Fulfillment companies represent your business, are logistic experts and in some cases are enabled to pay closer attention to the distribution process than you can in many cases. Therefore, think about dedicating time to growing your business by outsourcing fulfillment services. You may feel that there is no need for you to outsource, but find that you cannot provide this service in a timely and effective manner. This is especially true if your business experience sudden growth.
* Cost-benefit Analysis – Look at the products you are thinking about outsourcing and determine which ones will be outsourced. Get a good estimate of how many orders you are going to process through these services. Compare the cost to supply these products for customer demand in-house compared to the cost of hiring a third party provider. Do the analysis by taking into account financial costs and benefits as well as the customer satisfaction factor.
* Drop Ship – A drop shipping business model is one of the best avenues for home-based business because you don’t have to carry any inventory. You can sell any number of items from your home and not have to worry about having the storage space. Someone else stocks the product and takes care of the e-commerce fulfillment and shipping. The big downside of using a drop ship service is that your costs will be higher.
* Research – Search for the best fulfillment services provider which can be done researching on the Internet for both compliments and complaints related to the contractor you are considering. Review their websites and contact their customer service. Your aim is to find the best quality at the best cost and preferably a well established, direct-to-consumer company. Also decide if you get a national or regional company to do your fulfillment services based on the market your business serves.
* Selection of Provider – Get a service agreement and review the contract document carefully before signing the appropriate vendor. Provide the selected company with complete details about your business to help them tailor their service to your needs.
Other than services and cost, another important factor to discuss is if the fulfillment house can accept orders from your shopping cart software if available. Some of the countless benefits of outsourcing fulfillment services are the ability to manage sales effort, improved efficiency and reliability, and improved customer service and retention.