The process of order fulfillment might seem simple on the surface, but it’s actually far more involved than most people realize when they click to confirm their order. It encompasses all of the activities that go into shipping products to the customers who order them, and there’s a lot that goes into the process.
For a business, the first step comes well before that magical buy button moment when shipments are received, stock is sorted, and inventory is put onto the warehouse shelves in a way that allows for efficient picking and packing.
Once the order comes in, picking, inspecting, packing, and labeling are the next steps. This can be a monumental task for a new or growing company, but thankfully it’s not always necessary to handle all of it in-house. While in-house order fulfillment is often a cost-saving option for bigger, more established companies, many newer ecommerce companies choose to entrust the task to a drop shipper.
The Advantages and Drawbacks
There are a few pros and cons to each approach. In-house order fulfillment is certainly more hands-on, allowing you to get to grips with everything involved in ecommerce operations. It also enables you save money if you can handle the task on your own. For many businesses, however, the biggest draw is the control you have over every aspect of your business by choosing this route.
However, there are a few drawbacks to in-house order fulfillment. For example, when that big break your company has been hoping for finally comes, you might not be able to keep up with all the orders that rush in. If you do manage to upsize to meet the sales spike, you might find yourself with a warehouse full of products once things slow down. It can also be time-consuming, taking your attention away from tasks like sourcing products, marketing, or managing your works. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the cost involved in hiring an outsourcer.
Whether you choose to go it alone, hire an order fulfillment company, or enlist the help of a third-party logistics company, getting order fulfillment just right is essential for happy customers who will come to you time and time again and recommend your business to their friends. Need help streamlining your logistics? Contact us today.
This blog post was based off of an article by Fit Small Business. Read the full article here.