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Switching 3PLs: How to Seamlessly Transition

May 23, 2024

As DTC brands expand eCommerce operations, they often outgrow their fulfillment process and need to find a new solution that can scale or supplement their existing one. Scaling the business, reducing costs, meeting SLAs, or offering 2-day shipping are some of the reasons that high-growth companies switch to Nimble

Whether it is time to switch fulfillment providers or partner with a 3PL for the first time after managing logistics in-house, there are some common hurdles involved in the transition. As a next-gen 3PL, Nimble has built its onboarding process to ensure the industry’s smoothest integrations so that companies can spend more time on other objectives such as new customer acquisition and adding more products. Below are some factors to consider when switching 3PLs:

Tech Integration

Switching to a new platform can come with challenges, but testing ahead of time is key. With its foundations as a cloud AI company, Nimble has invested in dedicated integration resources that work closely with the product and engineering teams to integrate customers into its fulfillment network through a single cloud platform. Nimble’s Cloud Logistics Platform gives brands real-time visibility, analytics and controls to optimize end-to-end logistics with Inventory Management (IMS), Order Management (OMS), Warehouse Management (WMS), and Transportation Management (TMS). After creating a workflow for each brand during the Statement of Work (SOW) process, Nimble conducts robust testing in sandbox environments to reduce any hiccups and issues.

“The testing done by the Nimble team was extensive and right on the mark,” said Wade Wickus, Steeped Coffee’s VP of Operations. “They pointed out issues that we had in our Shopify set up but went above and beyond to also offer solution ideas that would solve those issues. That made this a partnership right away!”

Transition Timeline

Onboarding with a fulfillment provider can take up to a few months, so make sure to factor in this time and speak with any current and new providers involved to ensure that orders are still processed while the transition takes place. With Nimble’s AI robots, each warehouse in the company’s fulfillment network can fulfill orders with 8X less labor than a manual operation to reduce the initial staffing ramp timeline. Our Implementation Team supported BlendJet throughout onboarding for all of its US eCommerce operations and fully ramped operations in only 6 weeks - just in time for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales spikes.

“Nimble is disrupting logistics, in a good way, and giving us an amazing edge,” said Ryan Pamplin, Founder and CEO of BlendJet.

SLA Alignment

As mentioned in Nimble’s Tips for Scaling Fulfillment, customer obsession is key. Discussing what customer satisfaction means to both a brand and its fulfillment provider before launch helps achieve SLAs in the long run. Nimble also implements custom reporting to provide better visibility into the fulfillment process. 

“Communication and transparency with our partners help everyone stay aligned, from the warehouse operators to brand managers to the customer’s expecting their packages on a certain date,” said Melissa Curry, Nimble’s Vice President of Fulfillment Operations. 

With Nimble, starting a new fulfillment partnership can be an exciting opportunity for high-growth brands to offer two-day delivery to create a 10.5% uplift in conversion rates and an 8.9% increase in repeat purchases. To learn more about transitioning to autonomous fulfillment, contact us.

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