Order fulfillment is a complex process that involves all the logistics behind getting your product from your facilities to your customer. It includes receiving them in a warehouse dock, registering them in a warehouse management system, storing them, receiving an order, picking and packing them, and finally shipping them. Occasionally, it might involve handling returns as well. One important point that it covers as well as customer service or support.
The challenges of order fulfillment are many. You need to have a system in place that will handle all orders with maximum efficiency and minimal loss. That includes fast handling, but also careful and precise handling. The reliability of the system is paramount. Because it’s no good to you if you can hammer out all orders in record time if they arrive badly packaged, wrongly picked, or damaged.
Keep in mind that this also generates massive overhead costs. These don’t necessarily have to be financial in a strict sense. They can also include wasted manpower, time, or resources.
Finally, handling customer care can be a mammoth-sized project if you have to start from scratch. Setting up the necessary facilities and training the personnel can take years in time and millions in dollars. And you might still end up with a poorly organized system.
By opting for your order fulfillment to be handled by a professional company you can avoid all the mentioned problems. Not only do you transfer them to somebody else, but you can also rest assured that they will be handled properly. And all of that with less overhead for your company.
The way this works is that you don’t have to waste money, time, and resources on setting up the operation. Instead, you only pay for its usage. This frees up a lot of capital that you can invest in your company which would be otherwise stuck in overhead expenses.
Think of the amount you can save by not having to pay for a giant warehouse, for example. Or the energy you save if you don’t have to select, hire, and train personnel to handle warehousing. To that can be added the expenses for software systems that you would get if you opt for outsourcing.
Especially with order fulfillment in Europe, the information systems are at their peak. You can get state-of-the-art warehouse management systems, ICT solutions, analysis of your inventory, and statistical reports at a fraction of the price of setting them up yourself.
That reliability and accessibility of information are what make order fulfillment so valuable. By having accurate information on your inventory, your shipments, and your sales stats, you can adjust your course accordingly in real-time. In an ever-changing market with daily fluctuations, this is a great advantage over your competitors.
Finally, the customer service you are able to get this way is guaranteed to work much more efficiently. And if you experience a considerable amount of returns, this is especially important. Handling the returns in-house allows them to be checked in the same location, and if nothing is wrong, recuperate losses.