When running your own business, one fact becomes apparent: you can’t do it all, no matter your efforts.
Letting go of specific tasks can be daunting but it’s often necessary. The additional free time then allows you to concentrate on developing your business. Although it can take some trust and budgeting to pass on responsibilities, there are specific tasks that are easier to delegate. One of these is order fulfilment.
An Order Fulfilment Service Provider – What exactly is it?
The role of an order fulfilment service provider is to store your goods and fulfil orders on your behalf. These can come from customers who shop online or in-store.
The fulfilment provider’s software integrates with your ecommerce store, resulting in an increased efficiency in the fulfilment process. The selection and preparation details are then handled by this service once an order comes through. Conveniently, fulfilment providers work with leading postal companies in scheduling and coordinating deliveries.
Fulfilment providers usually charge a monthly storage payment at a flat rate, based on the contents you have stocked in their building. A further fee is then charged upon receiving an order.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Order Fulfilment
The benefits of outsourcing order fulfilment are plenty, including lower operating expenditure and reduced shipping rates. This type of outsourcing can also provide a wider reach, assisting with growth in new markets. Crucially, using a fulfilment service provider gives you the freedom to concentrate on developing other parts of your business.
Naturally, it’s important to choose the right fulfilment service provider for your needs. It’s not only the quality of your product but also the quality of your fulfilment which impacts the success of your business.
There are a number of ways that outsourcing fulfilment can be beneficial for your business:
1. Lower your Operating Costs
As fulfilment services charge a flat storage fee for warehousing products, you only ever pay for what you use. The storage fee remains a flat rate, with additional charges per order.
Although there will often be inevitable seasonal changes in sales, these variations won’t affect your foundation costs.
2. Reduce the Costs of Your Shipping
As many fulfilment providers have storage locations across the country, you can offer lower shipping rates. The resulting bulk delivery discounts can then be used to your advantage.
Although it differs between fulfilment providers, you can typically save between 15% and 35% off stated shipping rates. Specialised software from fulfilment services also enables them to compare rates from multiple carriers and choose the most cost-effective rate.
3. Widen your reach
Many fulfilment providers have the structure in place to process and send items to any corner of the world. With their wide-reaching platform, you can tap into new markets globally.
Whether it’s an order nationally or internationally, with the ideal fulfilment service provider, you can grow your business in new and profitable directions.
4. Enhance your customer service
A key factor in successful businesses is reliable customer service support. Fulfilment providers often offer this service 24/7, supporting customers with exchanges, refunds and returns.
Fulfilment services can also help traders offer various delivery and collection options to meet developing demands and ensure customer satisfaction. By using a fulfilment service provider with widespread facilities, your business can offer fast and reliable delivery services.
5. Order fulfilment is streamlined with the latest technology
By using the most up-to-date technology, fulfilment providers can offer an efficient, streamlined service. Through integration with your ecommerce store, their systems create an effective order fulfilment process that provides services such as carrier selection, inventory management and security, amongst others.
6. You can Focus on Sales
As your business grows, order fulfilment can drastically take its toll on your work schedule. Eventually, you may find that the time you’d hoped to dedicate to growth and other tasks becomes hijacked.
Fortunately, you can leave these time-consuming tasks to your order fulfilment provider and re-allocate your energy where it should be focussed: growing your business and enjoying the process.
Armed with the knowledge of the benefits of outsourcing order fulfilment, you will be well-placed to consider the charges involved and, therefore, if it’s the best next step for your business.