3 Questions to Ask When Choosing Your Fulfillment Center Partner
Choosing the right fulfillment center ensures you have the flexibility you need to grow your business seamlessly. Chad Buckendahl, LimeLight ‘s Director of Analytics, owned and ran his own fulfillment center for seven years. He shares his insider knowledge to help you choose the right fulfillment center to meet your growing business’ needs.
The importance of a data-driven fulfillment center
Most people make the mistake of thinking that all fulfillment centers are the same. What differentiated us was the depth of data and analytics we put in place to ensure efficiency and customer satisfaction. There are a lot of fulfillment centers in the industry, but very few, if any, that are analytics-driven.
We tracked every employee and analyzed this data every two hours. As a result, we had metrics based on speed and accuracy as well as a third component tied to attitude. All three of these parameters, speed, accuracy, and attitude are equally important metrics when evaluation fulfillment center data. The two critical pillars are speed and accuracy; one without the other will get you in trouble. Shipping the wrong product is obviously unacceptable, so being able to measure both speed and accuracy was critical.
Being able to track this data precisely, gave us a near real-time ability to catch issues. If necessary, we swapped out a temp worker or re-trained a permanent employee to improve their accuracy or speed. Constant vigilance analyzing employee metrics enabled us to keep our accuracy and efficiency at a level that delivered very satisfied customers.
When choosing a fulfillment center, take the time to understand the metrics and data the partner is tracking. The level of sophistication of their tracking mechanisms is a good indicator of the quality of their service.
Three questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line for a fulfillment center:
- What are your staffing capabilities? How quickly can you ramp up to meet demand?
- Do you have speed and accuracy data you can share with me?
- What kind of data analytics and metrics reports do you provide customers?