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Outsourcing Order Fulfillment: How Can My Business Benefit From It?

Are you getting overwhelmed by the number of orders you're receiving? Do you find yourself unable to keep up with demand?

Outsourcing your order fulfillment can take much of the pressure off your shoulders.

It can also benefit businesses in many ways, including reducing costs, freeing up space and manpower, and improving efficiency.

If you're not quite sure whether or not outsourcing your order fulfillment is the right move for your business, check out this article to learn all the ins and outs of outsourcing order fulfillment.

What is Order Fulfillment?

Order fulfillment is the process of receiving, packaging, and shipping orders placed by customers. 

Simply put, everything happens between when a customer places an order on your website and when they receive their purchase. 

What Does It Mean To Outsource Your Fulfillment?

Outsourcing your fulfillment simply means that you're hiring a third-party company to handle all aspects of your order fulfillment for you.

Outsourcing your fulfillment can be a great way to save time and money, as you won't have to worry about managing inventory or hiring staff to handle fulfillment. 

Instead, you can focus on running your business and leave the fulfillment part to someone else. There are many more benefits to outsourcing your order fulfillment, including:

- Reducing costs

- Freeing up space and manpower

- Improving efficiency

However, it is important to choose a fulfillment partner that you can trust to provide accurate and efficient service. The last thing you want is for your customers to receive late or damaged orders.

In addition, you will need to consider the cost of outsourcing compared to the cost of managing fulfillment in-house. If done right, outsourcing your fulfillment can be a wise decision for your business.

There are different types of fulfillment services; not all are created equal. It's essential to do your research and choose a fulfillment service that will best meet the needs of your business.

What Services Can You Expect From An eCommerce Fulfillment Company?

An eCommerce fulfillment company can offer a number of fulfillment services, which can vary depending on the company. Standard services include order picking and packing, shipping, inventory management, and returns processing.

So how do you know which one is right for you? You need to assess your needs. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

- Do you have access to different shipping solutions, and do you have good rates?

- Do you have the ability to integrate shipping solutions into your website or shopping cart?

- Do you have time to track and trace your parcels?

- What if any emergencies or irregularities occur, can you handle them properly?

Once you know what services you need, you can start looking for a provider that offers them. Make sure to read reviews so you can get an idea of the quality of the services offered. And be sure to compare prices so you can get the best deal.

Luckily, at Stork Up, we provide all of the services mentioned above and more. We're always expanding our services to meet our clients' needs better. So if you don't see a service you need, just feel free to let us know. 

Picking and Packing

Picking and packing is the essential service that almost if not all eCommerce fulfillment companies can provide.

The idea is to have a fulfillment company that can receive the products from you, your manufacturer, or your supplier, store them in their warehouse, and then pack and ship them to your end customers when you get an order. (Check out Stork Up's real-time order synchronization)

The whole process can be done manually or with the help of robots.

Thanks to the latest technology, many eCommerce fulfillment providers like Stork Up have now automated their picking and packing process. 

For example, with the Goods-to-Person Picking Robotics, orders are automatically routed to the right location and worker, which improves warehouse picking efficiency significantly by over 200% with an accuracy of 99.99%.

Youtube Video Here:

Geek+ Unveils Ultimate High-Density Robot Solutions - PopPick System

So, what does it have to do with your business?

As a result, your customers will receive their purchases faster and with fewer errors. More happy customers, yay!

Shipping

The second basic service that most eCommerce fulfillment companies will offer is shipping.

Once your orders have been picked and packed, they're ready to be shipped out. This can be done via different shipping methods, such as UPS, DHL, or FedEx.

The shipping method you choose will depend on several factors, including the size and weight of your products, transit time, and budget.

Finding a balance that works for you and your customers is important. You don't want to overspend on shipping or offer slow transit times, but you certainly don't want to skimp on quality and service.

A good eCommerce fulfillment company should be able to provide you with various shipping options so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

You may also enjoy the benefits of lower shipping rates as they usually have negotiated rates with shipping companies.

At Stork Up, we offer a variety of shipping options so you can find the one that works best for you. We also provide real-time tracking so you can always see where your orders are.

Warehousing and Inventory Management

Warehousing is another crucial part of the order fulfillment process. 

Fulfillment companies usually have their own warehouses where they can store your inventory, so you can rest assured that it won't take up any space in your office or home.

Most fulfillment companies have extensive experience in managing inventory and can provide a secure environment for your products. 

Those fulfillment companies can also offer real-time inventory management, so you can always be sure what's in stock and where it's located. 

Generally speaking, it's much more cost-effective to outsource your warehousing and inventory management needs to a fulfillment company.

Returns Processing

Returns processing can be a time-consuming and confusing process, especially for businesses that are new to eCommerce.

Apart from that, returns processing can be a significant drain on resources, which is why many businesses choose to outsource this task.

However, this is where a good eCommerce fulfillment company can come in handy. They can handle all aspects of the returns process, such as receiving the return, inspecting the item, and then either restocking it or issuing a refund. 

Good eCommerce providers have the expertise and infrastructure to make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible for both you and your customers.

Benefits Of Outsourcing Order Fulfillment

Entrusting your inventory to a third-party company is no small matter.

However, there are still many benefits to outsourcing this critical task. Perhaps the most important is that it frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business which is essential for companies in the early stages of growth.

Fulfilled orders by a professional fulfillment company also tend to arrive faster and with fewer errors.

And because fulfillment companies typically have access to bulk shipping rates, you can save money on shipping costs.

In short, outsourcing order fulfillment can be a smart way to reduce costs and improve efficiency, which are the two critical factors in the success of any business.

Let You Focus On Your Core Business

Stop making the mistake that most people make: Trying to do everything themselves.

They wear too many hats, and eventually, something has to give.

When you outsource your order fulfillment, you can take a step back and focus on what you're good at, focusing on your company's core competencies.

It's also worth noting that businesses that outsource order fulfillment tend to experience more growth than those that don't.

Fortune 500 companies have been doing it for years, and you should do that too.

Save Your Money

The biggest misconception about outsourcing is that it can be expensive. In reality, it's often the opposite.

You can save a lot of money in the long run when you outsource your order fulfillment.

How? Fulfillment companies have economies of scale that allow them to ship orders cheaper than you could on your own. They also have access to bulk shipping discounts that you probably don't.

And because they're experts in the field, they can fulfill orders faster and with fewer errors. That means you spend less time and money fixing mistakes. So, why not?

Improve Customer Satisfaction

When orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately, you make your customers happy.

It helps ensure customer satisfaction and reduces the number of customer service issues you have to deal with during busy times.

Quite a win-win situation for everyone involved, isn't it?

In addition, many order fulfillment companies offer to track information and notifications, so customers always know where their order is and when it will arrive.

At the end of the day, happy customers become regular customers, and regular customers are the lifeblood of any business.

No Need to Store Inventory Yourself

If you outsource your inventory to a fulfillment company, you don't have to worry about finding space to store it. This can be a major advantage for businesses that are growing quickly and don't have the space (or the budget) to lease their own warehouse.

Some fulfillment companies nowadays have climate-controlled warehouses that are designed to store inventory safely and securely. 

They also have advanced security systems to protect your products. So, you can rest assured knowing that your inventory is in good hands.

Speed Up Your Shipping

Fulfillment companies have the staff and infrastructure to quickly get your orders out the door.

These companies specialize in handling orders and can often ship them out faster than you could on your own.

In addition, they can often provide other value-added services such as packaging and labeling(Check out Stork Up's Value Added Services).

Overall, outsourcing your order fulfillment can help increase your business's shipping speed and efficiency.

What Makes A Good Ecommerce Fulfillment Provider?

Let's say you're the owner of a small eCommerce business that's been seeing steady growth. You're at the point where you need to start outsourcing your order fulfillment to keep up with demand. 

How do you know which fulfillment company is right for you? What should you look out for in finding such a fulfillment provider?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Location: If you're selling to customers in different parts of the world, you'll need a provider with multiple warehouses or locations where it's easy to ship orders internationally.

For example, Hong Kong is an excellent option for its well-developed infrastructure and is well-connected to the rest of the world. Order fulfillment providers in Hong Kong can offer fast shipping times to customers worldwide. In addition, Hong Kong is a tax-free zone, meaning you don't have to pay taxes on your inventory or sales.

#1 Shipping Speed: Customers always want their orders to arrive quickly and hassle-free. If you can't deliver the packages to your customers on time, you'll end up with angry customers, endless inbox inquiries, and a whole bunch of returned orders. Shipping time is a key factor in the customer experience and can make or break a sale. 

When choosing a fulfillment provider, make sure to ask about their average shipping times and whether they offer any guarantees. 

#2 Costs: When it comes to choosing a fulfillment provider, costs are definitely a major consideration.

After all, you want to ensure you get the best possible value for your money. But the cost is not the only important factor to consider. You must also think about turnaround time, order accuracy, and customer service.

#3 Reputation and Transparency: Reputation and transparency go hand in glove. A company's reputation can pretty much tell you about its quality of service, as well as whether or not they're reliable.

Transparency is also important because it lets you see exactly what you're getting for your money. A good fulfillment provider will have a great reputation and be transparent about its pricing and services.

When you're entrusting your inventory to someone else, you want to make sure they're a reputable company that will take good care of your products.

Go read some online reviews from reliable sources and hear what other businesses say about them before throwing your inventory into their hands.

#4 Value-Added Services(VAS): Apart from the basic fulfillment services such as storage, shipping, and pick&pack, there are times that you might need additional services to support your eCommerce business. 

A good fulfillment company will offer a range of value-added services from which you can choose depending on your needs. Some examples of VAS include:

- Labeling

- Bubble Sheet Wrap

- Gift Card & Thank You Card

- Repacking

- Kitting

- Returns Processing

- Stock Take

So you have more demands than just on the list? Contact us today, and we'll be happy to tailor a solution just for you.

The Right Time To Outsource Order Fulfillment?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It really boils down to your business needs.

Of course, every penny counts when you're just getting started. You might want to take care of everything from A to Z to save on costs.

But as your business grows over time, you'll quickly realize that there are only so many hours in the day and that you can't do everything yourself.

This is when outsourcing can be a great option: it can literally take a lot of the burden off your shoulders.

Finally, you can focus on running your business while letting someone else handle the nitty-gritty of shipping orders. 

Typically if there comes a time when you find that keeping up with order fulfillment is becoming a full-time job, then it's definitely time to consider outsourcing.

Not sure if your business is ready for outsourcing? Here are a few signs that it might be the time:

- You're shipping more orders than you can handle

- You're consistently running out of stock

- You don't have enough space left to store all of your inventory

- Your employees are starting to feel overwhelmed

- Your business is booming away, and you're about to scale it to a higher level

If any of these sounds familiar, do yourself a favor — Stop doing everything on your own and start looking for a fulfillment provider.

How Much Does It Cost To Outsource Order Fulfillment?

The cost of outsourcing your order fulfillment may vary depending on the company you use and the services you need.

Typically, you will be charged a monthly fee for the storage, as well as a per-order fee for each order that is fulfilled. The per-order fee will, of course, vary depending on the size and weight of your orders.

You may also be charged for Value-Added-Services(VAS), such as labeling, gift wrap service, repacking and returns processing, etc.

Worried about hidden fees when you just started?

Here at Stork Up, we believe in being upfront and transparent about our pricing. However, unlike some companies, we don't believe in charging hidden fees; for example, there is no such a so-called "Installation fee" (some may charge a fee for setting up an account with them) or "Exit fee" (when you terminate the service).

With Stork Up, You can be confident that the price you're quoted is the price you'll pay and the service you'll get.

To get an idea of how much it will cost to outsource your order fulfillment, contact us for a free quote.

Conclusion

Outsourcing your order fulfillment is a big decision for any business. But it is surely a great way to save time and money, improve customer satisfaction, and expand your reach.

Now that you know what to look for in a fulfillment provider, it's time to do your research! And if you're looking for a reliable and reputable order fulfillment company in Hong Kong, look no further than Stork Up.

We offer competitive pricing, fast shipping times, and a range of value-added services to support your eCommerce business.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your business to a whole new level.

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