19 questions you need to ask when choosing your fulfilment centre

Posted by:
The Scale Up

05 Jan 2022

If you’re looking for a new fulfilment partner for your growing business, it’s important you ask the right questions.

We’ve created this checklist using our extensive knowledge of running both eCommerce businesses and fulfilment centres. The questions should help you and your team when considering potential fulfilment partners.

Take a look at the 19 questions or alternatively, download the handy PDF version we’ve created here.

Expert advice

  • Consider asking about the number of locations they have. Global locations will enable you to ship to international customers faster.
  • When it comes to returns management, find out how much visibility you’ll have of this process.
  • When you outsource your fulfilment, you shouldn’t lose insight on the process. The fulfilment centre will be able to fulfil your orders, but can they provide technology that produces meaningful data?
  • Having a pre-built integration with your eCommerce platform or shopping cart will enable you to get set up quickly, reducing downtime on order fulfilment.
  • Always try to visit the fulfilment centre to see how it works. Things to consider when visiting are the cleanliness, the knowledge of employees and the processes that are in place.
  • When it comes to pricing, you should only be paying for the services you need. An out-of-the-box solution and pricing may not suit your businesses needs.

Join hundreds of businesses that entrust their eCommerce fulfilment to us. Speak to a fulfilment expert.

Question Yes No
Do you provide international shipping?
Do you have service-level agreements (SLAs) with your clients?
How do you prevent the wrong items being sent to customers?
Do you offer a returns management service?
What security measures do you have in place?
Do you offer a secure area for high-value products?
Can my customers track their orders?
Do you have a customer service team?
Can I visit your facility?
How many hours a day / days a week do you operate?
Do you have back-up hardware and internet connections, to maximise uptime and efficiency?
Can you help me with business sales forecasting? For example, identifying best and worst-selling lines and stock levels?
Do you offer flexible pricing plans?
Do you offer custom packaging?
How do you reduce damages to products?
Do you offer multiple shipping options and services?
Do you offer same-day despatch on orders?
Do you have a culture of continuous improvement? What improvements have you recently implemented?
Do you have a pre-built integration with my eCommerce platform? How long will it take to set up?

James and James Fulfilment

It all began in 2010, when James Hyde and James Strachan couldn’t find a modern shipping service for the eCommerce business they ran. Faced with messy warehouses based on out-dated systems, they decided to build their own.

We’ve not stood still since, helping hundreds of online brands scale up – and scaling with them.