Fulfillment & 3PLs

Introduction

What is 3PL?

3PL, or 3rd Party Logistics, provides outsourcing activities that are related to logistics and distribution. The main responsibility of the 3PL is to fulfill orders placed through our clients online store. Fulfillment responsibilities include invoicing, receiving inventory, storing inventory, packing, and shipping out the products to the end consumer.

When in the implementation process does Scalefast assist the client in configuring the warehouse and transferring inventory?

After the store or shopping cart is built, the product needs to be transferred by client to the warehouse to begin selling. This can also be done simultaneously prior to launch so that product is in inventory already when the store launches online.

Integration Checklist

What items are needed for us to assist client in transferring inventory?

3PL requirements:

  • Product info
    • Title, UPC/EAN, Dimensions, Weight, Price of Unit
  • Receive transfer during receiving times
  • Need PO from client including delivery date

Client requirements:

  • Addresses and contact info for the 3PL's
  • Send shipping notice to Scalefast when transfer has initiated
  • Client needs to provide PO number and estimated delivery date for TCH before transferring package

Scalefast requirements:

  • Targeted deadline to launch product sales
  • Shipping notice from client when shipment is being sent out
  • Where the products are coming from
  • Dev operations to configure on Scalefast side to enable sending EDIs to 3PL 

What does the 3PL need?

The 3PL needs UPC/EAN (barcode), their relative product titles, dimensions, weight, and price to add them into their system. This will allow their system to receive EDIs (electronic data interchange) containing order information that needs to be fulfilled.

All products must arrive on pallets, with packing slips and in shipper cartons that are clearly marked with the selection number and the UPC.

What does the client need?

The client will need to provide UPCs to Scalefast and the 3PL's. They will need shipping addresses for their distributor/manufacturer to transfer the product into 3PL inventory.

The client needs to provide shipping notice to Scalefast, and a PO with delivery date when transferring products so that Scalefast and the 3PL's are aware of incoming inventory.

Scalefast needs to know the targeted deadline the client would like to launch their online product sales. In addition, we need a shipping notice sent to us each time a new transfer is initiated.

What does Scalefast need?

We need to know where the products are being transferred from in order to determine the timeframe it may take for products to complete transferring to 3PL.

Scalefast also needs to complete development operations in order to make sure that proper EDI information is being sent to the 3PL.

Post Inventory Transfer

What happens when inventory is received by warehouse?

Once the warehouse confirms receiving inventory, the Account Manager or PM needs to update the stock count to match the quantity of units transferred. If product is Suspended or Invisible status, it will need to be set to Validated to make the product live and to begin selling through the online store.

After the product is set to Validated status, the product will display for sale. The stock quantity will automatically deduct with each order, but when new inventory is transferred to warehouse, the new stock count needs to be added manually by Account Manager to the existing inventory.

Low stock notifications are highly recommended for both client and Scalefast team members who manage and update the stock. This will ensure that both parties are aware when more units need to be transferred to inventory. Inventory should ideally never run out and never reach 0. If inventory reaches 0, there are options to display “Out of Stock” or “Join Waiting List.”

FAQ

The following topics are Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will the product take to get from the manufacturer/supplier to the warehouse?

This depends on how far the supplier is from the 3PL. This can range from a few days up to a week, or longer if going overseas. The client can typically expedite their transfer at an extra cost to reach the 3PL sooner.

How do we know when the product is received by the 3PL?

We can ask the 3PL to be sure to update us as soon as they receive the shipment. Account Manager has access to TCH inventory overview where this can be checked as well.

When is the product ready to sell?

As soon as the online store is configured and the 3PLs have the products configured in their system and in stock, the products can begin selling. One exception to this, would be if the inventory has not been transferred and the client wants to begin selling before inventory is in stock. This will result in shipping delays for the end customer.

How do we know how many units are left before we have to transfer more?

The stock count is automatically deducted in the inventory count (in the Back Office) each time a customer makes a purchase. Technicolor dashboard allows you to see units in stock, pending orders, orders on hold, etc.

What is the cancellation and return policy?

This can vary between different clients and their policies. Normally, if the box isn’t opened, the customer can return and replace it. If the box is opened, we do not accept returns. If the item is faulty, defective, damaged, or missing items, the customer has the option to have the item replaced. If there are no units in stock to replace a defective item (ex: limited collector’s editions), customer is eligible for a partial refund if they keep the item (or to receive the missing part). Customer can be eligible for full refund if they send back the damaged/defective unit.

 

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