As a business owner or CEO, you’ve undoubtedly considered warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment of product for your online business. Making sales and converting customers is exciting, but your product must reach customers quickly for the best experience. This can happen in three ways:
Shipping in-house may be more flexible and may save money. For these reasons, new start ups and those with specific product packaging requirements generally conduct their own logistics. In many cases, a cash-strapped company of any age or sector is better off doing things in-house or with a dropshipper. However, as a CEO you realize that sometimes time is more valuable than money. If your company is rapidly expanding and you have the funds to outsource, you may want to consider third-party fulfillment services. Let’s look at the benefits of outsourcing your order fulfillment.
A fulfillment service company prepares and sends your purchases for you from its fulfillment center. Businesses who don’t want to deal with shipping or have outgrown their present warehouse capacities might use ecommerce fulfillment services.
Each fulfillment center performs similar functions: they are a command center for all order prep and shipping needs. Fulfillment centers can also be used as warehouses for storing merchandise and many will help you manage your inventory and work with you on customized kitting of your orders. They can really be an asset to your growing company.
Some fulfillment service companies have many fulfillment centers, allowing them to serve more places across the country faster than one. The result is speedy and low-cost shipment to a wide range of customers.
Using a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to outsource fulfillment has obvious advantages. Outsourcing warehousing and fulfillment can help your company expand and the benefits go beyond that:
Many logistics firms provide variable pricing. So, as you grow—or stagnate—they can change expenses and meet your demands. Owning a warehouse generally demands greater commitment and you may not be ready to scale to this level quite yet.
When you employ an outsourced fulfillment service provider, you get not just warehouse space but also management personnel. Scaling your own order fulfillment and shipping requires hiring personnel which can be costly and can take time away from your busy schedule.
Each 3PL has a team of logistics specialists and support workers to assist you. They handle all of the work involved in receiving, inventory management, order processing, and shipping, allowing you to operate at a higher degree of efficiency.
You probably didn’t start a business because you’re exceptional at box packing. Your time as a CEO or business owner is better spent managing and optimizing the firm than on order fulfillment. Let someone else handle the logistics so you can focus on what matters most to your bottom line.
While doing it yourself is usually free, it will add up over time. Consumers anticipate speedier shipping times, and executing it in-house might generate a terrible customer experience. 3PLs offer outsourced fulfillment services and can negotiate lower packing and shipping prices. So you may be proactive, some even offer real-time stock updates.
This allows you and your team to focus on new ideas, inventory management, and other activities, rather than back-end logistics or staffing backlogs.