If you have been running your e-commerce enterprise for a while, you have probably thought about how you can efficiently process your orders – and this involves the proper warehousing and shipping plus fulfilment. But all of this can be quite daunting, especially if you don't have the means to do it or are experiencing a high volume of orders. Of course, you can take care of the packing and delivery yourself, which can be cheap and flexible. But if you have a growing business and have the financial resources, you are better off outsourcing your fulfilment needs. Working with a fulfilment company can be lucrative, and you may even be able to save more money in the end. But what do you need to know about fulfilment? Here's your complete guide to fulfilment services – and what your fulfilment partner can do for you.
What is a fulfilment partner?
Your fulfilment partner can effectively pick, pack, and ship customer orders on your behalf. The service provided by a fulfilment partner is often ideal for those who do not have the time or resources to handle picking, packing, and shipping, and it’s also suitable for those who no longer have the capability in their warehouse to take care of their orders.
What can your fulfilment partner do?
Whilst the services offered by fulfilment partners can vary, they can all do one similar thing – serve as a command centre for prepping your orders and fulfilling your shipping requirements. Your fulfilment company can also store your products in their warehouse and aid in your inventory. In addition, some providers offer several centres, which allow them to handle various geographic shipping requirements. With this, shipping your customer orders can be faster and more convenient, and affordable, too.
How much does a fulfilment service cost?
The service can charge you per pallet or unit, or they can charge per hour. Your fulfilment partner can also add up the expenses for receipt, storage, as well as picking and packing, shipping, bundling or kitting, and returns. If you need customised packaging, they will charge for this, along with handling gift orders. In addition, they can apply transaction fees related to each order and recurring payments related to storage.
What are their benefits?
One readily apparent benefit to relying on a fulfilment partner is that you can save time and effort from having to fulfil orders yourself. But other advantages go even deeper. For instance, with the services of a fulfilment company, you can avoid having a long-term lease. The pricing of the service can be flexible, which means that you only pay for what you use. If you have a slow period or are having a lean season, they can adjust to your requirements and adjust their fees. If you rent a warehouse, on the other hand, you have to pay a set fee regardless if you have a slow season or not.
Another aspect of fulfilment services is that you have an expert by your side. They can run your fulfilment requirements much more efficiently because they are specialists at it. For example, if you try to fulfil orders yourself, you may have to hire new staff and train them, and everyone knows that this takes a lot of time, effort, and money. With a fulfilment service, you can do away with all of these - plus be rest assured that they will do the best possible job.