Most companies begin to fulfill their own orders, while some eventually use a third-party logistics solution as they grow. Thing is, sometimes it’s difficult to know when to switch, especially when you build your own company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings.
Businesses with various sizes can get benefit by using warehousing and fulfillment services. There are variety of companies that offer warehousing and fulfillment services, some of which specialize in smaller or larger-scale operations
However, there are clear signs that it’s time to switch to outsourced fulfillment.
Cyclical or uneven sales
If the number of orders you process fluctuates throughout the year, it’s probably difficult for you to handle to running and staffing your own warehouse. A logistics company will be able to adapt to your needs.
Besides, unexpected spikes in sales can interfere your delivery promise. An expert can handle times when your daily order volume peaks so you can focus on your delivery consistency and make efficient experience every time.
You’re too busy
If you’re too busy dealing with order fulfillment and thus distract your growth focus, it’s probably time to outsourcing it. As a business owner, you need to be able to devote time to sales and marketing, expanding to other e-commerce platforms, sourcing new products and ideas, and improving your business for the long term.
Lack of infrastructure
If you’re expanding your business geographically, you may outgrow your current infrastructure before you can adapt. Shipping to locations across the country or even the world comes with logistical challenges that increase expenses and shipping times. This can inhibit large-scale growth.
When you outsource to a global fulfillment partner, they’ll be better equipped to serve a growing customer base, leveraging multiple locations, and optimizing fulfillment accordingly.
Third-party warehousing and fulfillment isn’t right for everyone, but if you find yourself in one of these situations, it might be time to start calling around and chatting with logistics companies.
The clear advantage of using a third-party logistics (3PL) company to outsources fulfillment is that it saves you from having to do the work yourself. But there is a deeper advantage, outsourcing warehousing and fulfillment can have a meaningful impact on your business’s growth.
Avoid long-term leases
Many logistic companies offer adjustable pricing. This means they’ll be able to adjust to your needs and costs accordingly as you grow or go through slow period. Renting your own warehouse mostly requires more of a commitment.
Bring on the experts
When you hire an outsourced fulfillment services provider, you’re not only get a warehouse space, but also people who will be responsible for running the fulfillment center. When you fulfill and ship your won orders, you’ll likely need to hire your staff as you expand. Managing staff takes time. If your business is still constantly changes, you may be wary of promising someone a job. Instead, you can outsource the work to a logistics company and let them be responsible for finding and hiring good people.
Each 3PL has a whole team of logistics experts and support staff who will always be there to help you along the way. They maintain all of the labor needed for receiving, inventory management, and order processing and shipping, giving you an advance agility you might not achieve easily on your own.
Use your time to optimize
It is very likely that you don’t start a business just because you are good at packing boxes. Your time is better used to manage and optimize your company, not stuck in the logistics of order fulfillment. When you let someone else handle your logistical details, you can focus on the things that have a greater impact on your bottom line.
Be more agile
Although doing it yourself is mostly free, it can actually cost you in the long run. Consumers mostly expect faster shipping times, doing it in-house less likely meet their expectations and deliver a bad customer experience. Partnering with a 3PL for fulfillment services can benefit you from their effectiveness and buying power leverage on packaging and shipping costs. Some even update you with a real-time stock level and status so you can be proactive.
This extra time can give you and your team to test new strategies, inventory management techniques, and other strategies to achieve rapid growth without worrying about back-end logistics or hiring backlogs.
Warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment can’t be separated when you begin to establish an e-commerce business or selling products.
Even though making sells is always the exciting part, you need to make sure your products end up in customers’ hands.
There are three options you can choose to make this happen:
Sell your product through a drop-shipper who will place orders for you
Place your order independently
Collaborate with a logistics company that will handle your warehousing and fulfillment
There are certain advantages from packing and shipping your own orders: it’s cheap and flexible. Often times, businesses that are just starting out, and businesses that have extra packaging needs, usually handle their own logistics.
And regardless of age or industry, any business struggling with cash flow will be better off handling things in-house. Sometimes you have more time to spend than money.
But if your business has expanded and growing quickly so you have the cash on hand to outsourced, you may consider for using third-party warehousing and fulfillment.
There are many logistics companies that will store your product and take care of packing and shipping your orders, but not all logistics companies provide fulfillment services such as AsiaCommerce.
But What is fulfillment service?
A fulfillment service is a third-party warehouse that prepares and ships your orders for you. It does this from its fulfillment center. E-commerce fulfillment services are ideal for businesses that don’t want to deal with shipping or have outgrown existing warehousing capabilities to a point where they’re unable to ship orders themselves anymore.
If you’re scaling fast and looking to optimize your fulfillment strategy, working with a provider that offers a central view of your data and smart inventory allocation across multiple warehouses will give you the most flexibility. To learn more about the AsiaCommerce fulfillment services, visit us here
What does a fulfillment center do?
While each fulfillment center operates slightly differently, they all accomplish the same thing: they act as a command center for all your order prepping and shipping needs. Fulfillment centers also double as warehouse spaces for inventory storage, allowing you to hold onto product.
Some fulfillment service providers have multiple fulfillment centers, allowing them to serve different geographic locations more quickly than if they were to have just one. This allows e-commerce companies to deliver fast and affordable shipping to a diverse customer base.
What do fulfillment services cost?
Fulfillment services typically charge by the hour or per unit/pallet. Providers add up costs for receiving, storage, pick and pack, shipping, kitting or bundling, returns, custom packaging, gift services, and setup. They then apply transactional (e.g., receiving, shipping) and recurring (e.g., storage) fees.
If your business has big goals, fluctuating sales, but not enough time to take care of things in-house, AsiaCommerce will help you! Just fill the form here