What does it mean to outsource fulfillment?

The field of fulfillment logistics is a critical and complicated aspect of running a product-focused business, especially in the world of ecommerce. Customers expect great things every time they order something online and the pressure will only increase with continuing shifts in demand and industry evolution. In order to keep up and indeed survive, today's companies must be aware of all available operational options. It might be doable to manage these tasks if your company is just taking off or still at a small size but if all goes well, business will boom and it might be wise to consider outsourcing your fulfillment needs.

What does outsourcing fulfillment mean?

Outsourcing your company's order fulfillment involves partnering with a third party service to manage specific or perhaps all elements of that process. This can include inventory storage and tracking, picking and packaging products, and shipping completed orders. Successful outsourcing arrangements treat the relationship as a true business partnership and not simply a vendor transaction. You want to feel like one of your own valued team members is at the fulfillment center location, and reputable third-party logistics (3PL) companies offer that peace of mind.

What does a 3PL company offer?

When you outsource fulfillment processes to a third-party company, that company works in your stead utilizing their in-house facility, operational technology, and workforce to manage services such as:

  • Warehousing-Basic storage and management of your company's product inventory
  • Pick, pack and ship-The 3PL company selects specific items from the warehouse to coincide with orders placed by your customers, followed by properly packing, labeling for shipping, and delivery arrangements completed
  • Returns-A 3PL company also manages the returns process and efficiently returns unused products to your company’s available inventory

What's great about outsourcing order fulfillment?

Outsourcing order fulfillment brings many benefits over struggling with the task in-house:

No inventory headaches

Piles of disorganized inventory don't help your business. Outsourcing inventory removes that burden and your partner 3PL company handles and organizes all product and tracks inventory. Your only responsibility is to send more inventory to keep up with orders.

Run your business, not a warehouse

Fulfilling even a moderate stream of customer orders requires many time-consuming tasks including finding a shipping box, packing product securely, printing and applying labels, and arranging pick-up for delivery. When you turn into a warehouse manager rather than a business owner, productivity suffers. Managing the complex operations of fulfillment demands resources and expertise you should be channeling into growing your company.

Grow with focus

You didn't start your business to manage order fulfillment and savvy business owners know they must delegate in order to efficiently run their company's product development and branding initiatives. Time is finite and outsourcing frees it up for you to establish client relationships and driving sales.

Leave fulfillment to the experts

In addition to time savings, outsourcing to the experts leverages their specialized experience and network of industry partners to help your business grow.

For more information on outsourcing fulfillment, contact the team at Overflo Warehouse at (800) 626-061600 or overflo.com for a free quote.

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