Perhaps there was a time when fulfillment was a bliss, when you had time to tuck handwritten thank-you notes into each neatly wrapped package. Then your e-business grew. Dozens of orders became hundreds, hundreds turned into thousands. Suddenly you faced a very pressing question: Should you outsource fulfillment – or not?
If you consider yourself a fulfillment wiz or you are willing to learn the art, the answer may very well be “yes.” Depending on the size of your operation, you would likely have to:
- Rent warehouse space.
- Hire labor.
- Pay liability insurance.
- Invest in a warehouse management system.
- Purchase supplies.
- And, last but not least, oversee the entire shipment process (tracking, anyone?).
Proponents of the DIY-approach say it gives you an opportunity to build your brand and ensure that each product is packaged and shipped exactly to your liking. You’re the sole king of your business. That brings us to another question: How much money and time do you have to spare?
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Not much? Consider shelving your own warehousing and fulfillment plans in favor of outsourcing. Partnering with a reliable third party could bring benefits such as:
- Lower cost per order: Shipping can be prohibitively expensive for small business owners who lack the power to negotiate for better rates. This is especially true if you’re dealing with volumes of less than 2,000 orders or so a month. The overhead cost of pickup services and package processing software can quickly add up. Fulfillment centers, on the other hand, have contracts with many carriers and can ship your products at a lower cost.
- Delivery speed: The idea of your own fulfillment warehouse space may sound appealing but how close would it be to your customers? Speedy delivery is essential to business success. By picking a partner with warehouses near your customers, you may be able to offer two-day or even same-day shipping in some areas. If it’s a local delivery, you score again since it’s more affordable than ground shipping.
- Scalability: Growing your business should not come at a great – or any – cost. With a fulfillment partner, you can grow your product line and stock without being tied to a lease or having to hire more warehouse employees.
- Technical expertise: The right fulfillment partner knows how to optimize your inventory and integrate with your sales channels and other management tools. Sit back and take advantage of your partner’s expertise. The fulfillment facility of eShipper, for instance, is equipped with our in-house, state-of-the-art software, as well as shipping and fulfillment personnel. By developing our program in-house and having it accessible online, we’ve created a “virtual” organization that provides our clients with the ability to access real-time online data along with XML and API capabilities.
Whether you need to have your inventory warehoused in our facility or you simply want to process your orders from your own location, eShipper and eOrder can help. Learn more about us by clicking here or contact us for more information.