The case for custom fulfillment
Whether you run a thriving enterprise or operating a small to medium-sized business, custom fulfillment could meet your customers’ needs better and make your life easier.
As you start to think about ordering and shipping your products, where do you start? If you go to a huge logistics provider, you may be asked about your volume early on. They may want to know about your pack and ship, which you probably haven’t even established yet. They may expect you to order a round number that either creates under-deliveries of orders or leaves you with excess product. And, just like a friend of ours learned the hard way, they might drop your order without warning right before it’s due to ship.
Large businesses with established distribution networks may feel that they’ve dodged a bullet when they hear about the complications a small business or startup can face. But even established companies can find themselves in need of a faster delivery, a specific packaging process, or a unique offering. And then they run into the same problems startups and small businesses face. Often, large distributors just won’t cut it. They are not built to be flexible.
This is why custom fulfillment is so important. Some projects need to be tailored and require special attention to meet the needs of your customers. At MKM, we specialize in custom fulfillment because we’re driven by the challenge of solving your unique problems.
Take the example of a top shoe brand. This brand has most of its shoes made overseas. It got the kind of shipment every U.S.-based company that outsources production fears: the shoes weren’t matched up in size, style, or gender. It was a nightmare for the brand’s top distributor. The first time a botched shipment like this arrived, it took the brand’s trusty distributor over a month to sort the shoes correctly and get them shipped to their final destination. The second time a botched shipment arrived in the U.S., the brand’s established distributor recognized it was taking way too much time to execute a sort. They reached out to MKM, hoping for a custom touch. The team at MKM segregated the shoes and had them on the road in a day. My team saved that brand tens of thousands of dollars and got their product to the end user much faster.
To this day, that brand uses their third party distributor for normal orders. But anytime they need custom fulfillment, they call on MKM.
Not everyone has a need for an emergency backup. Some businesses are on the lookout for a long-term distributing partner. Remember the friend we mentioned earlier? This CEO of a startup had his first shipment set up and ready to run with a large provider. The evening before distribution was scheduled, this company dropped his order entirely. He contacted us, understandably frantic. We mobilized and provided him the custom fulfillment he needed to keep his new business alive. He learned the risky way that large distributors don’t ever become partners. If you want a partner, you go custom.
Are you wondering whether a project of yours could benefit from custom fulfillment? Ask yourself: if someone else who is experienced and prepared absorbed that task for you, would it leave you room to grow? Would it give you more time and energy to spend on your own expertise?
We’re passionate about empowering our partners to serve their customers in the best way they can. One size rarely fits all. When you are ready for custom fulfillment, talk to MKM. Bring us a challenge. We’ll deliver.