What to expect from your fulfilment service

23 October, 2017

Whatever the size of your business, fulfilment will be a critical part of its success. Working with a fulfilment services provider can have significant benefits for organisations at all stages, from start-ups through to those businesses that are well established and growing.

If you’re considering outsourcing to a fulfilment services provider then here’s what you can expect.

Stock and inventory management

Working with a fulfilment partner means that your stock is held in their warehouse. Depending on the provider you choose this could be a single warehouse or one of several in key global locations. Stock is managed by an inventory management system that you can use to monitor your stock, track orders and stock movement, as well as viewing important data about sales and returns.

UK or international delivery

If you’re looking to reach a global market then it’s key to work with a fulfilment services provider with the capacity to extend your business further. You can expect well-positioned locations with access to road and rail links that effectively put you at the centre of your own international delivery network.

Picking and packing

When orders are placed for your products, the process of preparing them for shipping will be the responsibility of your fulfilment partner. Items are ‘picked’ from the shelves and then taken to another part of the warehouse where they are packed ready for shipping. Many fulfilment services providers offer guarantees as to the accuracy of picking and packing and have ways to cut the cost to you by making it more efficient.

A wide range of industries

Few fulfilment providers offer a niche service specific to an industry but most should be able to provide you with case studies and testimonials from other businesses like yours. You might expect a fulfilment service to handle a broad selection of sectors, from e-commerce retail, to charity and publishing.

Better delivery options

Shipping can be a significant cost for an individual business but you can expect this to drop if you’re working with a fulfilment provider benefitting from lower costs for volume shipping. You should also find you have access to a wider range of delivery options to offer your customers.

Simplified returns

92% of customers will happily buy from a retailer they have returned to as long as the returns process is easy. When you have a fulfilment services partner your returns are simple and fast, from ensuring they are received, to assessing returned item condition and providing customers with the kind of fast and efficient response that will encourage them to buy from you again.

Outsourcing your e-commerce order fulfilment

This e-book is an essential guide for small and medium sized online retailers who want to grow in the UK and internationally.