Taking the risk of beginning a startup is an all-encompassing task that will put your entrepreneurial skills to the test. Those bold enough to take this daunting step are generally motivated by a fierce belief in the product or service they are providing. Though what can often happen is that vision gets ahead of logistics.
Regardless of how unique your business is, if you don’t look after the back end of your operations, this can severely impact your overall efficiency. Below, we look at seven roles a fulfillment company can take on to maximise your business processes while keeping you focused on the core of your business.
Like many startups, it’s probable that you don’t have a warehouse at your disposal. In order to prevent you from needing to rent an entirely new space or your office from becoming a de facto storage space, a fulfillment company can take on this responsibility for you. Companies like Red Stag Fulfillment are experts in the game and can help you manage your merchandise securely.
2. Management of inventory
Keeping your inventory well managed is essential to maintaining customer satisfaction. Once a customer makes an order with you, you are entering an agreement whereby you agree to deliver your product to the customer who has paid currency to receive it. While people do tend to have a touch more sympathy for smaller companies, not honouring such basic-level business agreements can spell disaster for the reputation of your company.
A fulfillment company stays on top of your inventory to ensure miscalculation or mismanaged stock don’t lead to unsatisfactory outcomes for the customer. Contacting a customer to inform them you are out of stock after purchase is not only embarrassing but also damaging to your credibility. It is not complex, but it is easily neglected without a proper team assigned to the task.
3. Management of orders
Again, this is not a complex task, but it is time-consuming. Doing this yourself will likely stretch your resources thin. By doing that, you’re increasing the likelihood of inaccuracies, resulting in wrong product shipments or overlooked orders.
By hiring a fulfillment company, they can take this stress off of your hands by ensuring orders are recorded, packed, and dispatched as efficiently as possible. Further, they will also handle the inevitable return that will occasionally happen, keeping friction to a minimum, so you get noticed for the right reasons.
Shipping is essential for any online business, though this step entails slightly more than simply going to the post office. This is the stage of the process that will get your product to your customer, and ideally in one piece. The packaging used needs to be durable enough to weather any rough conditions it may face, but it also needs to be compact enough to keep it from the additional costs attributed to bigger-sized packages.
A fulfillment company will have the processes, infrastructure, and access to customizable packaging required for this step.
5. Customer service
Customer service is an essential part of any business. Customers are always going to contact your business, whether to inform you that they are unhappy, to request product specifications, to request details on delayed shipping times or anything else that may arise.
Having an open communication channel for your customers is your duty as a business. Leaving the task with a fulfillment company means that they can respond to customer queries with a dedicated sense of expertise.
E-commerce is the online platform your customers will use to view products and make purchases. As a startup in the 21st century, having an E-commerce platform is an absolute necessity.
Many fulfillment companies are intimately familiar with the different e-commerce platforms available. They take total control of the entire process and can even cater the platform to meet your brand’s aesthetic.
After handling the entire process, from the sale to dispatch, your fulfillment company can then provide you with a comprehensive report at the end of every month. This will include all information on revenue and products sold, which can then inform what inventory is required and which areas of the business are doing well or need improvement.
From inventory to sales to shipping, and customer service, having these outsourced can free up a tremendous amount of time and resources. This allows your staff to focus on the core of your business while reassured your customers are being looked after. Creating positive customer outcomes is good for your brand, and ultimately, profitability.