We’re almost halfway through 2019, and the FDA is more active than ever to ensure compliance and protect customer safety. Considering the scrutiny that vitamin and supplement suppliers have to undergo, choosing a trustworthy fulfillment partner is essential. A supplement warehouse that does not meet your business requirements can lead to compliance failures and bring your flourishing business a bad name. It’s not enough to find a good fulfillment partner; you must find a partner that understands your unique needs and naturally, fits in with your business vision.
Understanding your Business Requirements is the Key
Before you even start looking for a supplement warehouse, it’s advisable to pause and put down your own requirements. Knowing your short-term and long-term needs will help you in choosing the right fit. Determine whether you plan on using a supplement warehouse for a long-term, or is it just a seasonal option. A fulfillment company will be your best bet if you plan on gradually adding new products to your catalog.
What should a Fulfillment Provider offer in 2019?
Here are some attributes that you should seek in a supplement warehouse, depending on your business needs:
1. Seamless Integration with your Shopping Cart
Working with a partner that has an integration platform that automatically updates orders placed on your website to the fulfillment management system can save you from a number of hassles in the longer run. Easy integration and automation should be on your priority list, especially if you have to deal with a large number of incoming orders every day.
2. Accurate Order Processing
Choose a supplement warehouse and fulfillment service that has a proven track record of delivering accurate orders. This is extremely important for new businesses because they cannot afford a bad customer experience and negative feedback.
3. Stock Rotation
The supplement business is one of those in which not tracking lot numbers and expiration dates can result in life-threatening situations. Before you finalize a supplement warehouse, ensure they have a proper stock rotation process in place to put the newest stock in the back of the line and discard older, expired products.
4. Reverse Logistics
Again, this is also a very important aspect. Delays from the customer’s end in returning supplements could result in receiving supplements that have already expired. The provider should know how to strike a balance between customer retention and loss prevention.
5. Speed of delivery
It’s 2019, people expect to receive their products within a few days of placing an order. Speedy delivery results in good customer experience which, in turn, is essential for a flourishing business. Make sure that the provider’s average delivery time meets your specific needs.
6. Customer Service
Customer service is where your business can stand out from the competitors. Before hiring a fulfillment company, get to know there work ethics and how they deal with customers. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can even request a visit to the supplement warehouse; their response can give you an insight into their method of customer dealing.
7. cGMP Certified Warehouse
Always check for an operation that manufactures in an FDA-registered and NSF cGMP certified facility. Also, a state-of-the-art facility that has built-in security cameras, and burglar and fire alarms is an additional benefit to avoid external intrusion. You can check-out the Ion Fulfillment website to get an idea of the facilities that a good warehouse must provide.
8. Environmental Controls
Vitamins and supplements need to be kept in certain environmental conditions to maintain effectiveness. They may need storage at specific temperatures or may need zero sunlight exposure to keep them from going bad. A facility with central monitoring and climate controls is more of a necessity than a choice for a supplement business.
Find a Partner that Respects your Needs
Your supplement warehouse may have every facility, and your fulfillment partner may check everything in the checklist above; however, if they’re not willing to customize their services to match your particular business needs, none of it will matter. Invest your time in finding a partner that fits seamlessly in your business environment. Finding the perfect fit will save you from the hassle of inventory storage and management. Leaving all these concerns behind will give you more time to focus on the important stuff- that’s building your business.