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Is Your Fulfillment Company Holding You Back?

So you’re working with a fulfillment company and they’re not getting your products to customers on time. They’re not handling refunds as well as you’d like and you’re wondering if this company is going to help you grow your client base and build a trustworthy brand. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

There are hundreds of printing and shipping houses, fulfillment companies and drop shipping solutions available. Some of them are great; others were started by someone working out of their garage that had no experience with fulfillment. What should you do if you’re working with a fulfillment company that’s making it hard for you to succeed? Here are few things to consider…

The Way Things Start is the Way they End

If you’re already working with a mediocre fulfillment company, you might be hoping that things will change if you just start managing them closer. If you just send them emails threatening to take your business elsewhere and if you tell them that you’d like to do business with them but they need to get their act together. But in business, the way things start out is usually the way they end up.

It’s important to remember this because sometimes denial can keep you from ditching a poor company and hiring someone who can get the job done. Bad companies usually have deeply rooted problems in their operations or in their leadership. These things don’t change easy; anyone who runs their own business knows how hard it is to repair internal operations issues. If you’re working with a fulfillment company who is causing you to lose sleep, things probably aren’t going to change until YOU make a change.

Short Term Setbacks are Better than Long Term Messes

One of the primary reasons people don’t fire poor or mediocre vendors is fear of a short term setback. They don’t want to go through the hassle of changing providers. They don’t want to stop marketing their products for a couple of days while they make the transition. In many cases you don’t have to do this, but even if you do, a short term setback is better than a long term mess.

Would you rather have a week or two of inconvenience or years of complicated messes because of working with an incompetent company? Making a short term sacrifice to gain a long term benefit can be difficult, but a few months from now, you’ll probably be very glad that you made a change.

Know What You Want in a New Provider

If your fulfillment company isn’t getting the job done, start looking for another one immediately. Even if you're not ready to replace your existing one, it can never hurt to find out what your alternatives are. Many times, the fear is that you’ll find a new company only to end up with a new set of problems. So if you’ve already got some cash flow coming in from customer orders, you might want to consider working with a more expensive fulfillment company. This will often solve the problem.

“You get what you pay for,” is an undeniable truth in business, and the sooner you accept it and start investing in working with good vendors, the more money you’ll make and the more you’ll have to invest. Just imagine how much money you’re losing and how much time you’re losing by working with a second rate fulfillment house.


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