Businesses like yours have to make many important strategic decisions in order to stay competitive in the current retail climate.
Whether you’re running a bricks-and-clicks operation or are strictly online, partnering with a 3rd party fulfillment company (3PL) often can improve your business efficiency dramatically. It’s not a solution for every business, of course, but there are many benefits to having someone else do your packing, shipping and other key logistics.
Fulfillment Services for SMBs
Sometimes, SMBs find themselves short on funds and manpower, which can then cause customer service to suffer.
You want to keep your customers happy and increase your bottom line, but limited funds can make it feel like you have to take a lot more on yourself or overburden your employees. There is another way: 3rd party fulfillment services. These companies often only charge for what you use, so you can expect your expenses to be proportional to your sales, making it easier to stay ahead of costs.
But this is just one benefit of fulfillment services, here are three more:
- Distributed shipping locations. When you do your own fulfillment from a central location, it can take significant time for some of your customers to receive their orders.In a world where Internet giants can deliver a similar product in hours, not days, it pays to have a 3PL that can get your products closer to your customer base from the start. Not only can they speed up the fulfillment itself, having distributed shipping locations can cut days off of your shipment times.
- Reduced draw on your time. If you total the amount of your time that you spend organizing your products, keeping inventory, taking orders, packing them and then shipping it all, you’d be surprised at how much energy you put into order fulfillment.Instead of burning your limited time with shipping, outsource it to dedicated shipping centers staffed with well-trained fulfillment professionals. You can focus your efforts on growing your business or chasing a better work/life balance with all the time you save!
- Lower prices on shipping. Since fulfillment houses often combine shipments for various clients into one large order, they’re positioned to be able to negotiate significant savings on shipping and shipping materials.Sometimes, those savings are enough to cover much of what you pay for the service, which gives you the extra help you need with a very small expense attached. Cartonization software makes orders fit more efficiently into packaging, too, so you also pay for less space per shipping order.
Partnering with a fulfillment service can be one of the best moves your SMB ever makes. Faster, cheaper deliveries and more time to focus on other areas of the company are excellent reasons to consider letting someone else handle your warehousing and distribution!