When to use Fulfilment?
The benefits of using a fulfilment provider are clear, firstly it can actually help you to grow your company further, allowing you to hand over your order processing to experienced and knowledgeable staff, without the pressure of managing more people yourself. Of course there are also the obvious benefits of being able to offer a faster, more efficient ordering process and shipment service. However, for many growing businesses, knowing when to take that next step and invest in outsourcing fulfilment is the most difficult decision to make.
As with any business, taking steps to grow can be both scary and liberating; investing in areas such as staff or warehousing can be risky financially, even if your business is growing exponentially. It is always a risk knowing your business could be negatively impacted by unforeseen, outside threats to its growth. However, any business comes with risk and carefully considering your options by consulting experts can actually help to grow your business more than you could have imagined and keep it secure. So when is the best time to outsource your fulfilment services?
Fulfilment services could actually be the competitive advantage your business needs to stand out from competitors. This is because it comes with the capacity to handle more orders, deliver more targeted and improved customer service, as well as save costs in the long run and create more time for you to invest back into your business.
Having an efficient fulfilment process is what will keep repeat customers coming back and your business flowing. Fulfilment services can help to record live, real time stock levels, logging data and helping to predict peak periods as well as quieter ones.
You will know it is time to outsource fulfilment if you are finding it hard to keep your customer service levels consistent with what you have always offered, or if your delivery standards are starting to slip and you are struggling to keep up with demand. Other signs that it may be time to outsource some help, are if you are struggling to retain stock levels, as this can lead to cart abandonment once customers see there are long lead times or slower delivery options.
Order fulfilment can also keep your costs down, which in turn means you can give your customers the best price on products with a faster delivery service for less. Customers are driven more and more by speed of delivery and if you find they are being turned off due to slow delivery times it could be a sign that it is time to outsource to a better geographically placed fulfilment centre. Often fulfilment providers will have multiple locations, meaning they can offer a faster shipping service and deliver goods to your customers when they want it for a price they are happy to pay.
All in all if you choose to outsource your fulfilment it will give you the opportunity to potentially expand into new markets and reach new customers all whilst affirming your relationship with current ones. When you consolidate your entire order fulfilment process under one roof it will leave you with more time to monitor the daily operations of your business, invest that time in your staff and ensure you continue to offer the personalised level of service you always have done, ensuring your customers repeat purchase and stay loyal to your business.