Hi fellow Shopify owners.
This is not specifically Shopify-related but I'm hoping you might have some advice regarding warehouses and 3PLs.
Lately we've been having a lot of issues with our US warehouse.
Key problems include:
- Tracking links not updating in Shopify (= confused customers)
- Orders being shipped in odd manners (=multiple cartons being shipped with different carriers*)
- Slow order processing (some take up to 10 days to be processed)
- Frequently lost parcels (= they say it's the carriers fault)
- A lot of confusion on which carrier is being used
- Missing items that later arrive in a separate carton (*related to the above point about how orders are shipped)
We only average 20x orders per week and get customer complaints almost every week, wondering where their shipments are, why something is missing etc...It's becoming a customer service nightmare.
Is this normal?? I mean, if we have 1,000 orders a month perhaps I could understand *some* loss or issues - but 20 orders a week? And they're not cheap either.
Please share your advice or experiences. What's a normal loss ratio for a warehouse and average processing times?
I'm not a logistics professional but I'm seriously concerned about the negative customer feedback as a result of this and also how much time I'm spending chasing after each order.
I'm afraid I don't have any experience with this problem because we decided to warehouse products ourselves. I was always concerned about putting them in the hands of a third party. I always felt:
- Third parties don't care about my brand or reputation.
- We felt that letting a third party take care of our stock and particularly customers was always dangerous (we care, they don't care).
- Packaging and sending out has to be part of the customer experience too. If they aren't doing this right then it reflects on us.
- Ultimately it might cost us more (loss, lost customers, having to get new customers instead of having people who love us, etc).
At the end of the day if you are paying for any service and you are not getting that service, then in my mind it is not normal and time to look for an alternative. They won't suffer. They will just move on to the next guy when your business goes under because of them. As far as your customer's are concerned they 'are' you. Which is sad.
I do have friends who work with third parties who have not had this experience. But I'm always concerned about a middle man.
I'd fire them.