When your e-commerce business grows to the point where you can no longer package and ship the orders yourself, it’s time to consider outsourcing your order fulfillment. Fulfillment warehouses offer small business the opportunity to compete with the ‘big dogs’.”
The following article by About.com takes a look at the benefits most fulfillment warehouses offer to small business owners.
Each fulfillment center operates under a different payment schedule. Some use sliding scales and require contracts while others charge per order or per item with no contracts. You will also be charged a base fee to store your inventory at the warehouse and an additional fee per pallet or per item. Be sure you have a clear understanding of the fulfillment center’s costs and any contracts.
When choosing a fulfillment center, create a checklist of the features you would like. Interview a member of the warehouse staff as well as the company’s references to make sure the warehouse will meet the needs of your growing e-commerce business. When you outsource order fulfillment, the time that you normally spend packaging orders, managing inventory, and dealing with returns, can now be focused on growing your business. Use this time to expand your product line, enhance your online image, promote your business or expand into new markets.