The best Fulfilment Company for Crowdfunded Projects should score an A+ in these 4 aspects
One of the key aspects of Crowdfunding post a successful campaign is ensuring that the products once manufactured reaches your backer’s doorstep safely and on time.
Delayed delivery is one of the issues that can irk even the most saintly souls around. Except for, receiving broken, spoilt or mishandled products would do worse.
That explains how vital is the role of your warehouse partner in earning you a positive customer experience. An inefficient logistics partner can puncture your whole operation; bringing you a failure at the professional level. A responsible and proficient one would certainly give an edge to your enterprise. Your Supply-chain-Management on the package journey needs to be competent. Period.
Not yet, though, it should be cost effective too. Fulfillment cost, handling cost and shipping cost together happen to be one of the biggest cost centers for most of the businesses. Besides, it is directly proportional to the growth of your business. More your business expands to newer and farther horizons, bigger is the delivery cost. The mission critical is to achieve economic and safe shipping. That demands your fulfillment and shipping partners better be experienced and technologically sound.
As a matter of fact, your ultimate crowdfunding success won’t be registered unless the product has duly reached the end users on time and in the best shape. So here we are with a guide that discusses the essentials of a proficient logistics company:
Map your clientele
Before everything study the geography of your primary clientele. It doesn't matter if you choose a logistics company with a local, national or international presence, it should be a prominent player in the area where the majority of your customer base is concentrated. A firmly wired network in a particular area helps the logistics company cut down on the total cost. That helps your distribution partner offer you better rates.
Taxation and Duty impositions when come into play, they escalate the total cost further. Therefore, your fulfillment partner must have a ready system to figure out the regulations of the destination and dispatch country to get a bird's eye view of the different kind of taxes involved and choose a shipping partner accordingly. That will save you quite a few bucks.
Courier and Warehouse set up
Find out which are the various couriers and warehouse services each of the shortlisted logistics partners would provide. They must have enough warehouses or warehouse collaborations in the destination countries to meet your current as well as projected volumes. Apparently, it is better to get involved with a partner who can scale up as you expand. Also, they should have tie-ups with all the major as well as local courier services to bring to your table the best of the baits.
Borderless economies are throwing overwhelming challenges to the logistics industry. It is best to associate with a Logistics partner who can provide you end-to-end solutions. You can divide the primary logistics services into two clear categories – Shipping and Fulfillment.
It is the process of transport of the package from the manufacturer to the customer. Key elements under shipping are:
Your logistics partner must provide you with a range of courier services that includes local, national and global players. Courier services these days are very reliable and equipped with accomplished tracking systems and provide active customer service. Your fulfillment team should take care and pick the most fitting courier service, depending on the content of the package and destination, and ship the product with utmost care
Postal services usually represent that government body which is used for dispatching and distributing parcels and messages. Though less flexible, usually they are rather safe, secure and affordable way of transiting packages. Check out of if your logistics partner does provide postal services. Some of the countries with most resourceful postal services are USA, France, UK, China, and Japan.
Hybrid service concerning logistics usually comes into the picture in cases of international transit. Under this service, your logistics partner has duly partnered with other logistics houses, warehouses, and local couriers. So, your package is shipped from one warehouse to another one in the destination country. From there, it is picked up by a local courier, which then does the final delivery. Using such kind of hybrid system turns out to be very cost-effective as a replacement for picking up an international courier company.
The process stretches from collecting the finished products from the manufacturer and stacking them carefully in the warehouses; to packing them for the final dispatch and then putting them into transit.
Your logistics partner should have the kitting facility. They should do the appropriate packing of the product to ensure that the product is safe and secure during the transit. Besides, they must conduct a final quality check before they pack the product. End customer should receive nothing but a flawless product.
Dropshipping is one of the most helpful services that manufacturers and merchants should look for and sign up for. When your logistics partner provides you the dropshipping service that means all you need to do is connect the manufacturer the product with the warehouse. From there on they take care of the rest of process like receiving the requisition, acknowledging it, packing the product, shipping the product and ensuring that it has safely reached the customer.
Your logistics partner should be capable of handling big batches, as well as, efficiently handle the heat of seasonal demands. Find out, if they do have prior experience of handling larger volumes. A novice logistics company may work up-to-the-mark with the regular flow; however, with bigger sizes they might stumble down.
If you are on a worldwide voyage with your customers, it is pivotal that your logistics partner has the highest levels of technological sophistication. The idea is to ensure that when your business is wide and distributed; most of your distribution system is on auto-pilot.
Highly performing software
Your logistics partner should provide you a robust and competent software capable of providing due visibility concerning the whole process of warehousing and shipping. It should have a very able tracking system, inventory management system, notification system, reporting system, and billing system. The dashboard should give you all the significant numbers at a glimpse concerning the status of your finished goods under dispatch or in the warehouse.
They should provide you with 3rd party APIs to do the necessary integrations with the other existing systems of your business. APIs automate the whole process with the least possible hassle, and you begin to get notified about the whereabouts of your products in real time.
Check out if the software that your logistics company will provide you has any scope of customization. If yes, then great; as it will give you room to modify it to fit it into your up and running system. That will save you from multiple logins and multitasking.
#4 Customer Service
Last but never the least, this one holds the utmost significance when it comes to supply-chain management. An efficient customer service defines a proficient logistics enterprise. After all, your supply partner is the joining dot between your customer and you.
Find out the crucial aspects of the customer service operations of your logistics partner. That includes the size of their customer service team; if they provide 24/7 service or business hours only. Do they provide the customer service across various time zones? Also, do read the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in detail to grasp their entire functioning along with different layers of operations and involved terms and conditions.
The customer service executives should be qualified and experienced to handle the issues and questions with diligence and skill. If you have business with a bigger presence spread across countries, you will need customer service agents who are capable of communicating capably in global languages like English and Spanish. In case, your operations are limited to your country, customer service executives with knowledge of local language only might just do.
Find out, if your logistics partner is equipped with a ticketing system too to instantly and responsibly handle the queries and issues of your customers. They must use the best-in-class software like Zendesk or Freshdesk for the purpose to ensure that the whole customer service process works seamlessly. The idea is to ensure that the end customer has multiple and enough point of contacts to reach out for in case they need help.
A company with proven fulfillment center experience would relieve you entirely with the responsibilities of the products the moment they are out from the manufacturing unit. They are detailed with inventory management, proficient at order management, do seamless fulfillment, and provide real-time reporting to you.
A timely and safe delivery re-confirms the faith and trust of your supporters in you. And, that paves the way for many more successful crowdfunding associations happening for your upcoming innovative and cutting edge creations.