F. Curtis Barry & Company assists clients with evaluating third party fulfillment and call center as an option versus internal fulfillment and call center operations.  We work with clients to write requirements and Request For Proposals (RFP), analyze vendor responses, perform site visits and reference checks, contract review, review order management systems and eCommerce solutions proposed, and to plan and project manage the transition to the new provider. We also compare the third party costs to internal fulfillment.

Our third party fulfillment clients’ products  range from high-end fashion footwear and apparel, large furniture and home decor, high-end optics and telescopes, food and perishables, and textbooks for on-line universities that are sold via catalog, eCommerce, wholesale, and retail channels. 

Our clients select to use third party fulfillment and call center partners for any number of reasons:

  • High service levels, at a competitive-cost solution.
  • Avoid capital expenses for additional facilities, systems, material handling equipment, etc.
  • Embrace technologies which would be prohibitive in terms of people resources, schedule and costs.
  • Changes fixed cost of fulfillment into a variable expense (e.g. management and labor).
  • Allows companies to focus on core business of marketing and merchandising products.
  • Season-intensive businesses don't have to increase recruiting, training and staffing.
  • Allows businesses to quickly implement a multi-Distribution Center Network (east coast/mid-west/west coast) to get orders to the customer as quickly as possible.
  • Assist United States-based multichannel businesses to sell and distribute product to European customers and dealers quickly and inexpensively; expand your sales markets without having to have a facility and operations there.

For whatever reason you are considering third party fulfillment, we can help. It must be noted that our firm is completely vendor independent and doesn't receive any finder's fees or payment for placement with a specific vendor.  We also believe that third party fulfillment is not the right business strategy for every company; so do your detail due diligence.

With most any project we approach, we handle third party fulfillment projects in phases.

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Phase I: Develop Requirements and Perform Due Diligence of Third Party Fulfillment Vendors

FCBCO works with clients to develop requirements and then a formal RFP which covers all current and projected business metrics, current operations narratives, systems requirements, and service level expectations. It is submitted to vendors with a track record to handle the fulfillment of orders and or calls. The detail quotations for the bidding vendors are compared to your current fulfillment costs and services in a side by side comparison as well as reviewing in detail the service levels and narrative responses from each.

Phase II: Site Visit, RFP Review and References

We conduct a site visit with our clients to the 2 “best fit” finalists’ facilities in order to meet with their executive team,  the operations managers and account manager. We tour their facility to see their operations that will handle your orders and or calls; review the systems requirements and any remaining items from the RFP. FCBCO will review follow-up items with the vendor and client, which are identified during the visit. These typically include questions to be revisited from the RFP response, contracts, pricing and remaining items not yet negotiated. Once we return from the site visits, we conduct reference checks not only with contacts received from the vendor, but with our clients that use the vendor or have used the vendor in the past.

Phase III: Contract Review and Negotiations

FCBCO reviews from a business case perspective (not legal), the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and terms (systems installation and integrations, transition planning, training, out clauses, payment terms, etc.) in the contract.  We will work your attorney on completing this review and agreements.

Phase IV:  Project Management and Transition Planning

FCBCO works with clients to develop a detail third party fulfillment transition (implementation) plan to move inventory to the newly selected facility; implementation and integrations of systems; detail schedule of responsibilitiesand timelines in collaboration with the client and vendor.  We are available to project manage the implementation.

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