3 Steps for a Strong Partnership with Your Fulfillment Team

Keeping up with customer demand forces a manufacturer’s operations to ramp up. From procurement to inventory, assembly, fulfillment and more!

As they grow, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) frequently need help efficiently scaling all the other operations in sync. Thus, OEMs turn to outside partners for warehousing, procurement and assembly services.

This is just as true for order fulfillment.

The Challenge

Fulfillment is tightly joined to distribution since it’s all about meeting the customer’s desires. This includes putting the merchandise in their hands.

Order fulfillment includes many processes besides the logistics of transporting products to customers. It also applies to receiving orders through multiple channels, moving merchandise from finished goods to packaging and arranging order shipment.

OEMs can benefit significantly by teaming up with an outside fulfillment partner, such as a contract manufacturer. These include on-demand scalability, cost savings and other benefits.

The best fulfillment partner for an OEM depends on many factors. They’ll need to consider product type and the number and type of services you require, among other things.

We’ve put together this three-step guide to help OEMs in their selection process. The aim is to have a strong and successful partnership between your team and its outside partner.

Step #1: Decide how much of your fulfillment operations you are looking to outsource

Are you looking to augment your existing fulfillment team and facilities, or do you want to outsource it?

For OEMs offloading a new product line, an outside partner working as an extension of their team makes sense.

On the other hand, companies may wish to remain lean and nimble by focusing on primary business activities. These may include strategic planning, research and development, sales and marketing and customer service. These companies should look to outsource order fulfillment to fulfillment centers completely.

Step #2: Identify what needs your fulfillment partner must fulfill

Once you’ve defined your overall distribution strategy, you can zero in on the type of firm to partner with.

For example, OEMs that have decided to outsource order fulfillment are probably aiming to externalize other operations. A contract manufacturer or third-party logistics firm is a good choice for these OEMs. They can bundle fulfillment with other services.

OEMs can reduce supply chain complexity and logistical delays by consolidating vendors and eliminating intermediaries. One-stop shopping also simplifies order processing.

OEMs wishing to keep much of their fulfillment in-house will take a more a la carte approach. Those manufacturers must decide what specific services they need a partner to provide.

For one OEM, expertise in direct-to-consumer may be required. For another, eCommerce experience coupled with blind drop-shipping. Still others may need cross-docking and electronic data interchange order tracking.

Step #3: Pick the right fulfillment partner

After you’ve defined exactly what you need, you can then use that criteria to select who you need. A full-service contract manufacturer, like RiverSide Integrated Solutions (RIS) is the best choice for OEMs who want to remain lean and nimble. We offer an end-to-end turnkey package, from climate-controlled warehousing space to direct-to-consumer order fulfillment.

OEMs searching for a more pared-down solution will want to narrow their search to more specialized fulfillment partners.

But be careful. This advice comes with an asterisk. Some, but not all, full-service contract manufacturers also provide their services as standalone offerings. Therefore, OEMs should research carefully before settling on a tailored fulfillment solution.

At RIS, we provide bundled solutions and a full menu of individual services and capabilities. We continue to be a robust and reliable order fulfillment and distribution partner for OEMs of all sizes.

About RiverSide Integrated Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly and product assembly. We employ more than 350 people and provide services to OEMs worldwide. We operate two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the US.

With all of the choices in contract manufacturers out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. RIS has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

As your one-stop shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards and resources to support all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is complex and very time-consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity.

Our total-package solutions include:

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your manufacturing project, or click contact us for a quote.

3 Steps for a Strong Partnership with Your Fulfillment Team
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3 Steps for a Strong Partnership with Your Fulfillment Team
Keeping up with customer demand forces all of a manufacturer’s operations to ramp up, from procurement to inventory, assembly, inspection & testing and reverse logistics.
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RiverSide Integrated Solutions
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