Today’s eCommerce market is highly competitive and if you want to stay in the game amidst this cut-throat industry then there is a lot you need to know about fulfilment. Your fulfilment practices are what is going to separate you from the competition and help your company stand out from the crowd. However, fulfilment can be a difficult balancing act between managing your customer’s expectations and balancing your budget.
While outsourcing is often an efficient way to manage this balance, it can seem like a lot of money to companies who have never used fulfilment outsourcing. However, in order to make a truly smart decision for your company and for your future, you need to look past those initial fulfilment costs to take a look at the big picture and how these services stack up to in-house operations. This is the best way to determine the true value of fulfilment services and see first-hand just how much these services stack up to in-house operations.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself:
Do I Have the Space?
As your business continues to grow, you are going to need to have more stock on hand. The more stock you have ready, the easier it will be to dispatch your items to your customers. Having this stock is important, having somewhere to house this stock is even more pertinent.
As eCommerce businesses continue to grow in popularity, so has the demand for traditional warehousing space, causing the cost of leasing these facilities to rise dramatically. However, it isn’t just the actual cost of rent for these warehouses. Your business will also need to factor in the cost of trash disposal, building maintenance, insurance, forklift operations and more – not to mention that depending on the season, part of this space and these costs may go relatively unused.
By outsourcing your fulfilment to a third party, instead of attempting to manage this all in-house, your stock will be housed and dispatched from that company’s warehouse. This means lower costs, only paying for the space you occupy and not needing to find warehouse space on your own. The flexibility can not only make storing your products easier on you, but it is also more cost-effective as well.
How Am I Handling the Details?
When it comes to standing out from the competition in today’s competitive eCommerce market, the little details can make all of the difference. This includes things like packaging, what your overall postage costs are and how you process returns. These are all details that can take a lot of time and effort on your part, but details that third party fulfilment services are experts at.
They can order packaging and postage in bulk, saving a great deal of money and then pass those savings on to you. These organizations can also help you expedite your return process not only making it simpler, but more cost-effective to process and handle returns. Plus, they can make sure that your customers have access to thinks like return tracking, meaning happier customers and more repeat business.
Do I Have the Manpower?
Fulfilment operations not only require space, but they also require enough people to handle said operations. When it comes to calculating these costs, you not only need to look at wage, but the costs associated with hiring, training and equipping these team members so they can do their job as expected.
With a third-part fulfilment service, you can already gain access to an expertly trained team of fulfilment experts that are not only well-versed in how to handle the process but that can take on the challenges of peak operation times, including around the holidays.
What Technology Do I Have?
The right technology can help expedite the fulfilment process and grow with your company to meet your customer’s expectations. Setting up your own fulfilment software program can take a team of full-time developers and a great deal of money upfront. However, with the built-in software offered by third party providers, you can get the data insight you need, and the technology required to stay ahead of your competition—without as much upfront cost.
When it comes to calculating the costs of using a third-party fulfilment service, make sure you look at the big picture and really determine first-hand the type of savings you can enjoy if your company makes the switch.