Integrated Fulfilment services are growing in popularity with online retailers and ecommerce. These are some of the reasons behind their rise.
Integrated fulfilment services are popular with many online retailers, sellers and ecommerce companies. They fulfil the orders for all such businesses that often don’t have warehouse or distribution centres of their own. In addition to the additional space opportunity fulfilment companies can integrate stock management systems, manage delivery and returns which provides an excellent solution for the many online only companies that have emerged in the digital age.
Using a fulfilment company has many advantages that make it a cost-effective choice. These are some of the main reasons integrated fulfilment services are growing.
Advantages of Using an Integrated Fulfilment Company
One of the main reasons that fulfilment companies have experienced a lot of growth recently is thanks to the number of start-ups and SMEs achieving success. Few of these have the infrastructure and logistics facilities to support such growth immediately and need the help of a fulfilment company to maintain their growth.
For example, if an SME starts to receive huge increases in orders but doesn’t have a warehouse large enough to store its products, then a fulfilment centre can help. Yet even for large businesses that regularly require thousands of products to be shipped each month, there are further advantages of using a fulfilment company:
- Reduced shipping costs: Bulk delivery discounts can be offered by having storage, packing and distribution all in one place. Often with fulfilment centres around the country they can be well placed to arrange lower shipping rates.
- Use technology: Most fulfilment services should be using the latest security technology, item tracking, communication and processing to keep everything safe and running efficiently.
- Grow your business: It will make dealing with increasing orders a lot easier to deal with, whether domestically or internationally.
- Save time: Despite the costs of using a fulfilment company, it will save your business time to focus on other areas of growth. Plus, it can work out more affordable than using individual delivery, production, packaging and other businesses.
How Fulfilment Services Work
The fulfilment process is fairly simple and should make your business work a lot more efficiently. Firstly, all your inventory needs to be arranged and delivered to the fulfilment centre, which will be done by your business. The costs involved here can depend on where the stock originates, how much you generally sell and whereabouts the fulfilment centre is based.
Then the fulfilment company will sort and store all such stock, using a number or barcode system to stay well-organised. They will record stock movements and can inform you when inventory is getting low. Once you receive an order online it can either be down to you to forward on to the fulfilment company or use complete IT integration of your ecommerce store to directly relay orders to them. This should automatically deliver information about the order including:
- Customer name
- Delivery address
- Product(s) ordered, quantity and other variables
- Any special instructions (gift wrap etc.)
- Shipping method
Finally, the order should be picked, packed and shipped to your customer on time. If there is an issue or items returned, then most fulfilment services should process these as well.
What to Look for in a Fulfilment Company
If you think partnering with a fulfilment company will benefit your business, then there are a few things to look out for. Undertake plenty of research first to find the best option. This can include looking at ecommerce fulfilment companies that work with a similar type of client or within the same industry, as they should have a good level of expertise.
Transparency is incredibly important, as it’s required to make sure everything from inventory levels are correct and deliveries are being made on time. If your customers are not receiving their orders as and when expected, then it will be your business that is affected by any negative feedback.
At Whistl, our fulfilment services include everything from stock management systems and storage to pick and pack, delivery fulfilment and returns. To ensure that the pressure of customer service is also manageable we also have a contact centre too, which work as your brand ambassadors.
Get started with Whistl by enquiring about our fulfilment services within the UK and overseas.