Every successful business owner recognizes that each upward step comes with additional complications and decisions. The first time you need to employ staff, you suddenly need to investigate various payroll and health insurance options. Likewise, when demand for your product is growing, and your customer demographic is expanding, you might consider outsourcing fulfillment. Outsourcing fulfillment can mean different things. You might require a faster, more cost effective shipping method. You may be running out of space in your home or office to store your products, and you need warehousing. Or you may have lots of products that need to be properly and efficiently packaged. You may need only one of these options, or all three. Here are some things to consider when thinking about outsourcing fulfillment.
In order to build your brand and keep your customers, your product has to arrive quickly. In an age of same-day delivery, customers are rarely content to accept a long delay between ordering and receiving something. What is your current shipping method costing you, not just in terms of direct outlay, but in terms of time, stress, and most importantly, customer satisfaction? Third party logistics firms (3PLs) can offer discounted volume shipping rates, faster delivery, and a transportation management system (TMS). The 3PL would deal with all aspects of the shipping, including mitigating any delays. A good fulfillment consulting firm can help you determine whether a 3PL would be the best use of your resources.
Do you sometimes find yourself scrambling to fulfill all the orders that you have or afraid that your inventory won’t quite meet the demand? Maybe you have the opposite problem, where you have way too much of one product and not nearly enough of another. What system are you using to store and track your supply? When your business has grown to the point that the quantity becomes difficult to store or track, you really have only a couple of options. You could buy or build your own warehouse. That would mean that you would need to invest in staff, security, equipment, supplies, and technology. Or you could look to a fulfillment center that offers warehousing services. That would mean that you don’t have to deal with any warehouse issues. And the warehouse management system (WMS) tracks inventory and notifies you when supplies need to be replenished.
How much of your time or that of your staff is spent packaging your product? Is it really the best use of resources? After all, packaging doesn’t affect the quality of your product per se, it’s only important that it is done properly so your product arrives intact. If your product is fragile or requires complicated packaging, it may be best to keep it in-house, and simply employ staff whose sole job is packaging. If not, packaging is another item that you can outsource. If your product is something that could benefit from automated packaging, choosing to outsource fulfillment makes sense. It would be cost effective and efficient.
The right fulfillment consulting business can help you determine whether you should outsource your fulfillment and if so, which aspects (if any) of fulfillment you should keep in-house. Compass Fulfillment has the experience and expertise to guide you through the complexities of outsourcing fulfillment. You want your brand to increase and your business to grow. With the professionals at Compass Fulfillment on your team, you’ll be confident of making the right decisions about fulfillment at the right times.