Is your business spending too much time picking and packing customer orders when there are other areas you’d instead be focusing on? If so, it might be time to consider outsourcing to a dedicated order fulfilment service. Perhaps you’re wondering what exactly an order fulfilment service is and not sure where to begin? Worry not – in this article we’ll answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision about your business’s order fulfilment needs. 

What is Fulfilment Service?

Put, a fulfilment service is a third-party warehouse that packs and ships orders to your customers. Stages of the order fulfilment process include the receipt of goods into the warehouse, storage, the picking and packing of said goods and, finally, the safe delivery of the rights to the customer. It may sound straightforward, but the order fulfilment process can become quite a time consuming for businesses. This is why many choose to outsource the process to a team of dedicated experts. Using a fulfilment service can save you time and allow you to focus on other priority areas of your business. 

What Do Fulfilment Services Cost?

Order fulfilment costs can vary from company to company. At Pointbid, we provide a bespoke service to all of our clients and tailor pricing specific to your eCommerce setup. Although most UK fulfilment companies will charge a flat monthly storage fee, they then may charge several additional fees once an order has been shipped. Pointbid, however, is open and transparent with our pricing and do not charge any management or integration fees. Our costs are affordable, ensuring excellent value for money and all pricing is subject to volume, movement of orders, SKU levels and items held. Due to its efficiency and affordability, using a fulfilment service could be more profitable and can help promote the growth of e-commerce businesses. For full details about our pricing, please head on over to our pricing page. 

How Do Fulfilment Services Work?

For any e-commerce business, orders are of the highest importance to both you and your customers. Order fulfilment services can quickly take care of the preparation and shipping of all your customer orders, ensuring that everyone is delighted. 

The fulfilment process consists of the following:

Goods in

Your products are sent to the fulfilment centre or warehouse in which they are due to be stored.

Warehousing

When your goods are received, we are able to securely store them in the warehouse.

Pick and Pack

As soon as an order comes through, the team at the warehouse/fulfilment centre assemble all of your goods into one package.

It’s worth noting that fulfilment companies like ourselves offer specialised packaging services to cater to individual customer requirements.

Shipping 

Couriers are often used to send parcels directly to the consumers home. Choosing a company which operate seven days a week and work with couriers who accept same day dispatch, late cut-offs and collections, guarantees that your customers will receive their orders promptly.

Returns

The return process is when unwanted goods, for reasons often relating to quality & damages are returned back to the warehouse. Choosing a company which offer a returns management service can help provide a smooth transition when it comes to returned goods. At Pointbid, our returns labels, top quality carriers and re-packaging service make the returns process as stress-free as possible. 

With all of the above-taken care of, you may be worried that outsourcing fulfilment means that you will be out of the loop when it comes to monitoring your stock and inventory management. At Pointbid, you can view all the facts and figures under one roof with our online web portal. The portal helps to provide live tracking, up to date inventory data and a comprehensive set of reports to ensure you are always in the know. 

Should I Use Fulfilment Services for My Start-up Business?

Still unsure if all of this is right for you? There are several key benefits for companies, particularly start-up businesses, to outsource their order fulfilment. Some of the advantages are as follows:

Save time

Time is precious, especially for a start-up business. The ultimate benefit of outsourcing fulfilment is that it allows you and your team to focus on other high priority areas of your company. Taking advantage of fulfilment services can give you the chance to dedicate more time to your marketing strategy, for example, rather than to pack and shipping orders. 

Save money

Outsourcing your order fulfilment requirements can be a cost-effective solution for your business. When it comes to picking, packing and shipping, you only pay for what you use. Fulfilment services like ourselves provide a seven-day service and same day dispatch, which guarantees super-speedy deliveries to your customers. Choosing a company with this level of efficiency and a wide range of bespoke services is a wise investment for a start-up business. Why not leave the process to a dedicated team of experts so you can focus on other areas of your business?

Guidance

As a start-up business, it can be a daunting thought to outsource your order fulfilment to another company. At Pointbid, you have the opportunity to work with a dedicated account manager to assist with the planning of sales campaigns. This arrangement ensures that you are always kept informed, have consistent communication with us and can seek guidance whenever necessary.

Keep track

It’s imperative that your business is kept in the loop when it comes to the vital facts and figures of your orders. Therefore, you must choose a fulfilment service which offers an online web portal like ourselves. Monitor your stock and inventory management all under one roof. Online portals help to provide live tracking, up to date inventory data and a comprehensive set of reports to ensure you are always in the know. 

Should I Use Fulfilment Services for My SME Business?

It’s not just about start-up businesses. Fulfilment services are also an ideal solution for small to medium-sized enterprises. 

Expansion 

With any business, the aim is always to expand and take yourself to the next level. As an SME, order fulfilment services can help expand your customer reach. You no longer need to restrict your shipping locations. Confidently ship your goods to customers abroad with fast, worldwide shipping. 

Flexibility

Choose a fulfilment service who are able to integrate a variety of sales channels and platforms. So, whether you’re on Amazon, eBay or Shopify, you can be confident that your platform will work seamlessly with your order fulfilment offering. 

Bespoke service

Different businesses have different requirements. You must choose a fulfilment service which can cater to your individual needs. At Pointbid, we offer a variety of specialist packaging services. Whether your goods need re-labelling or completely re-packaging, we conform to your requirements, ensuring your products meet the needs of your customers. 

Customer Service

It goes without saying that efficient e-commerce fulfilment can boost your customer service ratings. Customers want their goods as soon as possible, so with cost-effective shipping, same-day despatch and appropriate packaging, your customers will be more than satisfied with their timely deliveries.

Hopefully, this article has now given you an understanding of what fulfilment services are and how outsourcing fulfilment can have several benefits on your business. If you have any further queries or would like to know more about our services, please give us a call on 0121 326 7368 or email paulkirk@pointbidlogistics.com

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