Outsourcing Fulfillment Services Can Help You Grow Your Business Expert provider can free up your time for other management responsibilities As any e-commerce business owner knows, managing the myriad details involved in the fulfillment process demands extensive time and resources. Outsourcing the fulfillment of your product orders to an expert can provide a variety of benefits - not the least of which is having more time to spend on important tasks, such as marketing and new product development - that help you grow your business. Following are a few specific examples of how an experienced fulfillment service can be beneficial for your business: • Fulfillment functions may not be the best use of your time. If your strength is finding new products, establishing new customer relationships or generating sales, that's where you should be utilizing your time and talents. An experienced fulfillment partner can help you efficiently manage the critically important "back-end" operational issues that can be time-consuming and costly, and take your focus away from growing your business. • Expanding your warehouse space can be costly and difficult. Having the ability to expand your inventory can be critical to meeting increased customer demand for product. But finding the right space at the right price can be difficult. And if your products need to be in a climate-controlled environment, that can be hard to accommodate if you're doing your own warehousing. Plus, signing a long-term lease for a space that may need to increase later can eat away your operating cash, which could be used to buy and sell product. An established fulfillment provider should already have ample warehouse space to house your current product and enough room to allow your business to expand in the future. In addition to the storage issue, leasing and maintaining warehouse equipment - fork lifts, racking, packaging materials and supplies - puts an additional drain on your hard costs. • A commitment to excellence leads to a better response time in shipping. With full-time staff dedicated to picking, packing and shipping product, your customers' orders will be processed quickly and efficiently, often with a much shorter turnaround time than what you might be able to provide.
â€˘ A centrally-located provider means quicker delivery to your customers. A central location can also mean uniform shipping times and costs since UPS and FedEx both base their rates on distance traveled. Shipping from the center of the U.S. will always cost less because the distance traveled is always less. When you offer a faster, less expensive delivery time, your customer satisfaction will be enhanced dramatically. This is especially important around special events and holidays, and can make the difference between a customer placing an order with you or shopping someplace else. â€˘ Established information systems help to maintain accurate data on orders. A professional fulfillment provider will have the systems in place to capture, track and report data based on the buying habits of your customers. This gives you easy access to information on who your customers are, what they have purchased and why they purchased. This important data mining capability can be invaluable as you make marketing and product selection decisions. â€˘ A provider with a 100 percent focus on supporting your fulfillment needs. From the moment a consumer decides to purchase your product, a fulfillment provider is focused on making sure that the experience is pleasant, that the product is shipped quickly and accurately, and that all key back office systems are supporting your ongoing business needs. In summary, if you are open to considering all these ways - and many others - in which a third-party fulfillment services provider can benefit your business, you'll be amazed at the time you will have to do what you do best: running your business.
Published on May 24, 2011
Expert provider can free up your time for other management responsibilities As any e-commerce business owner knows, managing the myriad deta...