As a small business owner or ecommerce entrepreneur, you’ve got enough details to keep you busy for eight hours a day – probably ten or twelve, maybe even more. There are more details than you were probably even expecting, and only so much time to take care of them all.
If you asked most online business owners what one area of their business absorbed too much time, which one area took time away from business growth the most, many would tell say, without hesitation, “logistics.” The warehousing, storage, shipping and tracking, and customer service issue resolution responsibilities that, for better or worse, grow in proportion to the size of the business itself.
Fulfillment Providers Take The Logistics Burden Off Your Shoulders
The purpose of a third-party logistics provider is to assume control and management of the logistics portion of a business. The logistics provider take over all duties in the areas of warehousing, cold storage, packing, storage, customer service, shipping and tracking, and several other miscellaneous responsibilities.
Third party fulfillment providers can even receive new inventory from their warehouse facilities, completely removing the task of sorting and unpacking from the business owner’s roll of duties. As the business owner sends them a list of sales, the fulfillment provider packages and ships the sold products to their destinations, including establishing tracking and shipment information for the customer.
The Structure of the Fulfillment Provider Relationship
The third-party logistics provider enters into a contract with the business owner, establishing a payment basis. Usually, this involves a certain percentage of each product unit sold, though the percentage itself is subject to the terms of the agreement. The agreement is a legally binding contract, giving both the business owner and the fulfillment services provider certain rights and obligations.
After Sale Advantages To Using Fulfillment Services
Another important area of business that nevertheless can absorb great amounts of time and money is the customer service aspect. As another advantage to using fulfillment services, the fulfillment service provider assumes the training and hiring of customer service staff to act and resolve conflicts on the business owner’s behalf. A return and refund policy is typically determined by the business owner and given to the fulfillment service provider, helping to expedite customer service issues.
With such advantages, the business owner is free to develop the business aspect, growing the marketing and development sections without concern for the logistics fulfillment aspect of day to day operations.