Do you need to keep your products near your office in order to process and ship orders effectively? When you are operating your own warehouse it might be a good idea to buy or rent space that is near your own office but when you hire a fulfillment services company it really doesn’t matter where the fulfillment center is located because all of the operations that you are hiring the company to do for you will be on site at the company’s warehouse and office grounds. Since your own staff is not involved in the process there won’t be any hassles if your office is across the country, or ever across the world, from the fulfillment company that you hire.
It’s true that living or working near your fulfillment service company’s fulfillment center will give you the freedom and authority to check in on your inventory whenever you like. But that’s not essentially and absolutely a good thing. Because if you don’t trust your fulfillment service company to handle and care for your inventory at least in so far as you think they need supervision, you shouldn’t trust them to process and ship those same products. The basic element of any arrangement between an ecommerce, home-based or other small business and its fulfillment service company is trust. The trust to rest easy knowing that the fulfillment service company is living up to its part of the outsourced fulfillment agreement. The trust to assume that the fulfillment service company will continue working towards helping your business grow.
Without this sense of trust, there’s no reason to continue or to pursue a partnership with a fulfillment service company. You’re only wasting your time and energy on stress, suspicion, and doubt. That time could be better spent on developing and nurturing your business, and you’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Yet that wasted energy isn’t necessary. The truth is, most fulfillment service companies have tools and software that will let you monitor your inventory no matter how far apart you’re physically separated from the fulfillment service company’s facilities.
Choosing a fulfillment service company requires a fair amount of research and diligence, but it also requires you to keep an open mind. Some fulfillment service companies have advantages that may not readily become apparent. A southern-based fulfillment company, for example, will likely never have to shut down due to inclement winter weather. When you do your research, don’t be afraid to ask each fulfillment service company for a list of references and testimonials, and find out what you can by using ecommerce forums and message boards.