A lot of companies tend to get caught up in making a sale, but what about all of the steps that come after this part of the buyer’s journey? While warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment may not be the most thrilling aspects of landing someone’s business, they’re crucial for getting your product to your customer’s door.
Whether you choose to outsource your order fulfillment processes, go the dropshipping route, or simply fill them on your own, there are many different approaches a company can take. Even though packing and shipping orders on your own can be less expensive and offer more flexibility, most companies that decide on this in-house approach tend to be small-scale startups lacking sufficient cash flow.
Larger, more established companies that have the capital to outsource, however, typically turn to a third party for their warehousing and fulfillment needs. So, here’s a quick breakdown explaining the ins and outs of these services that will help make outsourcing key logistics functions less overwhelming.
Order Fulfillment Basics
If your company has outgrown its existing warehousing capabilities or you just don’t want to oversee your own shipping, then the best solution for you is to find a third party that will prepare and ship orders for you. Third-party fulfillment providers operate out of fulfillment centers that not only handle order and shipping preparations but also act as storage space for your inventory.
Companies searching for ways to better allocate their inventory and introduce more efficiency into their processes should consider providers with multiple fulfillment centers in their network. Third parties that use more than one location to fulfill orders can help shippers expand their customer base, increase the speed of deliveries, and reduce their shipping costs.
These logistics partners usually charge companies either by the unit/pallet or the hour for their fulfillment services. Costs for additional value-added services like storage, pick and pack, kitting, returns, and custom packaging are then applied along with transactional and recurring expenses such as receiving and shipping fees.
Top Benefits of Outsourcing Fulfillment
Beyond saving you time and effort, outsourcing fulfillment to a third party can help you grow your business without forcing you to hire and manage new staff or sign costly long-term leases. With a team of experts on your side, you can concentrate on your organization’s goals while someone else manages the rising expectations of today’s consumers.
Many of these companies will also adjust their pricing to meet the highs and lows of your business. So, by committing to them, you’re actually freeing yourself from all of the pressures associated with receiving, inventory management, and order processing. When you factor in their adaptability, the seamless experience they can offer, and the infrastructure optimization opportunities they can provide, third-party warehousing and fulfillment can help you overcome a lot of logistical challenges.
There are many different third-party logistics provider options out there though, so make sure you do your research first. Visit O’Neill Logistics to learn more information.