This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.
In part one of this two-part series, we discussed exactly what you can get from a healthcare fulfillment service, so in part two we’re going to focus on how to narrow those down to services that best suit your business today and into the future. Getting the most out of a healthcare fulfillment service starts with choosing one that can grow with you as your company expands.
Choosing a healthcare fulfillment service is much like choosing a 3rd party logistics (3PL) firm. It’s important that your company be able to provide your customers or users with the basics, like customer web portals and shopping cart integration for your website to make inventory easy. But healthcare fulfillment can go well beyond the basics, and some devices require special handling or attention.
Asking the Right Questions for the Best Service
Establishing that your future 3PL provides healthcare fulfillment is a good first step, but each 3PL is a little bit different, so it’s important to explore what services they offer in addition to fulfillment, as well as their approach to inventory control and floor management.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
What data are you tracking about my products? The more information, the better. From how long an item spends on the pick floor to the most common products that are purchased together, data is key to improving service, speeding up fulfillment and increasing customer happiness.
How are you counting my inventory? Bar code scanning isn’t necessarily cutting-edge technology, but it’s a great way to keep inventory counts. When properly implemented at multiple points in the warehouse and packing floor, inventory control can be exceptionally tight with the help of simple bar code scanning tools.
Can you create product packaging? An added bonus to many fulfillment centers is optional literature fulfillment services and the ability to create custom product packaging. This can be a really great addition to your presentation if you’re sending sample kits to doctors or medical supplies directly to patients.
Your healthcare fulfillment service can be a useful business partner, but only if you choose one that compliments your product line. Always ask about additional services you might not be considering at the time, since you never can be sure where your business aspirations could take you.