Many merchants who start a small business dream of one day standing over a massive company that employs hundreds and has offices all over the world. The delicate part of growing your ecommerce business is dealing with issues which one has no prior experience dealing with. One such decision that has to be made is that of outsourcing fulfillment.
Seth Boylan of XpertFullfillment outlines four benefits of doing so:
Focusing on Your Strengths
“You can’t be good at everything and even if you are, you don’t have time for it all. If you are going to be spending that money anyway, outsourcing allows everything to be taken care of without you having to deal with any of the potential problems. This is the biggest benefit of outsourcing.”
Gaining Their Expertise
“The fulfillment house are experts at what they do so you are gaining access to all of their experience and wisdom. They will know the best, most efficient and cheapest way to store and ship something. This is handy if something has to be sent to a country where there are requirements you are unsure of. Also, due to the bulk numbers they deal with, they should be able to pass on the discounts they receive to you.”
Less is More
“If you have your own warehouse, this means hiring people to staff it. You will have to go through the whole recruitment process of interviews, checking references and the like and this is then followed by training them. You will need all of the equipment in the warehouse and this is expensive. What is also expensive is the insurance pertaining to the warehouse and people working in it. Once your warehouse staff starts working, you’ll have HR issues to deal with. All of this is one potential headache followed by another. Outsourcing allows you to avoid all of them.”
We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat
“Success for a company is a double-edged sword. With that growth will be the problem of outgrowing your space. So you now need to find a warehouse with a far greater capacity. You will have to spend time scouting out new locations and this can be a very costly exercise. If you are growing and have outsourced fulfillment, the extra space isn’t something that you have to worry about.”
Outsourcing fulfillment may not be for all. Some may try it and feel like they prefer the control of doing it themselves. Ultimately there is no over-riding right or wrong answer. Each company has to work out what is best for it. If you are going to outsource fulfillment, do your due diligence in advance so you are sure your fulfillment partner is on the same page as you.
David Wise is a freelance journalist.