Fulfilling a lot of orders is a nice problem to be had since it can only mean you are gaining sales. But it is still a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, lest you forfeit the hard work you put in in sales and marketing.
It may be the easy decision to do the fulfillment yourself if you are thinking of cost and control, but the process itself is not. Eventually, you may want to outsource this non-core business process to the experts, so you can focus back on sales and marketing.
If you are worried that you might choose the wrong provider, you are on the right path. The first step to outsourcing is to be vigilant of the providers. In this guide, we present one provider that has been a top representative of order fulfillment services for small and large companies for over 30 years now: Materialogic. Specifically, as part of our Materialogic reviews, we want to find the answers to these questions, answers that can help you assess if this provider is for you.
- What is Materialogic?
- How does Materialogic work?
- Who can use Materialogic?
- What problems does Materialogic solve?
- What are the features of Materialogic?
- What is the pricing of Materialogic?
- Is Materialogic for you?
What is Materialogic?
A quick look at Materialogic reviews shows that the company is an outsourcing provider of order fulfillment services in the U.S. for more than 35 years now. Its services include ecommerce order fulfillment, technology for inventory and customer data integration and marketing logistics. The provider caters to business of any type and size, from Fortune 1000 companies to startups, B2C to B2B and across a range of industries from accounting to wine & spirits.
Based in St. Louis, MO, Materialogic maintains two points-of-origin facilities, one in its St. Louis headquarters and another in American Canyon, CA. These strategic main locations, including its warehousing network across the U.S., allow it to cover regional and national distribution in three days, its guarantee to clients.
Materialogic also provides freight management for international shipping and marketing logistics from literature print-on-demand (POD) production and product sampling to direct mail.
How does Materialogic work?
Built on shared service and cloud models, Materialogic can quickly set up its processes with your ecommerce business in three general steps:
Step 1: Integrate. Materialogic can integrate with major shopping cart systems via its INFOplus plugin, including what you are probably using. The provider also employs connections specialists that can assist in integrating in-house or special ecommerce platforms and other business systems like CRM and ERP with a direct electronic data integration (EDI), a set of standard processes for making different systems share data.
Step 2: Store. Once you have sent your items, Materialogic provides advanced tools to let you manage your inventory and get alerts to avoid stockouts.
Step 3: Ship. The provider offers multiple shipping options that are optimized to your budget and needs. It has two main facilities strategically located to cover the whole of the United States with a 3-day shipping guarantee.
Who can use Materialogic?
Third-party fulfillment providers like Materialogic can service the needs of a wide range of business size and type from different industries. We can group the provider’s clients into four categories.
- Startups. You only pay for the services you currently need, so Materialogic fits a startup budget. The provider accommodates small business order volume, service level and storage requirements. There’s no long-term contracts, too, making it ideal to pivot your fulfillment provider should the need arise.
- Large enterprises. Materialogic scales to the needs of Fortune 1000 companies. It provides enterprise service level, special packaging, bulk storage and international freight management.
- Companies considering outsourcing. One of the best ways to cut fulfillment costs is to migrate from an in-house system to a cloud-based third-party provider where you only pay for what you use. Materialogic can provide cost-benefit assessment to help you make the transition.
- Companies looking for another provider. You can compare Materialogic’s rates and services to evaluate your order processing, storage and shipping expenses with your current provider.
What problems does Materialogic solve?
Here are the main benefits Materialogic can provide its clients:
- Addresses your unique requirements. The provider can handle 4 to 4,000 SKUs and adapt to specialized kitting and assembly processes, including sampling campaigns, sales events, POP displays, UPC code product labeling and trade show coordination. Likewise, it is versed at both B2C and B2B dynamics. For example, Materialogic understands B2C priorities like online buying, shipping cost and delivery time, and B2B requirements for flexibility in shipping small and large quantities with options for various carriers. The provider has the technology, integration and partners suited for different levels of fulfillment
- Scale fast. One key advantage of outsourcing to a third-party provider is your ability to scale to huge volume fulfillment at once. This is useful for small retailers experiencing sudden order spikes or during seasonal sales peaks. You immediately get access to Materialogic’s fulfillment infrastructure, which can manage multiple sales channels.
- Ship fast and low. Materialogic provides a 3-day shipping guarantee within the U.S. It has two main points-of-origin facilities in St. Louis, MO and Canyon America, CA, plus a network of warehouse locations. You can use both facilities or just tap one. Aside from guaranteeing fast shipping, you get to lower costs with volume discounts made possible by shared facilities and shipping services. The provider claims that it can slash for its clients as much as 30% on freight costs.
- Secure warehousing. The provider operates fully automated and secure warehousing facilities that protect your items. Its over 300,000 sq. ft. space is Class A food grade-compliant and can handle a wide range of products. Likewise, its warehouse management system is continuously upgraded to ensure the integrity of its inventory control, order processing, shipping, tracking and EDI.
- Returns management. Returns can throw havoc to your sales and inventory. An experienced fulfillment provider like Materialogic has already a system in place to handle your returns. Refunds are processed fast, credits are applied and damage check is done to your specifications. Likewise, bad addresses are purged from your database to save you from costly returns and insights can be processed to identify products with high return rate.
- Access to technology. You get to integrate your ecommerce platform with sophisticated fulfillment systems. Materialogic uses a cloud-based warehousing management system that can also integrate with your ERP, CRM and legacy systems via JSON, XML, SOAP, EDI, batch processing and email processing.
What are the features of Materialogic?
Here are the main Materialogic features:
- eCommerce order fulfillment. The provider offers pick, pack and ship service. A plugin is integrated with your shopping cart system and you can manage your stocks and track orders via cloud. The provider also has connection specialists who can fast track the integration.
- Materialogic eStore. The provider manages a B2B marketplace that is open to its clients looking for a new sales channel.
- Marketplaces. You can participate in flash sales campaigns on Materialogic integrated marketplaces, such as on Amazon, eBay and Facebook
- Multi-channel retailing. The provider coordinates multiple sales channels based on your process rules across these channels, such as, online shop, call center, physical stores and print catalogs. Your inventory and orders are easily synchronized on Materialogic’s fulfillment platform.
- Custom branding. Packaging is based on your branding specs including custom email alerts and marketing messages to your customers, gift cards and inserts.
- Facilities and storage. The provider boasts of food-grade certified warehousing space with secure access and perimeters. Its facilities can handle oversized and bulk items, pallets, single units and cases. Likewise, the warehouses are climate-controlled and strategically near ports, trade zones and intermodal facilities.
- Freight management. Materialogic can help you evaluate the most cost-effective freight service for you, whether within the U.S. or international markets. The provider has logistics experts that can aid in assessing inbound and outbound freight management services for you, such as, small parcel, less-than-truck load (LTL) or full-track load (FTL) carriers and postal service.
- Kitting and assembly. The provider can handle products that require assembly or kitting prior to shipment.
- Retail distribution. The provider can ensure your retail shipments comply with your routing guide such as ASNs and special labeling requirements. It can also handle the EDI requirements of large enterprise retail operations.
- Marketing logistics. Materialogic can manage your marketing materials including sales literature, collaterals and promotional items. It can also act as an adjunct to your internal marketing and procurement units, covering projects such as literature production, event management and coordination and targeted direct mail.
- Customer support. You are assigned account management teams from onboarding to periodic account reviews and internal TQM monitoring.
What is the pricing of Materialogic?
Materialogic pricing is by quote to custom fit the services your business needs. The provider will examine your requirements and present the best proposal to you. Among others, pricing is based on your service level, order volume, packaging, storage requirements and the locations of your customers.
Is Materialogic for you?
Third-party providers of order fulfillment services in general present a more cost-effective solution compared to managing an in-house system. This is evident in many Materialogic reviews. Capitalization and maintenance is drastically reduced. The monthly charges are easily absorbed by your operating budget. But here lies the rub: you need to run a cost-benefit analysis to make sure this operational cost is offset by your monthly revenues. Once your income can, then opting for Materialogic can only grow your business further.