You picked your fulfillment center for a reason. At some point someone decided that this partner was the right thing to do. You shouldn’t discount those decisions and just chalk it up that so-and-so making a mistake at the first sign of trouble. It is true that assumptions might be different from when you first launched, but it’s important to recognize the value that your company initially saw in your current provider.
Here are 5 reasons it’s worth trying to save the relationship with your current provider:
They know your product and your business. Even if you have a perfectly written RFP and share lots of samples with other providers, your current provider is going to be the most expert (in many cases more expert than you) in how to fulfill your program. They’ve already gone through growing pains and developed tricks for your program and any new provider will need to go through the learning curve once again in order to come to a new equilibrium for them.
You’re always in a much stronger negotiating position with your current provider than you are with a future provider. When you’re with your current provider, they are actually getting dollars in the door. This is revenue that they’re counting on versus theoretical dollars that could be coming in and most will do whatever they need to do in order to retain good clients.
Fulfillment centers generally want to do a good job. This is their business and they take pride in what they do. Usually, when things are not going well, it’s upsetting to them as well. It may be because expectations were misaligned or something material happened in their business or your business, but in most cases things can be salvaged with objectivity and clean data.
There is always some level of cash outlay required to change providers. At the bare minimum, you’re going to have to spend money moving the products from a transportation perspective and then you’re also going to need to spend either your time or find someone who can do the integrations, run the RFP’s, vet things out, visit facilities, etc.
Momentum is a huge consideration in the supply chain; it’s usually much easier to keep doing what you’re doing than to change it. Even if a process is less than optimal, in many cases its working and brain cells you’re spending on moving fulfillment centers are attention you can’t spend elsewhere. Consider things like inbound POs and reverse logistics when contemplating a move.