When to consider outsourcing your fulfillment process

A lot of variables determine the success of an e-commerce enterprise, and none are more important than customer fulfillment. Each order is the result of hours of marketing, planning, and development. But when an e-commerce company commits a lot of resources to oversee an in-house customer fulfillment process, they may inadvertently limit their chances for growth and profit.

Are you experiencing any of the following effects in your e-commerce business’s warehouse or shipping operations? If so, it’s time to seriously consider contracting an outside company to manage your customer fulfillment needs.

You’re spread too thin

E-commerce entrepreneurs don’t get into the business to become 24-hour warehouse managers. They form companies with the idea to expand their offerings, grow their customer base, and increase profits. But when they get caught up in the logistics of stocking and shipping, they lose the focus that needs to be applied to marketing, building partnerships, and directing the course of their business. If you're spending more time managing the details of every customer fulfillment need, you’re diverting attention from those necessary functions.

Your stock levels are too low or too high

Inventory management means having the right amount of product on hand at the right time. If your warehouse has a surplus of items that aren't moving or a lack of items that are moving too much, you may be falling behind in inventory control. It's an excellent idea to outsource these responsibilities to personnel for whom daily administration of product levels and seasonal stocking is a regular part of their job, so you can focus on the aspects you can control.

Your staff is overworked

Most e-commerce companies start small. Even if your business is more than a one-person operation, your staff may still be unable to effectively handle all the moving parts of shipping if the business gets heavy. If you're temporarily moving personnel from administrative or office positions into the warehouse, paying out lots of overtime, or experiencing a backlog of pending orders, chances are you need to find an outside source for your shipping duties.

Your warehouse costs are increasing or fluctuating

If your e-commerce business is thriving, your stock levels will increase—which means you’ll need enough warehouse space to hold it. That means higher purchase or rental rates. If you experience a temporary downturn, you may be stuck with storage space that’s too big for your inventory and face payments that your business can’t support. Hiring an outside company for inventory and storage control will ensure you’ll have the space you need and stabilize your budget.

You don’t have current technology

Tech is, obviously, hugely important to the industry—there'd be no such thing as "e-commerce" without it. But your tech needs to go beyond office operations and your customers' screens. Shipping technology is constantly evolving and improving, and your business may not be able to afford the frequent updates necessary to keep pace with your competitors. That’s what outsourced fulfillment centers do. Their entire business model is organized around maintaining the latest standards in shipping tools and automation, and they bring that convenience to your business.

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

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