When you have your own ecommerce business, you quickly discover that you need to manage multiple aspects simultaneously. Strategic planning and direction, human resources, product design, quality control, inventory, storage, order processing, packaging, picking and packing, delivery, and customer service–all of them need attention in order for your business to be successful. But that doesn’t mean that all of them need your attention. Fulfillment centers can relieve you of many responsibilities, permitting you to focus on those that make your business unique: the products and your strategic planning and vision. In this post, we will explore what services fulfillment centers can offer.
Warehousing – Inventory
One of the most important services that fulfillment centers offer is warehouse space. If you have started an ecommerce business, you know that product has a way of overtaking your available space. And if you have outgrown your spare room and garage, you are probably looking into building or renting some kind of storage facility. The problem here, though, is that rental warehouses are usually huge, and they also require leases. So you can find yourself paying for a warehouse you’re using a fraction of, and stuck doing so for the length of your lease. Fulfillment centers like Compass Fulfillment offer storage for your inventory as part of their service. It’s that simple, and fantastically scalable.
Warehousing – Technology
Fulfillment centers can store your inventory, and with integrated technology, they can track it so that there is always sufficient product to fill the orders placed. A good fulfillment center also provides periodic reports about your inventory and notifies you when you need to provide more product. The fulfillment center can do this because its integrated technology automatically adjusts the database of inventory with every online order. You’ll never be caught short, and your customers will never see “out of stock” when you work with a fulfillment center.
Every product you send needs to be packaged properly, picked off of the storage shelf, and packed for shipment. Fulfillment centers offer these services as well. You can choose whether your product is packaged at the fulfillment center or whether you want to retain that task. If your product requires special handling, or custom packaging, you may want to continue your control. If it doesn’t, though, why not have someone else take over that task? And certainly it’s a good idea to have experts do the pick and pack duties. Fulfillment centers have meticulous protocols for picking the correct items and exacting standards for packing for shipment.
Fulfillment centers provide unparalleled delivery services. Your customers expect their purchase to arrive quickly and safely. You want your shipping costs to be as low as possible. Fulfillment centers work as 3PLs (third party logistics companies) managing all aspects of product delivery. A fulfillment center like Compass Fulfillment vets truckers and carriers, devises the quickest shipping routes, tracks the shipments through delivery, and deals with any issues that arise. Because fulfillment centers do this for many clients, they can offer you the best prices.
Many people don’t realize that fulfillment centers also deal with customer service. When a product is returned, the fulfillment center can handle all aspects of the transaction, including sending out a return label, adjusting the inventory, and refunding the customer. Customer service reports are regularly made to you so that you know what’s happening, but you no longer have to attend to it personally.
Fulfillment centers let focus your time and energy on your business’s growth and its products. You can choose what services you want the fulfillment center to do, and which ones you want to retain. That can change as your business expands. Perhaps you only need delivery services right now; that’s fine. Working with fulfillment centers gives you complete scalability freedom.