Have you chosen to go with fulfillment? Before the first parcel shipment leaves the warehouse, you need to go through the onboarding, a process during which the logistics operator will learn exactly what your needs are regarding shipping and storing products and show you how your cooperation will proceed. If you want to know what this process looks like in Omnipack, how long it takes, and how much it costs–you are welcome to keep reading.
What exactly is onboarding?
Onboarding is nothing more than preparing the seller to start working with the operator. It is a process in which the two parties transfer the knowledge necessary to guarantee the highest quality of logistics service to each other.
The eStore owner informs the operator about the exact quantity of products he sells, presents their types, and provides guidelines for packing orders.
The operator is responsible for proper integration of the client's sales platform with the warehouse system, the preparation of dedicated logistics processes, adaptation of the warehouse space, organization of the packing station, proper training of employees, as well as teaching the seller how to use the tools he will be using as part of their cooperation. At Omnipack, it is the Merchant Portal, which provides a real-time view of the delivery communication, product list, and the warehouse stock, as well as the ability to manage returns.
Merchant Portal - Omnipack’s proprietary tool
What does onboarding at Omnipack look like?
At Omnipack, we realize that efficient and substantive onboarding is a forerunner of fruitful cooperation. That is why we have a separate team responsible for those within our structure. Each process is supervised by a dedicated Onboarding Manager, who remains at the client's disposal at all times, takes care of the current flow of information, and dispels any doubts. The onboarding itself can be divided into 3 key stages.
We want the process to be as transparent as possible. That is why each client receives weekly summaries that include the activities executed as well as plans for the nearest future. This aspect is very much appreciated in post-onboarding surveys. Here is a quote from one of them:
"Extra support! Availability, commitment, courtesy - above average. Speed of response, reporting on the progress of onboarding. I wish for the communication to remain as good for the entire duration of our cooperation."
It is also worth mentioning that the average score from these surveys is 8.25 out of 10 points possible.
Stage 1: preparation
This stage begins with a very thorough interview that the Onboarding Manager conducts with the client. The information they obtain concerns the following:
- Readiness to start cooperation (whether the client already has an eStore or intends to start building it)
- If the store is already running, on what platform it is set up
- Whether the products the client sells are labeled accordingly with proper codes.
- Whether the vendor has a product file
- Whether the client requires "tailor-made" solutions - e.g. personalized packaging, non-standard forms of delivery
All this is done so that a precise schedule can be drawn up to determine the commencement of the shipments–this allows us to avoid a situation where the client wishes to commence shipments on a specific date, which during the onboarding proves to be unrealistic due to the amount of work that needs to be done or lack of appropriate resources. The schedule then becomes an appendix to the contract, and further works are being carried out on its basis. At this stage, an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is also created, i.e., a set of instructions that help to achieve an efficiency of operations and uniformity of actions throughout the process.
Stage 2: integration
The next step is to connect the client's sales platform to our Logifact warehouse system. At Omnipack, we have ready-made integrations with all popular platforms, and, in the case of a proprietary store, we are able to perform a custom integration. It is necessary for orders made in the eStore to automatically "fall" into our system.
At this stage, the client must also provide an accurate file of all the products he sells. It is extremely important that the list is correct–it must not contain duplicate numbers to the same product, even details such as the presence of spaces before the names of specific goods count. In case of a file with errors, the client can count on the Onboarding Manager to help, who will instruct him exactly what to correct.
Stage 3: logistics
The last stage of onboarding is more of operational work. It is the seller's responsibility to deliver the products to the warehouse and label them accordingly. If there are any discrepancies, products without codes, or other mistakes - we help clarify them (e.g., by sending a photograph of an unidentified product). This is also the stage at which Omnipack's employees are trained so that we can guarantee precisely the standard of quality that the client requires.
We also want the client to understand the fulfillment process itself, the warehouse operation's principles, and the online tools that we provide them with. That is why in this step, we conduct thorough training (most often, and especially during the pandemic, this is done remotely, utilizing video calls).
The last step is testing. The Onboarding Manager has a checklist at his disposal with more than 100 points to make sure that all tasks have been completed and that, as an operator, we are ready to start shipping. The completed checklist is signed by the Onboarding Manager as well as the Warehouse Manager. Then, we move to testing. We carry out a simulation of the entire process, which is a reflection of the course each order will go through. We record the whole thing and send the video to the client. This finally confirms that we are ready to start shipping.
Based on more than a hundred onboarding processes that we have carried out, we know that the first weeks after the shipments commence are the time when the client needs our support most. This is why we provide 1 to 2 weeks of additional Onboarding Manager care, who proactively analyzes the situation and solves any problems to optimize the entire process. After that time, the client is directed to the Merchant Support team, which takes care of the client throughout the whole period of cooperation and responds to all their inquiries on an ongoing basis. At Omnipack, we also have a Merchant Success department, which ensures overall client satisfaction and helps them grow their business effectively.
The whole process usually takes approximately 3-4 weeks, but on special request, we are able to speed it up. For example, the onboarding of RunnersClub from the moment the contract was signed, only took 2 weeks and 1 day until the first shipment of parcels. If the client has a shop set up on a popular platform, is well prepared in terms of operations and the communication goes smoothly, then this time can even be reduced to 1 week.
Work organization management program
With the help of this program, we divide onboarding into individual stages. We create a checklist that contains over 60 points - each one is a specific task. We assign the persons responsible for their onboarding to the individual tasks. The whole thing is also visible to the client, who can check what tasks he should perform and see how the onboarding progresses.
Checklist in the program
Constant contact and mutual responsiveness are factors that greatly facilitate the whole process. For this reason, we create a separate channel for each onboarding on the Slack communicator (or, depending on client preferences, on WhatsApp). This allows the client to obtain all necessary information on an ongoing basis.
How much does it cost?
We have already explained the onboarding process; let us move on to costs. Each process is priced individually, and its price depends on various factors - including system integration. If the shop operates on a popular sales platform, with which we already are integration-ready, the price will usually be between 4,000 and 12,000 PLN.
With proprietary solutions, the cost may be higher. Irrespective of the amount, the onboarding fee includes:
- Continuous care of a dedicated Onboarding Manager during the implementation and 2 weeks after its completion
- Preparation of logistics processes
- Creation of a schedule and the SOP
- Preparation of the necessary storage infrastructure and packing station
- System integration and IT support
- Training regarding the fulfillment process and use of Omnipack proprietary tools
- Access to innovative tools
- Stress testing
Onboarding is a process involving mutual learning. At Omnipack, we make every effort to make it as transparent and understandable as possible. A lot also depends on the client himself - on his willingness to cooperate and understand the fulfillment service. Thanks to modern tools and proven methods, our implementations are vastly positively evaluated by new clients. Want to see for yourself? Contact us.