How to Evaluate a Potential BPO Fulfillment Partner

Why work with a fulfillment partner?

Fulfillment refers to the process undertaken by firms to deliver the products or materials they have offered to their customers. While a majority of businesses handle their own order fulfillment initially, it often becomes difficult to meet customer expectations as a company grows. Finding the right fulfillment partner is a challenge in itself and requires extensive screening. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) fulfillment services should provide a professional environment for fulfillment of customer orders and allow organizations to focus on core management and business expansion.


Evaluating a potential or current fulfillment partner

  • Understand your company’s fulfillment requirements and prioritize. Any potential fulfillment partner needs to understand the services and customer requirements of your company, and should have the infrastructure to meet the expectations. They should also be able to achieve the necessary compliance and confidentiality requirements and be able to demonstrate a prove history of reliability and accountability.
  • Evaluate fulfillment costs. Your investment should not harm your revenue in the process. Assess the financial stability of potential partners and conduct thorough background checks to protect your interests. Be wary of price proposals that seem “too good to be true.”
  • Ensure continuous availability. At no point must there be a situation where a fulfillment partner cannot provide service to your customers. The entire purpose of finding a fulfillment partner is to satisfy customer necessities, so maintaining the standard of the services and products and delivering them on time is key.
  • Establish service metrics. Determine and agree on acceptable performance requirements and consider instituting incentives for your fulfillment partner to achieve them. Metrics can include order picking accuracy, order cycle times, dock-to-stock cycle times, and inventory accuracy. If your business is prone to seasonal spikes in volume, evaluate the potential fulfillment partner’s ability to upscale services when required.
  • The employees of the BPO you opt for must have proper training on all the processes. They need to have clarity regarding each and every aspect of the service provided to the customers.
  • Working with experienced companies is always an advantage. Fulfillment partners who have worked for companies within your particular industry can often provide valuable insights to save you money while improving the customer experience. Experienced third party logistics (3PL) providers should also provide better structure and improve brand packaging, shipping and other fulfillment requirements.
  • An ideal fulfillment partner is one that thinks outside the box to bring you creative ideas and suggestions to improve your fulfillment operations. They are committed to working with you to improve brand image and develop innovative solutions to increase customer satisfaction. The best fulfillment partner of all is one that behaves like an extended in-house crew working hand in hand with you for the growth of your business.
  • 3PL providers must have professional in-house IT resources. Technology plays a critical role within the fulfillment center environment itself and in ensuring it is functioning as efficiently as possible. It is also key for providing you with real-time reporting capabilities that are customized to your specific business needs.

Fulfillment partners can play a crucial role in the proper functioning and growth of businesses. Evaluating a prospective partner can be a tedious job, but conducting the proper due diligence during the selection process will pay off in the long run. Look for a partner who actively demonstrates an interest in improving the brand image and the success of your company.


To know more about MAI's expertise in contact center and fulfillment services, please drop in an email now!

Recent Blogs