As a business owner, you know how important order fulfillment is. You need to make sure that your customers not only receive a high-quality product, but that the item is packed and delivered safely and effectively without being broken or damaged in transit. Unfortunately, if you deal with a lot of customers and product needs, you might need to outsource your inventory. This means that a warehouse will keep your items and you will electronically send them information every time someone places an order. It is then the warehouse’s job to fulfill this order and have it packed and shipped directly to your clients.
1. Use Strategic Locations
When outsourcing your products, you’ll want to consider where most of your customers are ordering from. Chances are that there is a specific area where you make most of your sales. Let’s say that you are working out of Illinois, but most of your orders are coming from California. It makes sense to choose a fulfillment center in or near California to cut down on shipping time. This not only makes for faster shipping, but a happier customer because of how quickly they received their product. It’s relatively easy to tell where most of your customers are ordering from by looking through your order statuses and seeing where most items are being shipped.
2. Use State-of-the-Art Warehousing Facilities
The warehouse you use for order fulfillment is crucial when it comes to customer satisfaction. This is why you want to make sure that you use a warehouse that uses state-of-the-art technology to keep your inventory in stock and updated at all times. If you use a mediocre warehouse, things can get lost, broken and you’ll be out of money because none of this is ever accounted for. The warehouse needs to keep you up-to-date on any changes or problems with your inventory so that you can make the proper adjustments.
3. Integrate Your Software with Their Inventory System
Chances are that you’re using your own business software at home or in your own personal office to keep track of your company sales and customer orders. It’s important to integrate this software with the inventory system that the warehouse you’re using for order fulfillment has themselves. This not only allows you to seamlessly keep them updated on new orders that need to be fulfilled, but they will also be able to alert you of any changes or problems that are being encountered, as well as returns and refunds that need to be made.
4. Customizing Shipping Options
The way your products are shipped to the client makes a huge difference in their experience. Let’s say that you work in the beauty industry and sell lotions and shower gels. If these items aren’t packed properly, they can open and break in transit, spilling the product all over the box. When the customer receives their item, they’ll probably be infuriated, want a refund or exchange and possibly even bad mouth your company. This is why it’s crucial that you work with the outsourced warehouse facility to create a special way to box and ship your items so that nothing like this will happen.
5. Quality Over Quantity
Some warehouse facilities are considered bargain outsourcing, which means that they offer incredible storage options for reduced and low rates. The problem with these facilities is that they often take on too many clients, and this can affect the way your items are shipped as well as how they are stored within the facility itself. In this case, it’s best to choose quality over quantity and price. If you pay a little more for the facility’s space, it’s worth it when you consider the time and effort they put into shipping your items.
Don’t be afraid to check out the warehouse where product fulfillment will be done to ensure that you’re happy with the facility and what it offers to business owners. Also, be sure to ask what their shipping options are and how quick they are at shipping products. Once you’ve chosen the right facility and know what it offers, it’s a matter of working on a quality product for your customers.