Should I Invest in Outsourced Order Fulfillment?

Posted by Speed Commerce on February 22, 2021

It’s a question we get asked pretty frequently: should I outsource my order fulfillment? Well, naturally we almost always say yes (because that’s one of the services we provide!) but it isn’t the best option for every retailer. However, if you’re experiencing any of the following five signs, its time to reach out to an outsourced fulfillment expert:

  1. Your order volumes fluctuate: This happens to most retailers. Depending on seasonality and demand, order volumes can fluctuate, resulting in lean periods punctuated by a boom. Outsourcing lets your partner handle fluctuations to labor demands alleviating you from the worry about hiring, firing, and training the workforce quickly.
  2. You don’t have the infrastructure to expand: As your business grows, it’s only natural that you may want to expand your inventory, service offerings, and customer reach. That takes more warehouse space, staff, and capital – but when you outsource fulfillment, you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.
  3. You don’t have the technical expertise to expand: Expansion also requires a level of expertise and experience. You might not have the network (or capital) to hire the best minds in the fulfillment industry – but if you choose the right provider, you’ll get access to that expertise at no additional cost.
  4. Your operations are suffering: If you’re missing order delivery times, making errors in the picking and packing process, or receiving frequent returns due to problems with your fulfillment, it may be time to consider turning it over to an expert. Yes, you’ll have to pay someone to manage your operations – but if they’re inefficient and negatively impacting your customer’s experience, they’re already costing you too much to begin with.
  5. Other business aspects are taking a backseat: Fulfillment is important, but things like marketing, merchandising, finance, and overall company growth are important too! If you’re spending all your time focused on operations and are letting the rest of these tasks fall through the cracks, it’s time to reach out for help. Your employees, your customers, and your bottom line will all be glad you did!
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