When it comes to outsourcing, e-commerce businesses may be reluctant to hand over parts of their operation to external control. This may be due to the perceived expense or a lack of trust in outsiders to deliver on expectations. Many view the option of outsourcing as progressing to ‘the next level’ in business – something companies can always talk themselves out of, from fear of failure or taking risks.
The reality is that healthy outsourcing partnerships with credible companies save time and money. Operating in their own area of expertise, the partner organisation will be able to do things much more efficiently and to a higher standard, freeing you up to focus on other tasks and drive business expansion, which entrepreneurs should never shy away from.
Outsourcing fulfilment and focusing on growth
It’s best to outsource fulfilment as soon as possible. E-commerce companies who try to take on fulfilment and distribution processes themselves will be caught up in never-ending operational issues. Handling, packing and distributing products is extremely time-consuming; consider also the complexities of returns management. E-tailers simply won’t have time to grow their brand or ensure the full satisfaction of their customers, who are often irritated by post-purchase problems.
Those that choose to outsource from the start are able to concentrate their efforts on building their brand and creating positive relationships with their audience. Struggling with in-house distribution and fulfilment merely detracts rising companies from hitting targets, increasing sales and creating a stronger business pipeline.
The challenges of in-house fulfilment
Once companies have grown significantly, there is the common temptation of bringing distribution and fulfilment in-house. Large e-tailers may argue that they have the suitable volume to manage it all themselves and save on costs.
This is incredibly difficult to achieve. Firstly, there is the massive initial outlay to consider in taking over and moving operations, which would inevitably involve building a warehouse. It’s also unlikely, regardless of company size, that you would be able to save on distribution costs as much as outsourcing partners, who are used to streamlining logistics for maximum efficiency.
In addition to this, you could lack the necessary in-house skills and experience to enable your new fulfilment operation to run smoothly. Any major system that’s added to your e-commerce company could have a lasting negative impact on business, while teething problems are being resolved.
What to expect from a fulfilment partner
If you’ve been managing your own fulfilment operation, it’s never too late to outsource. A good fulfilment partner should be able to take over the operation efficiently and handle the transition with ease. They should have the necessary solutions to routine issues such as bridging their IT system and yours, and dealing with your warehouse space and staff.
Once the cost savings are evident and the outsourced fulfilment operation is running smoothly, you will have the newfound time and energy to refocus on marketing, branding and product – taking you confidently to the next level in business.
Sprint Logistics is a global logistics company providing worldwide fulfilment services, distribution, storage, mass mailing and supply chain management. With an extensive distribution network covering over 200 countries, we aim to be the best provider of smart supply chain solutions to local and international clients.
Contact Sprint Logistics to discuss your fulfilment needs and see how we can help you achieve your goals.