Smooth Start-Ups: Ease Your Transition to a New Fulfillment Provider

Whether you’re a direct seller outsourcing fulfillment for the first time or switching to a new provider, a smooth transition is critical. It’s essential for upholding service levels, controlling costs and accommodating growth.

A seamless transition starts with clearly defined processes. They’ll guide every aspect of your start-up and ensure proper management and support – particularly valuable for rapid transitions.

Effective processes typically include these five steps:

  1. Defining project scope – Your new fulfillment provider should take time to thoroughly understand your needs up front. They’ll identify objectives, deliverables, and timetables and provide a project framework.
  2. Soliciting project sponsors – Based on your needs, the provider will assemble management and IS teams skilled in facilitating start-ups. Typically, a transition team includes representatives from management, HR, safety, and process engineering. Internal project champions also help keep things on track.
  3. Planning and resourcing – The team develops a comprehensive action plan. Identifying necessary tools, available resources, incremental steps, key milestones and due dates up front helps avoid surprises like unexpected costs. Your provider should have the locations, technology and quality labor pool to meet your needs.
  4. Implementation – Expect your provider to monitor progress, track the budget, provide on-going communication, and implement contingency plans. Key management team members may work on-site during implementation to ensure seamless service.
  5. Transition to on-going operations – Once the facility is fully functional, your provider should conduct a post-implementation review and identify opportunities for improvement.

With well-managed processes, look forward to a smooth and seamless start-up.

See how Saddle Creek has helped leading companies to make a smooth transition. Read the case study

Check out our blog series for other topics of interest to direct sellers, including order management systems, order accuracy, and ecommerce and the DTC supply chain.

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