What Makes a Best-in-Class SLA?

Apr 16, 2023

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You know a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is essential–but what separates an average SLA from a best-in-class one? And why is having the best SLA possible so important?

When it comes to SLAs, you need to ensure you have at least the basics in place: a clear agreement that’s well documented and thoroughly understood by both parties. But an SLA can–and should–be so much more than that. Especially when it comes to fulfillment. 

What is an SLA?

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contract between you and your 3PL partner that defines expected services, benchmarks, responsibilities, timelines, and other key agreements determined by both parties. 

For beauty, wellness, and fashion brands, a basic fulfillment SLA should include details for at least these focus areas:

  • Inventory Accuracy
  • Receiving Inbound Shipments
  • Standard and Expedited Shipping
  • Unit Fill Rate
  • Order Drop to Ship Time
  • Returns Cycle Timeline
  • Platform Uptime and Availability
  • Lot and Batch Management
  • Kitting and Assembly

What do you need for a best-in-class fulfillment SLA?

To take your fulfillment SLA to the next level, you need more than just the basics–you need the highest accuracy rates, shipping times and rates, and so much more. It’s essential to not only address the key metrics and performance numbers you need for each focus area, but to ensure your 3PL partner can provide them. A best-in-class fulfillment SLA should include:

  • Inventory Accuracy: At least 98% or greater; and if your brand requires annual inventory counts, your fulfillment SLA should include at least two counts per year
  • Receiving Inbound Shipments: 98% of inbound shipments should be received within three business days. 
  • Standard and Expedited Shipping: For standard shipping, at least 95% of orders received by 12pm should be shipped same day; for expedited shipping, at least 97% of orders received by 2pm should be shipped same day
  • Unit Fill Rate: At least 99.2% or greater
  • Returns Cycle Timeline: 97% within two business days, and/or within 48 hours of receipt between Monday and Friday
  • Platform Uptime and Availability: 99.9% or greater, excluding scheduled maintenance during non-business hours
  • Kitting and Assembly: Custom bundle creation and packaging

How do I get a best-in-class fulfillment SLA?

The best fulfillment SLAs are provided by the best 3PL partners. To set your brand up for lasting success, make sure you have the right fulfillment company by your side–one that truly understands what it takes to create both a best-in-class SLA and a best-in-class partnership.

If you’re a beauty, wellness, or fashion brand looking for the right 3PL partner, MasonHub is here to help. Built by retailers for retailers, our expert team has seen every fulfillment struggle firsthand. We know how to overcome challenges, help you rapidly scale, and set you up for omnichannel dominance.

Contact Us Today