Plan Before You Outsource Your Fulfillment Services
Fulfillment outsourcing is a proven strategy, but it can fail if you do not plan it thoroughly. There are no short cuts to reaping the benefits of this or any other type of outsourcing. It requires expert planning and execution on your third party logistics provider’s part. Here are some of the key steps that are important to making outsourcing successful:
* Strategy – A decision to outsource is reviewed and evaluated. It may be strictly a decision to outsource a particular function, operation, product or project.
* Selection – A very important phase which covers the definition of the work to be outsourced. Finally making the selection of the ‘best-value’ vendor or vendors. This would include the reporting criteria to ensure that the partnership is going to deliver the expected benefits.
* Negotiation – This phase includes the negotiating of the contracts and the final contract signing. Sometimes this is completed after the implementation phase has begun, depending on the complexity of the company and the vendor’s review processes. A letter of understanding may be put in place until the final contract has been signed.
* Implementation – Implementing involves the activities of planning the operation and execution of the outsourced agreement, as well as establishing the budget and functions needed for its management and launching.
* Management – This encompasses all ongoing staff and activities required to manage the business and achieve the contracted results. Specifically, this includes appropriate warehousing, liaising with the customers, performance monitoring, vendor or partnership management and delivery integration.
* Change – Every outsourcing contract is different, so the detail necessary for your specific needs may be greater or lesser depending on what you are trying to achieve. The fulfillment outsourcing contract should be subject to change and modification which include either minor changes or major changes regarding the process and/or specific product.
Today, almost any potential market and customers can be reached via the Internet. A one-person home business can set up a highly profitable business on a low budget. Storage is a major concern for this type of operation though. Savvy entrepreneurs utilize fulfillment services to store and process customer orders. However, such a small operation will not be able to handle business effectively and successfully as it grows and its products become widely known.
Enter third party fulfillment services! A cost effective, sustainable solution to support your business needs and growth without incurring in excessive expenses.