You’re finally at the point where business is booming, and you want to outsource your fulfilment to a UK fulfilment centre, but you just don’t know which one to pick. Or, maybe you’re already using one, but you’re not really happy with them – they’ve let you down, and you’re losing customers.

Whatever your reason may be, we have some do’s and don’ts when deciding on which UK fulfilment centre to partner with.

If you have a fulfilment centre in mind already, or if you’re just weighing up your options, our blog details the things you should take into consideration, to help you choose the best option for you and your customers. Well, let’s explore exactly what they are.

Using a 3PL that uses a technology-based inventory management system will help to ensure there is less potential for human error and will help to make things more efficient overall.

It’s best to avoid using a fulfilment centre that still uses manual methods to manage your inventory. This will lead to errors, mispicks and additional labour time and is far less efficient than technology-based systems.

A great system can not only help support your growth, but an increased order accuracy will save you so much money and time.

Do you require custom packaging?

Have you ever considered using custom packaging? Or, perhaps you’re looking for a special unboxing experience for your clients? Whichever it is, it’s always nice to have the option, right?

A good fulfilment centre will offer custom packaging options and will support you when choosing the right ones, adding to your brand and customer experience. After all, it’s your business. Finding one that provides this as an option is, therefore, a must. This goes without saying, but you should choose a fulfilment centre with this option available unless standard packaging isn’t an issue for you.

Do they offer customer service management?

You’re outsourcing fulfilment to save time and money, looking to concentrate on your business. But you’re still spending hours on customer service, dealing with your customers.

Or, perhaps you’re in a different time zone.

Any great 3PL will give you the opportunity to outsource your customer service as an additional service. Customer service teams will deal with anything from customer complaints and resolutions, processing payments and refunds, to general customer queries. Depending on the size of your business, it can be hard to keep up with customer queries, so partnering with a 3PL that offers customer service is always a no-brainer. It’s an extra weight off your shoulders.

Amazon – Do they offer FBA and SFP alongside FMB?

FBA and SFP offer the ability to be flexible with your business. Some 3PL’s only offer FBM, which is great if that’s all you require, but if not, then it’s best to find a fulfilment centre that offers everything so that you aren’t stuck using multiple centres.

With Amazon reviewing terms and pricing on a regular basis, having that piece of mind and reassurance that you have the flexibility to use any of their services is really important.

If they don’t offer Prime, a good question to ask is why? Is it because they aren’t getting deliveries out on time? If they offer FBA but not SFP, it could be a sign of this. To avoid issues and disappointment, opt for a UK fulfilment centre that offers a mix of all Amazon services (FBA, FBM, and SFP).

Do they offer tracking?

Ever had a high-value delivery or pallet delivery gone missing? Maybe a full pallet? It’s extremely annoying and inconvenient, which is why you should opt for a 3PL that offers tracking. Here at TSP, we offer real-time parcel tracking, allowing you to see where your delivery is at all times while notifying you of any issues or delays immediately.

Do they have a range of courier options available?

It’s always better to be able to choose which couriers you want to deal with, so it’s best to choose a fulfilment centre that has a range of options available so that you can choose the best courier, prices, and service for your business and your customers. For example, TSP has a good relationship with a variety of couriers, we won’t just make you choose one. We’re here to cater to your needs. We see so many companies making choices for their clients, and we want to operate differently to this.

Is there room to scale your business?

There is nothing worse than thinking you have found the perfect fulfilment centre, only to find out they don’t actually have the space required for you to scale your business. It’s essential to guarantee beforehand that your 3PL partner has the room to scale your business to avoid potentially being restricted and disappointed further down the line.

Some fulfilment centres may promise this but only have limited pallet spaces left. Be sure to look for a 3PL that either has large facilities with space or, even better, a space guarantee.

Do they provide international shipping?

Again, this is non-negotiable if you are already an international seller. However, if you’re not and are hoping to expand internationally at some point, then partner with a 3PL that offers international shipping and watch your business grow. Make sure your fulfilment centre has a good international network because it is no use having the option available if they can’t actually provide a good, efficient service.

Do they have reviews and testimonials?

It’s all grand and fine boasting about how good they are, but does the fulfilment centre have reviews and testimonials to back up their claims? It’s always important to check for reviews and testimonials beforehand, as these can be really insightful when helping you choose a 3PL. Always ask to speak to current clients at a similar level to you for a recommendation.

TSP – Your go-to UK fulfilment centre

So, now you know all the important questions to ask, it’s time to choose the right fulfilment centre for you. If you’d like to discuss fulfilment in more detail or find out more about TSP, then contact us today – we’re always more than happy to help.

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