When is the Right Time to Hire a Fulfilment Company?
eCommerce is an ever-growing sector, and many eCommerce businesses are now shipping out more orders than ever. If your business is struggling to keep up with customer demand, then hiring a fulfilment company is an attractive prospect.
Why Hire a Fulfilment Company?
Every day and hour you spend self-fulfilling your orders is a missed opportunity in time spent on building your brand, networking, market research and developing your products.
Once you commit to outsourcing your fulfilment process, your orders will come in and will be automatically sent to the warehouse. From there you order will be picked and packed ready for shipment, meaning you don’t have to do anything.
How expensive is hiring a fulfilment company?
Like most services in this world fulfilment centres differ in their costs, from expensive fulfilment options like Amazon’s FBA to independent fulfilment centres like UK Fulfilment. It may seem like an additional cost, but you can spend your business freed up time driving sales to generate more revenue. If you are shipping and dispatching a lot of products and orders, you will probably save money and reduce your costs using a fulfilment partner, as they are able to use their economies of scale to reduce their cost of packaging supplies and are able to negotiate cheaper shipping rates. As a general rule for fulfilment costs the more orders that are processed by the fulfilment centre the lower your costs will be, due to economies of scale.
How to Know when to hire a fulfilment Partner?
ur volume of orders is overwhelming your business, this can lead to slow delivery times and inaccurate order processing, which results in disgruntled customers and overall can reduce your sales and revenue. If this sounds like your current business model, then offloading your fulfilment can eradicate these problems and you can be set-up with a fulfilment partner in a matter of weeks.
1. You are out of storage space for your stock
Most businesses in their early stages have very little operating space and stock can end up taking up a lot of your business’s space and it may begin to feel cramped and cluttered. If you have too much stock, you will have to find warehousing space for it. There is no point in sourcing a company to solely warehouse your stock when fulfilment centres will both warehouse your stock and pick, pack and dispatch your product’s order as well.
2. Less time is available on your other areas of business
Like most things in this world, time and how your business spends it is finite. If you are allocating too much time to the fulfilment of your eCommerce orders, this is time not spent wisely if you are looking to grow your business. Even if you want to self-fulfil your orders to save on your business’s overheads, this will eventually catch up with your business. The only option will be to use a third-party fulfilment centre, like UK Fulfilment, and through growing your sales it will bring more revenue to off-set your fulfilment costs many times over.
3. Your Business Has Projects with Specific & Complex Needs There are many options when it comes to fulfilment centres, and several of them provide additional value-added services. Fulfilment centres, like UK Fulfilment, can provide additional services like collation of your products for business’s needs like subscription box services. Other services include labelling, re-labelling and even inserting other items into your packaging like leaflets or marketing materials. This can alleviate a lot of stress and costs for your business. Returns or exchanges will also be handled by a fulfilment centre, so you won’t have to worry about your reverse order process either.
4. Your Shipping Costs are Mounting Up
When you are self-fulfilling your business’s eCommerce orders the shipping costs can build up and seem like a large percentage of your overall costs. This is not only the postage costs but also the packaging costs for your parcels and any extra packaging requirements your use. On top of this is the labour costs if you are employing people to fulfil your orders in-house. 5. If Your Business is Shipping Internationally If your business is fulfilling its own shipping, it can be hard, for several reasons. First, the postage costs can be very high and is hard to know how to calculate the costs and what to charge your customers for many countries, this can lead to you losing unnecessary revenue due to inaccurate postage charges. Also depending on where you are sending your orders to, you will have to complete customs forms correctly which adds to time being wasted. Utilising a specialist fulfilment centre to deal with your international shipping and using their knowledge to handle varying international deliveries can be a great stress reliever for your business.
6. Your Sales & Customer Base are Growing Faster than your Business can handle
When you first start out and your business is in its infant stages it can be easy to manage your eCommerce orders. However, if you have unexpected growth or flurries in sales, it can be very difficult to scale your business to handle this, especially in the short term. This can result in unhappy customers and more importantly reduce your customer retention rate. In an ideal world your business would be able to handle large fluctuations in order volumes easily, but we all know it is hard to be flexible if you have a small team fulfilling your orders in-house. Outsourcing your fulfilment to a partner like UK Fulfilment, even if it is premature in your business’s timeline can help your business in the long-term, as it will be able to handle fluctuations in order volumes and be flexible to your needs, giving your business a much smoother order fulfilment process. For instance, if there is seasonal variability in your eCommerce business’s order volumes, like the Christmas period where sales may be peaking, using a fulfilment partner will help as it is to adapt and handle these fluctuations, and will leave you with fewer angry customers wondering where their order is.