fulfilment outsourcing

What is Fulfilment, and Should it be Something You Outsource?

We need to talk about fulfilment outsourcing. If you sell a product, it’s something you’re doing daily.

Essentially, fulfilment is the process of preparing and delivering your customers’ orders. However, it’s a lot more involved than grabbing it off the shelf, shoving it in a box and talking to the Post Office. It goes a bit like this:

  • An order is received
  • It is registered in your inventory system
  • A confirmation of the order is sent to your customer
  • The order request is sent to your warehouse, or (if you’re a small business) you head off to the stock room
  • The item is located and picked
  • It’s then packed and got ready for shipping
  • You either take it to the Post Office or pass it on to a delivery company
  • The customer receives an email to say it’s on its way
  • The order is delivered safely
  • If NOT needed, the order is returned, and a refund issued
  • Booked back in to the warehouse
  • Your inventory is updated

When you look at it like that, it’s quite an arduous process.

Not only is it time-consuming, but it also means you need a warehouse in which to store your stock. But what happens when you expand and find your premises are no longer big enough?

Perhaps now’s the time to think about outsourcing your fulfilment process.

Outsourcing your fulfilment process

Earlier, we identified the two main factors that persuade companies to outsource their fulfilment process: time and space.

But happens if you have a surge of orders? Do you have the resources to pick and pack multiple orders quickly and maintain your customer service levels?

Perhaps it’s time you looked at the benefits of outsourcing.

1. Potentially lower shipping costs

A fulfilment provider is shipping all the time. Therefore, it stands to reason they may be able to offer you discounted rates. Even a tiny percentage could add up to a significant saving.

2. Lower operating costs

When you outsource to a fulfilment provider, you only pay for what you use. That sounds like a much better idea than having the costs of your own warehouse. Plus, any seasonal variations in orders are easily accommodated.

3. Increase your reach

Most fulfilment companies ship all around the world; therefore, they have the knowledge and expertise to help you when you branch out and tap into new markets.

4. Better customer service

With customers demanding faster, more flexible shipping options, a fulfilment provider will help you achieve this. They don’t have to balance sending out orders with the daily running of your business, which means they can turn orders around faster.

5. Technology

Why spend a fortune on software when your fulfilment provider already has it. Their technology will give you added benefits such as order tracking and inventory management, streamlining your processes for you.

6. You can sell more

With all the efficiencies fulfilment outsourcing delivers, you and your team will have more time to grow your business.

Ready to outsource your fulfilment process?

We told you outsourcing was a good idea. Not only will it reduce your capital costs, but it will also drive efficiency and give you the time you need to grow your business.

Smart Directions make your fulfilment process as secure and straightforward as possible. With an intuitive stock management system and an experienced onsite office team at your disposal, nothing is stopping you from taking control and fully optimising your supply chain. Find out more by calling the team on +44(0) 1442 507 240

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