As your business grows, you’ll need to consider the future of your logistics management and order fulfillment resources. It’s easy to imagine, when you plan your ecommerce business’ growth, that your share of the market will continue to increase and that you’ll always be able to keep up with demand for your product. But such dreams rarely come true.
In fact, order fulfillment is a bigger part of running a successful ecommerce business than most people realize. Fulfillment includes every step of the process involved in getting the customers their mail order requests, including warehousing, storage, processing, shipment preparation, and order tracking. In some cases fulfillment can also refer to the customer service provided after the sale is completed.
When considering whether your business would profit by switching your logistics management to a third party fulfillment service company, consider some of the following criteria:
Are you spending more and more time resolving storage issues?
A growing company needs more and more inventory in much the same way that a growing body needs healthy blood and tissue. As sales and market share expand, so too must the warehousing fulfillment capacity of the business’ storage and shipment departments. But that growth, and the maintenance of that growth, put a strain on personnel time management.
If you feel overwhelmed by managing your logistics needs, or if you feel that maintaining the warehousing and order fulfillment parts of your ecommerce business are causing your front end development to stagnate, outsourcing your fulfillment to a third party fulfillment service company may help you resolve those issues.
Is your customer satisfaction declining or becoming more problematic?
Customer service and satisfaction are two of the most important barometers of logistics management efficiency. If you’re seeing a spike in returns or complaints, or if demands for refunds are contributing a growing percentage of your customer service issues, you likely have outgrown your present fulfillment capabilities.
How and When To Outsource
The first step towards enlisting the aid of a third party fulfillment service company involves research: look into the companies that order logistics management and mail order fulfillment within your price range. Also, see if the fulfillment service company you prefer will negotiate their fee schedule or partnership agreement. Many offer graduated plans that let smaller business pay lesser costs at first, then rise as the business develops.