Why outsource fulfilment?
Outsourcing may feel daunting, but you would be amazed at the effect it can have on time and business growth. By freeing yourself of this burdern, you can save time, reduce operational costs and deliver a better experience to your customers.
When is the right time to look for 3rd party fulfilment?
It’s time to outsource if:
- You run out of time to despatch orders in time for your collection
- You are struggling to find space to store stock
- Customers complain they have received the wrong product
- Delivery and returns costs are high
- Sales have flatlined and you want to accelerate business growth
What should I look for in a fulfilment house?
Choosing a fulfilment partner is a difficult but important decision. It’s imperative you trust the team you work with to not only fulfil your orders as well as you do – but even better! So how do you know which is ‘the one’?
1. Wide range of services:
Make sure your fulfilment partner can give you everything you need all under one roof, including goods-in checks, quality assurance, speciality packaging, personalisation, delivery, tracking and returns. Bear in mind that even if you think you don’t need a specific service, you might do in the future as your business grows.
2. Integrated with you:
To make your life as easy as possible, you should be able to integrate your IT systems with the WMS at your fulfilment house, whether this be your eCommerce platform, order management system or marketplaces. This will help you retain visibility and control of your orders, and ensure the experience is seamless for your customers as well.
3. Top facilities:
An experienced, professional fulfilment house will invest in the very best equipment and technology to ensure your orders are picked as efficiently and accurately as possible. This should also include high levels of security to ensure your stock is safe, as well as the cleanliness and tidiness of the building itself. Arrange a site visit so you can see for yourself the operation in action.
4. Reliable support and expertise:
Your fulfilment partner should feel like an extension of your workbench, which means they should care about your products as much as you do. Go with your gut; work with an experienced team who offer a personal service that you can trust.
Cost will always be a deciding factor. The purpose of moving to a shared user environment removes fixed overheads, so look for a fulfilment house that only charges you for the space, time and services you use.