It’s becoming more common to have companies conduct all of their business online. But even if your company completes all of its transactions through e-commerce channels, those physical products still need to be shipped. And because those products need to be shipped, businesses must set up a product fulfillment service to ensure those packages are getting to the customers.
This is not as straightforward as it seems. Shipping a product to its destination happens in several different stages and requires the participation of multiple industries. Successful product fulfillment occurs when a reliable system is put in place—one where communication is simple and automation plays a major role.
Looking at Online Fulfillment
With online service providers, the entire process is outsourced. Manufacturers simply send merchandise to the fulfillment provider of their choice and the provider will manage and ship the inventory according to the orders. This allows for a number of perks.
Efficiently Run Your Business
At first glance, having a company handle the product fulfillment services may not appear to be a big deal, but what companies must always remember is that they have an actual business to run—and run successfully. This is most easily done by finding ways to grow the company and increase revenues. Dealing with day-to-day burdens—receiving orders, packaging, shipping, managing returns, etc.—distract businesses owners and operators from their true task. With a fulfillment service taking care of those duties, you can focus on running your business.
Be Cost Effective
Of course, order fulfillment is important. Nothing will turn a customer off faster than receiving the wrong, late or damaged product.. But that is the very reason it is important to let experts like third-party logistics (3PLs) manage this phase of your business. Don’t look at investing in a 3PL as an additional cost. Outsourcing this service actually reduces shipping costs, adds more time and flexibility to your team, and provides the high level of customer service that is being demanded by today’s consumer.
A good thing to know about e-commerce order fulfillment is that it is scalable according to how much inventory your business is actually stocking and shipping. So, months when sales are high and inventory is up, you can expect to pay a little more. But during downtimes, when sales might be slow or your product is not in season, you can expect costs to drop.
Make Sure It’s Right For You
That being said, turning to an online fulfillment service isn’t right for every company. You will have to analyze whether your business really needs the service. If your company only sells products through e-commerce on occasion, then this may not be the right solution for you. But if e-commerce is or will be a major part of your brand, then fulfillment services are something you need to consider from the very outset or incorporate into your operations right away.
APS Fulfillment, Inc. is a specialist in direct mail marketing and warehouse fulfillment and is based in Miami, Florida. We’ve stored, sorted, and delivered products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies. Contact us by phone at 954-582-7450 or by email at [email protected] to learn how third-party warehousing and fulfillment services can support and grow your business.