THE NUMBER-ONE REASON TO OUTSOURCE
The number-one reason to outsource fulfillment is to allow you to focus more on what you do best, so that you can grow your business faster.
A Third-party Fulfillment House has Deeper & Broader Experience
Another reason to outsource fulfillment is that a good product fulfillment company has deep and broad experience. A seasoned fulfillment house will have already developed and refined order processing, packaging, shipping, and data-handling operations for a wide variety of products.
Outsourcing Preserves Capital
Outsourcing also allows you to preserve capital. You do not have to make investments in buildings and facilities, and you only pay for what you use.
You Can Handle Small Orders and Small Packages More Efficiently
Unlike shipments of wholesale orders, with business-to-consumer (B2C) mass-market order processing, the warehouse needs to be set up to handle small packages and pick and pack individual orders, rather than bulk orders. There is more of everything: more paper, more packing material, and more boxes in smaller sizes.
Outsourcing Makes You Almost Instantly Operational
When you outsource your fulfillment, your warehouse and distribution center can be operational before your products arrive. This is because an experienced B2C fulfillment house already is operational, since it is in the business of sending many types of packages to millions of consumers.
You Can Ramp-Up More Quickly & Handle More Distribution Channels
A single new B2C distribution channel, or new promotion, can produce thousands of new orders overnight, so the back-end systems must be in place to handle the volume, whether your products sold via an e-commerce websites, print advertisements, catalogs, TV shopping networks, direct-response TV promotions, or through other types of advertising and promotion. When you outsource your fulfillment, your third-party fulfillment (3PF) house should be able to handle thousands of orders, usually within a 24-hour turnaround. Thus, you should be able to ramp up very quickly, without increasing your overhead.
Outsourcing Allows You Accept Orders for Products in More Ways
Outsourcing allows you to take orders in more ways. Business-to-consumer (B2C) orders are generated through many distribution channels, while the orders themselves are received through a variety of mediums, including e-commerce websites, telephone, fax, mail, e-mail, data transfers from telemarketing centers, and electronic data interchange (EDI) order transmission of drop ship orders.
Outsourcing Fulfillment Makes Your Business More Efficient
Outsourcing can help you be more efficient, stay more competitive and serve your clients better. A third-party fulfillment company should have the latest software, order-processing equipment, continual operational maintenance and software upgrades, and volume discounts on shipping and materials that only a larger order-processing facility can afford. You benefit from these efficiencies while not having to pay directly for them.
Outsourcing Order Overflow Controls Overhead & Helps You Be More Competitive
Even if you have a satisfactory in-house fulfillment operation, outsourcing could enhance your existing operation and help you manage order volume more economically. Rather than expand your own facility in an uncertain economy, outsourcing order overflow from seasonal variations and special promotions could be the most efficient way to expand your capabilities without moving your operation or establishing new warehouses.
Is B2C fulfillment outsourcing right for you? QUESTION YES NO
- Are you able to adjust your warehousing and fulfillment overhead costs in direct proportion to our sales volume?
- Can you expand and contract your warehouse space on 24 hours’ notice?
- Do each of your fulfillment managers have at least ten years of experience?
- Is your order-taking system able to download orders daily from the leading telemarketing service bureaus?
- Are you set up to automatically process orders from websites?
- Do you have merchant accounts set up with the major credit card companies?
- Do you have a customer service policy for handling credit card charge-backs, refunds, product returns and replacements?
- Do you have a US post office on premises?
- Do you have a customer-service center to handle inquiries by telephone and online?
- Do you have online access to all your customers’ purchases and shipping history?
- Do you have Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software in place to handle drop-ship orders from third-party marketers?
- Do you have automated mechanisms to keep your costs down, such as box erectors, high speed labeling machines, and barcoded inventory management?