Recent reports show that the current economic troubles are finally coming to a close, meaning for many small businesses the time is right to re-examine and refine their business model. An upcoming return to economic growth carries new and exciting opportunities, especially in the always-intrepid worlds of ecommerce and small-business ownership.
The logistics support system known as fulfillment services offers a powerful and exciting opportunity to grow small business and ecommerce business at a scale and pace previously unimagined, ever a few short years ago. Fulfillment services enable small business owners the freedom to focus their business growth by providing warehousing, distribution logistics, customer service maintenance and issue resolution, and many other services.
A Fulfillment Service Is a Silent but Powerful Partner
Most fulfillment services are third-party logistics providers, meaning they are independent contractors who enter into a business agreement with a small business or ecommerce business owner. As the partnership takes shape an initial agreement is hammered out, including terms of the partnership and stipulations regarding the fee schedule and other contractual matters. Typically, fulfillment service providers charge a small fee per unit of merchandise handled – that is, warehoused, shipped, or stored.
By warehousing, storing, and handling the merchandise for the ecommerce small business owner, fulfillment service companies assume much of the weight of the day-to-day operations of handling product and merchandise. Many fulfillment service companies even handle customer support questions and disputes, bringing an additional level of convenience to their partners.
Fulfillment Services Offer the Chance to Grow Inventory, Product Lines
Because third party fulfillment providers assume control of all warehousing and warehouse logistics, business owners are freed of one of the great hurdles most young business face at some point: the need for adequate storage space and space with which to conduct logistics. As a business grows, the product line – or catalogue – expands as well; diversifying the number and variety of products a business is able to offer their customers.
For business with inadequate warehousing and logistics, such growth is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, such growth enables businesses the opportunity to increase their profits. On the other, such growth calls for increased time and resources dedicated to storing, processing, and shipping the expanded range of products. But with fulfillment service providers, such needs and demands are taken care of offsite, with no time or resource requirement needed from the business owner except to follow the terms of the fulfillment agreement.