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4 Signs It’s Time to Outsource E-Commerce Fulfillment

Feeling the e-commerce boom?

E-commerce businesses are growing at exponential rates.

While the boom is great for business, it can be a bust for bandwidth. And as your online store grows, you may find that the order fulfillment process requires increasingly more time and resources.

If you’re already asking yourself if it’s the right time to outsource e-commerce fulfillment, the answer is likely yes. And if you’re experiencing any of the four challenges below, it’s definitely time to outsource e-commerce fulfillment to an experienced partner to help maximize efficiencies and drive growth.

Person multitasking at work1. Bandwidth is at 100%

The number one sign that it’s time to outsource e-commerce fulfillment? When order volumes have increased to the point where bandwidth is maxed out at 100%.

There are many hats to wear when running an e-commerce store and order fulfillment is just one of many business-critical responsibilities. Just like sales or accounting, e-commerce fulfillment requires ongoing attention and dedicated resources.

But if you’re managing order fulfillment in-house, you may be struggling with bandwidth issues that pull you away from what you do best: making sure the business runs smoothly.

Managing e-commerce fulfillment should not take time away from critical functions such as strategy, marketing, ensuring exemplary customer service and managing employees.

You and your employees should perform tasks that bring the most value to your business. If you’re pulling in employees from other departments to help with things like inventory management, kitting, assembly, QA, shipping, and returns, their energy and expertise are not being used effectively.

Partnering with a reliable and responsive e-commerce fulfillment company allows you to redirect your bandwidth to more profitable areas rather than fulfilling orders.

>>>Related Resource: Learn what to look for when searching for an e-commerce fulfillment partner.

2. Challenges with Inventory ManagementWarehouse manager doing an inventory audit in warehouse

When it comes to inventory management, there is no room for error. You need to have a pulse on every SKU, the locations in which you store them and the quantities available for each. You also need to account for supply and demand around seasonal fluctuations, product launches, exchanges and returns.

Without the right technology in place to track and monitor inventory, it can be difficult to know when to order more stock, how much to order and if you have enough space to store it.

Leveraging the technology and expertise of an e-commerce fulfillment partner ensures ready-to-ship items are always in stock, and that you’re prepared for seasonal or market fluctuations. An e-commerce fulfillment partner can also create more efficient processes and eliminate the need for you to invest in new technology–both of which can reduce costs.

>>>Related Article: Read the top challenges e-commerce businesses face when it comes to fulfillment and how outsourcing can solve for them.

Boxes overflowing into hallway3. You're Running Out of Space

Storing inventory in the hallway? If you've outgrown your current space, you’ve probably considered leasing warehouse space or increasing the size of your current warehouse space, but this is a significant investment that can drain both time and money since it requires the following:

  • Employing and training staff.
  • Buying equipment.
  • Managing inventory.
  • Investing in the right software

Leasing warehouse space rather than outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment comes with the additional cost (and frustration) of paying for unused space and labor as order volumes fluctuate.

For example, sales may soar in the first half of the year but decrease substantially in the summer months. These fluctuations in demand require more storage space and labor during the peak season, then leave you dealing with the headache of unused space and labor during the slower months.

By outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment, the only thing you’ll need to do is send more inventory when levels get low. An e-commerce fulfillment partner will take care of everything involved, including storing, picking, packing, labeling and shipping, so you’ll never have to worry about the logistics.

>>>Related Article: Read how an e-commerce fulfillment partner can differentiate your business from competitors here.

4. You Need Better Shipping SolutionsShipping solutions for freight

Shipping costs and delivery times are of paramount importance to your customers. Competition is tough, so consumers can afford to be selective.

By outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment to a partner with an extensive network of shipping partners, they’ll be able to identify the best shipping solution for your business to ensure you deliver on-time and on-budget. You will also benefit from a list of perks that differentiate your business from the competition when it comes to shipping, including the ability to:

  • Ship to new or international locations that you weren’t able to before.
  • Expedite delivery times to customers.
  • Reduce shipping costs and packing materials.

>>>Related Article: Learn why an all-in-one e-commerce fulfillment partner can provide better shipping solutions here.

Outsource E-Commerce Fulfillment With GLF

Get back your bandwidth, and give customers the fast and reliable service they expect by partnering with GLF. Our end-to-end fulfillment services, including pick-and-pack, kitting, assembly, QA, inventory management, shipping, and returns will simplify your entire order fulfillment process. Contact us today so we can learn more about your businesses and create a custom solution to support your continued growth.

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