Every small business anxiously looks forward to the day when demand outstrips the current resources for fulfillment. On the one hand, having so many orders is exactly what you want for your business. On the other hand, when you could easily pack and ship all of the items on your own, it wouldn’t cost you extra money. Before you post the “help wanted” sign, consider that third-party logistics and fulfillment services may be exactly what your business needs instead. Many companies will benefit from fulfillment services, but if your product falls into any of these categories, you should strongly consider it.
Your Product Is Valuable
All products are valuable, especially to you as the business owner, but some have a higher monetary value than others. If you’re shipping diamond necklaces or gold bars, that’s a higher-value product than gourmet popcorn, regardless of how delicious it is. When you have a high-value product, you need a fulfillment service that is trustworthy and secure. Your customers are discerning and expect quick, exact, and reliable service for their high-value purchases. Your fulfillment service must deliver that.
Your Product Is Heavy
If the product you’re shipping is big and heavy, you should definitely consider a fulfillment service. The odds are good that if you’re looking to outsource fulfillment, you’re also running out of storage space. Many of these third-party providers also offer warehouse services to store these big items while you wait for someone to order them. Take advantage of these warehouse and fulfillment services for your big and weighty packages. Find a provider that has a stellar reputation shipping large, heavy items.
Your Product Is Big
If your product is big but not heavy, it may be tempting to keep your packing and shipping in-house. Fulfillment services may cost you more upfront than simply packing the items yourself. When it comes to shipping, you could find yourself with a case of sticker shock, however. Shipping companies don’t only charge based on weight, though this is what most people assume. If an item is of great size, even if it is light, shipping might still be costly because it is oversized. If you are working with a fulfillment service, you will likely be able to take advantage of the bulk discounts they’ve arranged with shipping companies.
Your Product Is Hazardous
Finally, if your products contain any hazardous materials, you might want to find a fulfillment service from the very beginning rather than go through the hassle of shipping stuff yourself. A fulfillment service that is knowledgeable about shipping hazardous materials will be able to help you choose the proper packaging and labels so that everything arrives safely.
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