all times.
  • 9. The warehouse is equipped with standard fire-fighting facilities, and the distance between each product area is in line with industry standards.
  • 10. Set up safety protection measures such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarm systems and anti-theft alarm systems.
  • 11. Set up ventilation and exhaust channels to ensure the normal circulation of air.

Is Chinese drop-shipping still profitable in the Post-COVID World?

Are you an Amazon seller? How do you handle the delivery? Fulfill the order by your own warehouse or with the help of a drop-shipping company?

More and more e-commerce sellers tend to cooperate with order fulfillment company in the last few years. However, some entrepreneurs begin to wonder if this is a good option in the Post-COVID World. So what is the truth? China Division will discuss this question with you in today’s blog.

Order Fulfillment is the process of storing, packaging and shipping e-commerce items. A drop shipping company needs to keep items on display in a physical brick and mortar store or provide a hard copy or online product catalog to enable customers to review items before purchasing. But influenced by COVID-19 and freight increases, is it a beneficial choice for the e-commerce companies?

We can find some reasons by tracing its history back at least to last century.

In 1984, China Post launched China’s first express service, which was the very first step about developing China’s express industry, as well as the drop shipping. In 2018, 507 million parcels were delivered, express courier companies in China on average provided services for 280 million people in a single day. 78.9% of the parcels were delivered within 72 hours.

China’s courier companies have ranked first in the world in terms of processed volume for five consecutive years. Over the past 70 years, China’s logistics has embraced a large quantity of progress. In short words, these development brings much more capabilities and possibilities for the Chinese drop shipping.

In addition, many overseas order fulfillment agencies and offline stores had closed for COVID-19. At the same time, China had recovered from this epidemic gradually, which means we can arrange more and more workers and resources for the orfer fulfillment. So you can choose a Chinese third-party logistics company to enjoy more advantages in this banner year for catastrophe.

DJI 0815

How Much Do You Know about the Cooperation Modes with Warehousing Companies?

It is reported that many e-commerce sellers have chosen order fulfillment warehouse to transfer warehousing and delivery. Have you ever figure out the following models with e-commerce warehousing and 3rd party logistics companies?

  • All-inclusive

 For some small and medium-sized e-commerce sellers who are not very large in scale, due to the small number of orders and the small number of products, the cost of operating and maintaining self-leased warehouses is a bit too large, and the price of express delivery will be relatively high, which greatly increases the overall operating cost.

So choosing to outsource all warehousing and delivery to e-commerce warehousing logistics companies is undoubtedly a wise choice. For such small and medium-sized sellers, the savings are far more than just the cost and price, but also the energy and time costs.

  • Partial Outsourcing A

This model often appears when some large e-commerce promotions are coming, such as Christmas carnival and Black Friday. During large-scale promotional activities, many e-commerce companies will have insufficient staff and excessive orders.

Then this part of e-commerce sellers may choose to cooperate with third-party warehousing and logistics companies for delivery, and deliver some of the hot-selling products in the warehouse to the e-commerce warehouse to ensure the timeliness of delivery and warehouse management, so as to give the store bring more benefits.

  • Partial Outsourcing B

Part of the outsourcing mentioned this time refers to the e-commerce sellers outsourcing some of the popular products or new products to a third-party warehouse during the non-big promotion period, helping themselves to share part of the pressure, or through this partial outsourcing method.

Test the service quality of the warehousing logistics company, and after the expected cooperation effect is achieved, consider putting more goods into the third-party warehouse.

As for those e-commerce sellers who do not choose outsourcing service, in most cases they have large enough or small enough scales. On the one hand, they have enough economic capital and ability to build warehouses, and they have close relationships with express logistics companies.

There is no need to worry about high costs and insufficient energy for the cooperation; On the other hand, because their scale is small enough, the number of orders and the products are small, there is no need to rent warehouses and hire people to assist. Generally speaking, just a few people can be handle all the work.