The decision whether or not to outsource logistics and order fulfillment becomes for many home-based and startup ecommerce businesses the proverbial fork in the road. Business owners wanting to grow their business are faced with a tantalizing opportunity to outsource much of their warehousing and fulfillment responsibilities to a third party fulfillment service provider or attempt to take those efforts on alone.
The going-it-solo route allows the business owner the control of personally overseeing every aspect of his operation, from the earliest order to the ultimate product shipment and tracking process. The principal disadvantage to this, of course, is the amount of time and resources required to construct such a warehousing and logistics system for one’s own use. Finding adequate warehouse space, rental fees, utility costs, personnel expenses, and several other miscellaneous expenses can prove a distinct challenge. Perhaps most importantly, efforts to construct and then manage a full logistics system can require hours and hours of time – time that could better be spent growing the front end of the business.
Outsourcing Renders Such Commitments Unnecessary
Making the decision to outsource logistics and fulfillment management to a third party provider spares the small, home-based and ecommerce business owner the problems and commitment needed to take on such daunting tasks. The fulfillment provider instead assumes control of warehousing and product fulfillment needs, allowing the client business to focus on other areas of company growth.
Specialized fulfillment companies provide most if not all of the services needed for expert logistics management to their clients. Besides providing quality warehousing and warehouse management, these fulfillment experts are also proficient in processing customer orders for shipment and mailing. Once an order is shipped, the company can also track the package and resolve any other customer-based inquiries or disputes using guidelines provided by the client business.
Fulfillment Companies Provide Options, Security
Many fulfillment logistics companies also provide promotional fulfillment services, which include mailing newsletters and catalogues to a business’ customer list. The customers receive the items and then contact the client business for more information or to place orders. By employing a mail order fulfillment service as part of their outsourcing agreement with a fulfillment service company, the client business can also consign a powerful marketing tool to the fulfillment service provider, eliminating the need for costly postage and preparation. Orders can also be handled by the fulfillment provider’s customer service staff.