For online retailers, order fulfillment and transportation costs can make or break the bottom line. When you’re in a hyper-competitive industry, you need to gain a leg up on the competition and lower these expenses. Most successful e-commerce companies have achieved success by prioritizing efforts to streamline their packaging and shipping processes. As you grow, you should consider options to outsource your order fulfillment.
Should you outsource to a third party or keep your fulfillment in-house? A lot of businesses attempt to oversee this process on their own when they first start out. However, that route typically only gets you so far.
Why you should outsource your order fulfillment
Here are the top 4 reasons why you should outsource your order fulfillment:
1. Increased flexibility
Retailers are no strangers to the ups and downs of order volumes that come along with seasonal trends. Unfortunately, if you have too many fixed costs for things like warehousing space and labor, adapting to this volatility can be difficult. Therefore, working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can offer the best of both worlds. Firstly, they give online retailers the resources they need to meet peak season demand without forcing them to make large investments. Additionally, outsourcing offers a kind of pay as you go opportunity. Therefore, it’s far more flexible than the alternative.
2. Better technology
Technology plays a huge role in making today’s fulfillment and shipping processes more efficient and easier to manage. It allows companies to improve the flow of data between different sales channels and inventory counts and helps identify the best rates. However, technology isn’t cheap. Additionally, integrating new technology like a TMS or OMS can be painful. Therefore, rather than going after the newest unaffordable technology on the market, take advantage of the leading software solutions 3PLs have to offer.
3. Lower costs
Purchasing shipping and sourcing materials in bulk, such as packing fill or cardboard boxes, is usually your best bet. You can pay less per unit when you buy more upfront from suppliers. 3PLs can provide you with the same material costs and shipping rates they receive. Therefore, you benefit from prices you would never get unless you decided to order enough packaging material to last you a lifetime.
4. Expert guidance
As on online business owner, you likely don’t have the time to become an expert on picking and packing. Additionally, you don’t have the bandwidth to search for the countless ways you could be saving money. It’s a 3PL’s job to spend the time and energy doing those things for you. Additionally, their value-added services, customization capabilities, and innovative approaches have the potential to differentiate your products. Therefore, you’re better off focusing on what you know and outsourcing the rest to those that have the experience.
To learn more about the advantages of outsourcing your e-commerce order fulfillment to a third party, visit O’Neill Logistics.
About O’Neill Logistics
O’Neill Logistics is a leading 3PL with operations in Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Savannah, GA; and Newark/Monroe, NJ. We service many verticals including Garments, Fashion Accessories, Footwear, Furniture, Home Goods, & Electronics. Our services include omni-channel distribution and all value-added services. We focus on retail “drop shipment” fulfillment and item-level fulfillment services with same-day service offerings.
We have over 2 million square feet which are all state-of-the-art facilities, offer dray services to support the warehouses, and handle distribution to retailers and wholesalers.
Our main drive is to simplify your supply chain by delivering exceptional service and optimizing your operational performance. We aim to build, protect and foster strong business partnerships.
O’Neill’s reliable 3PL platform, combining sophisticated technology with robust, flexible processing designs and speed-to-market gateway models, was built by our management team of seasoned executives with backgrounds in transportation, distribution and technology across domestic and international supply chains.