5 Signs It’s Time To Outsource Fulfillment For Your E-Commerce Business | You took the leap to start a business, and it is your pride and joy. But, after all the hard work, it’s time for the next level. An essential part of business success is realizing when it’s time to scale, and outsourcing fulfillment is an integral part of scaling an eCommerce business. But how will you know that it’s time to take that step? Here are some signs to look out for.
- Costs Are Climbing
Starting a company from a home or office space is more straightforward and sometimes cheaper than springing for a secondary space right away. After a while, however, you will notice that the costs of shipping are rising. Although you expect the complexity of growth, it can become frustrating when you run the numbers. Costs like printer ink, sticker labels, printing equipment repairs, or even a new printer can add up quickly, as can shipping materials. Shipping products yourself can also limit where you can realistically ship to.
Furthermore, maintaining a warehouse operation is expensive, and it can be restrictive in terms of operations. Using a fulfillment service, you only pay for what you use, and you can quickly scale up or down depending on your specific needs.
- Your Space Is Filling Up With Inventory
Shipping from home or an office space means you have to store inventory there or pay for additional storage. If you are fortunate enough to have a fast-growing company, the lack of space can become a frustrating issue.
Perhaps you work out of your home, and those you live with are becoming fed up with the stacks of merchandise. If your inventory becomes too excessive, you may even violate your lease agreement. If you work out of an office space, know that diminished office space due to towering boxes of merchandise can make you appear unprofessional to visitors and your own staff. Nobody wants to trip over boxes or bump into staff when they come for business. If your inventory isn’t stored well, it can also lead to breakages or you losing track of it.
- You Want To Incorporate Custom Packaging On a Large Scale
Although standard packaging is tried and true (and perfectly fine for when you’re starting out), you can achieve a lot in terms of brand-building by using custom packaging when shipping your products. Custom packaging allows you to create a container that’s ideal for shipping your product, meaning you can:
- Minimize waste and be kind to the environment
- Reduce the cost of extra shipping material or too-big boxes
- Keep your product safer during shipping with snugly fitted padding and custom shapes
- Take advantage of a branding opportunity by creating a unique unboxing experience that will add to customer satisfaction
It can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive to manage customization on a large scale. A fulfillment service can handle this for you to ensure quality and promptness.
- You Want To Step Up Your Shipping
As an eCommerce business, you understand the importance of shipping. Customers want their orders fulfilled quickly and without issues. However, that seemingly simple demand can become challenging when you try to enter new markets and cross state lines or oceans.
Fulfillment centers can ship farther, more quickly and reliably, than you can from home. They have the scale to negotiate better rates from shipping companies and provide guaranteed fast delivery. Your resources no longer need to limit you, since you can lean on an e-commerce logistics and fulfillment company to ship to more places. Your expanded capabilities will build a positive brand reputation for being reliable, delivering quickly, and being present in multiple markets.
- You’re Pressed For Time
Running a business is no easy task. You are responsible for hiring staff, training staff, inventory management, customer care, marketing activities, bookkeeping, regulatory compliance, and more. All of these activities can take away from the core of the business of making the product.
A way to ease some of the pressure is to delegate some of these activities, particularly fulfillment. Outsourcing fulfillment creates more time to focus on other areas of your business. Expanding your operations is now simpler, cheaper, and quicker. To service a new market location, you don’t have to scout for a warehouse, fit it with machinery, or cover operational costs. You can use the fulfillment center’s facility and services.
Focus On What Matters
There are more than enough responsibilities associated with running an eCommerce business to keep you busy. Manage your time better and outsource your fulfillment to a reputable company. You can leverage their facilities, technology, and staff to give your business the edge.