In our daily work, we talk to a lot of small and mid-sized companies about fulfillment. These days, it’s not unusual for the conversation to turn to Amazon.
Amazon is a wonderful site for up-and-coming retailers, providing access to a tremendous marketplace and venue for business growth. Unfortunately, some Amazon policies create real challenges for many companies. For example, there are strict policies on everything from bar codes to Amazon product numbers. Amazon may also require your company to send two to three pallets at a time to their designated distribution centers. It’s expensive to send a few pallets to DCs scattered around the country!
To make matters worse, we’re seeing a new challenge for small and mid-sized companies trying to fulfill orders through the online giant. According to the latest news reports, Amazon’s fulfillment arm isn’t accepting new clients until after the holiday rush. This effectively shuts companies down from moving business to Amazon until after Dec. 19 – and that could ruin the Christmas peak for some vendors.
If this impacts you, don’t despair. It’s easier than you think to sell your goods on Amazon and fulfill orders through another channel. Simply look for a fulfillment partner that:
- Specializes in small orders. Whether you’re moving 500 cases per day or 500 per quarter, you should feel like a priority – not an irritant. The fulfillment house should be glad to get your business and set up to handle it efficiently. Ask about penalty policies that unduly impact smaller companies. For example, will you pay a fee for shipping in an over-sized box? Are there order minimums or extra fees for small orders?
- Offers the technology you need to track orders efficiently, cut costs and reduce dock-to-stock time. If you’ve ever tried to handle fulfillment yourself, you know how expensive this technology is. Ask about your partner’s systems. Make sure they will interact with yours easily, so technology becomes an advantage, rather than an expense.
- Provides the delivery time required to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. For example, from our headquarters in Cincinnati, we reach 85% of the U.S. population in two days or less.
- Is an omni-channel, agile partner with the warehouse space, professional team and proven experience to deliver peace of mind, along with your orders.
With fulfillment, timing is always an issue – and never more so than this year, with the changes from Amazon and the peak holiday season upon us. If you have fulfillment questions or concerns, give us a call. Verst is a family-owned 3PL with Midwestern values. We understand that the success of your business depends on getting the right products, to the right people, at the right time. We’re happy to talk with you about your needs, your KPIs and your options.
And we’ll answer your first question right now: Yes. We accept small orders.