For many in product fulfillment, daily fulfillment and shipping can be a pain in the “you know what.” As you are well aware, so much can go wrong from the time you package the product and slap a shipping label on it to the time your product arrives at the doorstep. Plus, new distribution channels for fulfillment are popping up everywhere, making it tough to keep pace in such a competitive environment.
Whether your company is just starting out or you are expanding your product line, fulfillment of your products is only a small part of your growing organization, and in-house fulfillment management can consume a substantial amount of time, effort, and energy. What should you do when your product fulfillment is taking you away from attending to the other needs of your growing organization?
As a company with many years of experience in this area, we can provide a unique perspective on the benefits of outsourcing fulfillment and shipping. However, we also understand outsourcing may not be the best option for your company at this moment. Regardless it’s important to understand the in’s and out’s of both options. If you are still considering in-house fulfillment, here are 5 common fulfillment problems to avoid to maximize your profit earnings and most important, gain back some of your precious time.
- Fulfillment Software Problems: Depending on the quality of and how familiar you are with fulfillment software, it can be like reading or speaking a foreign language. If the software is not managed properly or not utilized at all, it may be costing you time on customer orders which could mean lower repeat business. Invest in a high-quality fulfillment software program that is easy to manage and utilize. You want your business to go far and sometimes you have to invest a little bit of money to return more in the end.
- Processing Time Problems: One of the biggest problems many of our clients had encountered before outsourcing was the delay in processing an order – they just couldn’t seem to keep up with the demand as they grew. On top of the reoccurring business tasks to move the business forward, the client and their team also worried about processing shipments promptly and experienced delays in fulfillment processing. This created negative customer experiences and hurried processing which led to shipping mistakes. Streamline your processing time by hiring a designated team or person just to do your processing – that way everyone, including you, can get back to their assigned duties, and no one has worry about catching up.
- Inventory Problems: Some of our clients also experienced stock control issue, which had an unfavorable impact on the company. Yes, stock lapses are difficult to avoid, but they are also embarrassing for your organization’s brand and image. Make sure you are accurately setting up your shopping carts and inventory to communicate the correct items in your inventory before a customer purchases the item or items. You do not want to tell your clients you do not have the product because you were out of stock, even though your site says differently.
- Packaging/Marketing Problems: Think about the whole customer experience, there are marketing opportunities within your packaging. If the product arrives in terrible shape because of poor packaging, you can kiss that client goodbye. Research best packing practices to ensure the item arrive in pristine condition. Also, try including a simple “thank you” card with your organization’s story and an offer for repurchase the item in your package to continue the relationship.
- Shipping Problems: Let us be honest, you are not in the shipping business–and until you are huge–you should not be. There are so many reasons to work with the experts on shipping. Specialists in the field can provide affordable shipping rates, experience, daily communication, and have fostered relationships with shipping providers. If you are still not outsourcing, consider some of these cost-effective shipping tips from an experienced seller on Esty.
However, the staff writers at Entrepernuer.com can attest to outsourcing fulfillment:
“If you can make more money by spending your time on other things, you should look to outsourcing.”
Let’s take your fulfillment and get it done – we have people who can get it done right and save you money! Call (303) 607-9424 to get started with your free fulfillment assessment.