Finding the Value in Your Fulfillment Partner – Does Yours Measure Up?

Young woman comparing with two things.

With the school year over and summer in full swing, this is a perfect time to ask yourself: what grade would you give the performance of your fulfillment warehouse? Do they get a passing grade or below average? Use this scorecard to determine whether your fulfillment partner is making the grade or flunking out.

Pass or Fail: Performance Metrics

No matter what you sell, from accordions to zippers, your customers have many sources to choose from. Elite customer service is what will set you apart from the competition. Your fulfillment partner has a responsibility to uphold the commitments you make to customers regarding delivery time, presentation, accuracy, and other measurable factors.

Service level agreements, or SLAs, are a standard way to document what you expect from your fulfillment partner.

Use these metrics to answer key questions such as:

* Are same-day, next-day and two-day delivery windows met consistently?

* Are you processing a high number of returns because of damages or product quality?

* Are customers receiving the correct items in the correct quantities?

* Is inventory updated at least once a day? Are discrepancies addressed promptly?

Pass or Fail: Open Channels of Communication

We all know (and have experienced) the horror stories of being stuck in voicemail limbo when contacting a company’s customer service department. But when it comes to your fulfillment warehouse, you are more than simply a customer. You are partners, with both of you invested in the same goals. If you have concerns about your fulfillment partner’s performance, do you get passed off to an account executive? Even worse, do they simply ignore you?

A dependable fulfillment partner will offer full transparency in their business relationships. If you do not have access to contact their leadership team for open and honest discussions, that is a red flag. But keep in mind that just talking to leadership is not enough. They should also be responsive to your concerns and create acceptable solutions in a timely manner.

Pass or Fail: Up-to-Date Technology

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, you cannot afford to be left behind due to outdated technology. A web-based portal allows you to access your information 24/7 without the need to contact your fulfillment warehouse. Make sure they use encryption or other appropriate measures for data security.

Even the most sophisticated technology is bound to hit a snag now and then. Ask about support protocols and whether upgrades are performed on a regular basis.

Pass or Fail: Initiative-taking Improvements

Do you sit back and let your e-commerce business roll along, content with the status quo? Of course not, and neither should your fulfillment warehouse. A good partner understands that improvements benefit both of you. Ideally, they are constantly seeking out ways to boost productivity and decrease costs. If your fulfillment warehouse is not presenting you with ideas to improve efficiency, that is a sign they are not as committed to your success as they should be.

We are glad to offer a free review of your service with us for recommendations or review your current fulfillment provider and let you know what we can do better. Just ask us!

Pass or Fail: Safety Precautions

Accidents and disasters can result in problems ranging from returns of damaged products to complete loss of inventory. What measures does your fulfillment partner implement for protection from fire or theft? At minimum, they should have a 360-degree monitoring system with no dead ends.

Safety does not stop with the products themselves. A high rate of workplace injuries can seriously compromise productivity. The warehouse should have an efficient layout and the company should have an established set of protocols to enhance employee safety.

Medallion Fulfillment and Logistics is a Fulfillment Warehouse that Scores High on the Satisfaction Scale

Find out why clients from coast-to-coast have chosen Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics to be their partner in success. Contact us to learn more about how our services can enhance your business and why we are the fulfillment warehouse choice for a wide variety of businesses around the nation.

An Important Note from Our Company President

Read and important note from our company president.

Dear Valued Partner,

As we enter the holiday shopping season it is important for all of us to recognize that the logistics business is under a lot of stress.

• Inbound stock is running behind schedule with many container ships still queued outside of L.A. and other major ports.

• Acquiring quality staffing and packaging supplies remain an issue.

• Last year our carriers sometimes restricted how many packages they would pick up per day.

Even though we are faced with these challenges, be assured we will continue to do our very best to process your incoming stock and outgoing orders in a timely manner.

However, due to the difficulties we face, we ask for your patience… especially if you are running sales that create order spikes.

Although we do not anticipate it, unforeseen spikes in our aggregate order traffic MAY lead to longer processing times and possible shipping delays if carriers enact volume restrictions.

As always we will work hard to process all orders quickly and efficiently.

We wish you all the best for the holidays,


Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics – West Coast

Sprocket Express – East Coast

Get Ready for Temporary Shipping Rate Adjustments for the 2021 Holiday Season

Medallion Fulfillment the Top US Fulfillment Company

The United States Postal Service filed notice earlier this year with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding a temporary price adjustment for key package products for the 2021 peak holiday season. This temporary rate adjustment is similar to one in 2020 that anticipated heightened peak-season package and shipping demand, which typically results in extra handling costs.

The planned peak-season pricing, which was approved by the Governors of the Postal Service on August 5, would affect prices on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels – Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground, and Parcel Return Service. International products would be unaffected.

Pending favorable review by the PRC, the temporary rates would go into effect at 12:00 a.m., Central Time, on October 3, 2021, and remain in place until 12:00 a.m., Central Time, December 26, 2021.

This seasonal adjustment will bring prices for the Postal Service’s commercial and retail customers in line with competitive practices.

From the UPSP about these changes: “Delivering for America,” the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. The Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping. These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges like levels experienced in 2020. The forecasted additional revenue from the time-limited increase will depend on the volume of packages shipped between Oct. 3 and Dec. 26, 2021″ – the period the Postal Service historically considers its holiday peak season.

The planned price changes include:

Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground:

• $0.75 increase for PM and PME Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes.
• $0.25 increase for Zones 1-4, 0-10 lbs.
• $0.75 increase for Zones 5-9, 0-10 lbs.
• $1.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 11-20 lbs.
• $3.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 11-20lbs.
• $2.50 increase for Zones 1-4, 21-70 lbs.
• $5.00 increase for Zones 5-9, 21-70 lbs.

Additional Planned Increases for the United States Postal Service

Product : Parcel Select Destination Delivery Unit (DDU)
Current: Starts at $3.30
Planned Increase: No change

Product: Parcel Select Lightweight (DDU)
Current: Starts at $2.15
Planned Increase: No change

Product: FCPS Commercial
Current: Starts at $3.01
Planned Increase: 30 cents

Product : FCPS Retail
Current: Starts at $4.00
Planned Increase: 30 cents

Product: Parcel Select Lightweight (DSCF and DNDC)
Current: Starts at $2.55
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Select DSCF
Current: Starts at $4.84
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Select DNDC
Current: Starts at $6.85
Planned Increase: $1.00

Product: Parcel Return Service
Current: Starts at $3.21
Planned Increase: $1.00

FedEx Announces Their Holiday Rate Increases For 2021

Kicking in November 1 with a $1.50-per-piece price hike for FedEx’s Ground Economy deliveries, FedEx starts the holiday season off for merchants with a not so merry notice.

The planned increase affects shipping to outbound residential deliveries for small and medium-sized businesses and covers low-weight, low-value, non-urgent deliveries – typical consumer package deliveries.

The November 1 surcharge expires on November 28, but will be then be upped to $3 per package November 29, and will last until December 12 to compensate for the higher volumes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases. FedEx rate surcharges will then return to the $1.50 per piece increase from December 13 to January 16.

FedEx also announced a new on-going 60-cents-per-piece charge starting January 17, 2022, for retailers whose shipment volumes qualified for holiday surcharges.

UPS Announces Their Holiday Rate Increases For 2021

UPS has developed a pricing tier for the 2021 holiday shipping season based on merchant shipping volume.

This complicated grid is based on distinct variables such as shipments originating from China Mainland and Hong Kong SAR to the U.S.; shipments originating from Japan to the U.S.; shipments originating from Taiwan to the U.S.; shipments from Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand to the U.S.; shipments from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or United Kingdom to the U.S. and North America; and finally exhaustively any international shipment from all origins to all destinations, except shipments subject to the Peak Surcharges set forth in Sections A through E above, until further notice for the Service Levels and Peak Periods set forth below.

The pricing grid is so complex and confusing, that it is more important to review the document to ascertain what your shipping surcharge for the holiday will be. Visit the price grid.

UPS appears to now be structuring its price increase based on the merchant’s February volume in tiers. The tiers are 110% to 200% of February 2020 volume; greater than 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume; greater than 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume, greater than 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume; greater than 500% of February 2020 volume.

Any way, you look at it, shipping for merchants in the holiday season for 2021 will be more complicated due to Covid-19 and more expensive with new shipping volume surcharges.

Tired of Figuring Out the Shipping? Leave it to Medallion to Ship Your Goods

Leverage our expertise and volume pricing to ship your goods this holiday season and concentrate on selling and servicing your customers. Medallion has programs that fit all budgets and needs – large and small. With warehouses on the East and West Coasts, we make shipping easy, fast, and now headache-free.

Contact us at Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics today to get a free rate quote and learn how easy it is to have us handle your fulfillment and shipping needs.

Amazon is Drawing Increased Attention as Antitrust Chatter Grows

In the world of online retailing, Amazon is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. The one-time bookseller has become a global juggernaut, allowing consumers to shop for everything under the sun from the comfort of their own home.

With annual revenue approaching $400 billion, it may seem as though it’s Amazon’s world and we’re just living in it. Earlier this year, a group of independent-business organizations joined forces to take aim at monopolies, with Amazon at the dead center of their target.

Small Businesses Feel the Squeeze

Over the years, Congress has enacted various antitrust laws designed to maintain a level playing field. The purported goal of such legislation is to prevent monopolies and promote a competitive marketplace.

In reality, these laws are only as strong as their enforcement. Larger companies have the means to play Goliath to the smaller companies’ David. In 2020, Amazon alone spent approximately $18 million to lobby against stricter antitrust measures.

It may seem as though fighting the retail giants would be a tall enough order. Adding insult to injury, many small businesses feel that industry organizations such as National Retail Federation (NRF) pay lip service to the idea of equal representation while quietly favoring their largest members.

Standing Up for Market Equality

In a proactive effort to regain some equitable conditions, more than 20 trade and business groups formed a coalition under the name, “Small Business Rising.” Members include organizations such as the National Grocers Association (NGA), the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), a vocal critic of Amazon’s dominance.

Small Business Rising announced their formation and goals in an April 2021 press release. Amazon was specifically cited by name several times, making it clear what the organization sees as one of their biggest obstacles. As Stacy Mitchell, ILSR co-director stated, “concentrated market power” is the toughest challenge facing today’s small business owner.

The organization’s objectives call on policymakers to do the following:

*Break up tech monopolies, such as Amazon, to prevent them from cornering the online market.

* Add teeth to antitrust laws by making them stronger and more enforceable.

* Put a stop to mega-mergers and set higher criteria for regular mergers.

In addition, Small Business Rising is leveraging the relationships local business owners have with power players in their respective hometowns. Members are organizing meetings, seeking out media coverage and waging letter-writing campaigns.

The Rich Get Richer

The unprecedented conditions of 2020 served to magnify the gap between Amazon and other e-commerce businesses. While COVID restrictions created a surge in online shopping, small online retailers faced corresponding supply chain and distribution difficulties, making it hard for them to accommodate demand.

On the other hand, Amazon was able to draw on its significant resources to weather the storm and emerge stronger than ever. The company spent a reported $4 billion on “incremental COVID-19-related costs,” enabling it to successfully adjust its processes and policies.

In the face of mounting criticism during the last few years, Amazon has tried to brand itself as a valuable ally to small businesses, especially with Amazon Marketplace, its third-party online sales platform. Companies have responded by pointing out how Amazon uses prohibitive fees and data access for competitive advantage.

Grow Your Online Business with Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics

Are Amazon’s arbitrary and restrictive fees and policies helping or hurting your e-commerce business? Medallion Fulfillment & Logistics works with you by offering a full assortment of services tailored to fit your needs.

Contact us to learn more about our flexible and cost-effective fulfillment solutions, including our innovative Amazon replenishment warehousing service.