How Much Authority Do You Give Up When Outsourcing?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the outsourcing of fulfillment services revolves around the question of authority.  Ecommerce business and home based business owners want to make sure they retain the “last word” even when they entrust their logistics management needs to a third party fulfillment service company.The relationship between a fulfillment service company and its client ecommerce and home based businesses is not necessarily as complicated as one might expect. Instead, it’s a partnership that relies on open channels of communication to create and nurture a kind of corporate symbiosis, in which both parties benefit.

The Partnership

The fulfillment service company enters into a contractual agreement with the ecommerce business, considered the client company for purposes of describing the outsourced fulfillment service arrangement. The agreement is legally binding, meaning that both sides must abide by its terms and conditions.

Warehouse Fulfillment And Inventory

The fulfillment service company begins, either gradually or all at once, to manage the fulfillment of warehousing, pick and pack, storage, shipment, processing, and order tracking of its client business. The fulfillment service company also accepts inventory directly from the manufacturer, meaning you the business owner never have to deal with the process of unloading and storing your own inventory.

The fulfillment service company will store your products and inventory as long as the contractual agreement requires, or until the products are sold. The dates of storage are normally kept readily available for both the fulfillment service company and the client business to review.

Processing and Shipping

The fulfillment service company, also sometimes called the mail order fulfillment company, then receives sale and shipping information from the client business. The fulfillment company’s warehouse staff then processes and prepares the product for shipment. Address and shipping labels are printed bearing the client company’s business information and logo.

The fulfillment company then provides both the customer and the client business with the shipping information, keeping their efforts perfectly traceable and transparent, in order to insure maximum satisfaction on both sides.

Mail Order Fulfillment and Customer Service

Some fulfillment companies even offer post-sale customer service and support, increasing the client business’ chances for repeat conversion. The client business is free to develop its front end, increasing its SEO footprint and market visibility, leading to increased growth both for itself and its fulfillment service company. As the client business grows, the fulfillment service company will prosper in turn.