Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a 3PL RFP

E-commerce brands seeking scalable order fulfillment often issue RFPs (Requests for Proposal) to assess potential 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) partners. But faulty RFP processes lead many retailers to select the wrong fulfillment provider, resulting in headaches that sabotage growth.

What crucial errors must e-commerce companies avoid when creating 3PL RFPs to choose a fulfillment partner able to scale in tandem with sales trajectories? This definitive guide covers the 8 most common mistakes brands make when creating RFPs for selecting 3PL partners, and how to steer clear of them.

Rushing the 3PL RFP Process

Scrambling brands often hastily create RFPs seeking quick fixes to fulfillment fires. But rushed RFPs overlook critical diligence, leading to misaligned partnerships. Allocate ample time for strategic development, even if interim measures are required.

Casting Too Wide a Net

Don’t spread efforts thin by approaching countless prospects. Thoroughly vet providers first to narrow the field to five or less specialized 3PLs warranting closer inspection. This filtering allows more strategic dialogue to avoid mistakes when making a RFP for a 3PL.

Excluding Business Vision & Outlook

While outlining functional requirements, 56% of RFPs neglect furnishing context on business objectives, growth plans and vision for the ideal partnership. This big picture perspective allows prospects to better evaluate long-term synergy.

Supplying Incomplete Operational Statistics

Accurate historical volumes, peaks, inventory detail and more enable prospective 3PLs to build pricing models sans speculative assumptions that can necessitate future escalations. Supply robust intelligence upfront.

Prioritizing Low Cost Above All

Lean too narrow on obtaining the rock bottom rate and risk alignment gaps that undermine customer loyalty and retention. Conduct balanced assessments weighing cost, projected growth impact, and satisfaction enablement.

Discounting Future-Proofing Needs

Another great way to avoid mistakes when making a 3PL RFP is to rigorously assess each prospect’s ability to seamlessly scale, adapt and flex in sync with explosive growth without declines in service quality or necessitating migration downtime and restarts.

Minimizing Data & Analytics Factors

Ceding control of operations makes order visibility and decision-driving analytics essential. Scrutinize and compare intelligence functionality and transparency across all contenders.

Disregarding Automation Investment

Evaluate and compare process automation capabilities across providers. Heavily manual operations will struggle with efficiently accommodating growth. Favor significant technology investors.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. This beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

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Brands can make big mistakes when putting together RFPs to find a 3PL fulfillment partner. They focus too much on getting the cheapest price. Or they don’t think about what they will need in the future. This causes problems later on.

How should brands avoiding RFP mistakes when searching for a 3PL? They should look at all the important things, not just price:

Make sure the 3PL can grow as fast as your business grows, make sure the 3PL has good technology to manage orders accurately, make sure the 3PL shares reports to help you manage your business, make sure the 3PL has experience with businesses like yours.


Overall, by looking at all these things, not just price, you can find the right 3PL partner. Without a doubt this helps your business do well for a long time without needing to switch 3PLs again and again. Picking the wrong partner is painful! Do your research upfront to find the best match.

Looking for a fulfillment solution? Submit an RPF to Falcon and we will get you the best options available.

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