If there’s one thing we know a thing or two about here at Huboo HQ, it’s packing boxes. We’re also understandably passionate about growing our business, and we’re in the fortunate position of knowing that the more boxes we pack, the more we grow our business. If you’re a budding online seller, the equation isn’t quite so simple. Every time you or your staff pack a box, that’s potentially time wasted picking and packing, when you could be thinking about more creative ways of growing your business instead. As an online business grows, there always comes a point when a decision needs to be made on the eternal question, one packed with Shakespearean gravitas; to outsource fulfilment, or not to outsource fulfilment, that is the question!
If a reliable and inexpensive options exists, we think outsourcing nearly always makes a whole load of sense, but there really is a lot to think about when it comes to deciding what to do you with your future fulfilment service; what do I need to look out for when speaking to potential options? And how do I make sure that I get the best deal possible? Some of you might even be thinking, what even is fulfilment!? Therefore, that seems like the logical place to start.
What even is fulfilment?
Order fulfilment is everything that happens between the point of sale and the product arriving into the hands of the customer. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to ensuring a smooth delivery of any online order, with a lot going on behind the fulfilment curtain that you might not have even considered before.
From the receiving of the online order, through to the picking and packing and eventual postage, there is a tremendous amount of man-power and technical computer wizardry that goes into making the whole process as smooth as possible.
Fulfilment needs can vary widely depending on the company in
question, and companies fulfilling both in-house and outsourcing need to come
up with optimal solutions to maximise their margins and serve their customers. Being
able to ascertain the most effective method of fulfilment to suit their needs
is what gives some companies an edge over their competitors. But there are a
few things that every fulfilment centre should offer. Understanding these
basics can help you separate the wheat from the chaff; and you can then begin
to understand how you can utilise fulfilment best and implement a system that
gives your business a competitive edge.
How does fulfilment work?
Put simply, fulfilment starts when you sign up; your sales channels will be integrated with the inventory software and you will start onboarding your products onto the system. Make sure to ask about the cost of any new integrations you need. Some fulfilment services will recognise all new integrations are investments worth making and build them for free; others will lump you with a hefty bill. This applies for a host of other services a fulfilment service might offer. Make sure you ask, and double check, exactly what you are paying for (checking-in, storage, packing, tracked services and more), and then triple check to make sure there are no other hidden fees!
Once your goods are in the warehouse and stored, ready for order, then it is just a case of getting the orders to come through your channels. Once the orders are made then it is down to the warehouse staff to pick, pack, and post off your orders. If you have any special packaging requirements, this can be worked into your fulfilment deal as well.
Is it right for me and my business?
We think outsourcing fulfilment is a worthwhile expansion and should cut your costs. Having a professional and trustworthy fulfilment partner can take a tremendous amount of pressure off your business, streamline your customer experience, and be a key partner in growing your business further. Not only this, but it means you only pay in line with your current business needs and don’t need to invest in your warehouse and staff that you’re then tied into if orders take a temporary dip. Likewise, if you need to scale quick due to growing sales, outsourced fulfilment can keep up with growing demand better than your own warehouse.
Deciding on whether to outsource fulfilment is correct for you comes down to a few things. How you feel about your current fulfilment situation is a big one. If you are currently doing it all yourself and can see growth coming to your business in the very near future, then looking into a good fulfilment deal could well be one of the best things you do for your business.
Similarly, outsourcing a huge portion of your business could just help things run smoother, and take the pressure off you and your business; maybe right now you’re not forecasting huge growth, but outsourcing fulfilment could be the catalyst to make it happen soon, by freeing up your time. With the safe knowledge that all your orders are being managed, there is just more time for you to focus on other areas of your business and, indeed, your life.
Depending on your numbers, though, you might have previously struggled to outsource fulfilment, as the traditional providers were only interested in big sales volumes. That’s why at Huboo we recognised there is a real need for fulfilment services tailored towards the sellers who don’t yet sell thousands upon thousands a month. That’s why we’ve built a reliable and cost-effective solution that works for sellers of any size.
Where does Huboo fit into this?
Huboo is a multi-channel fulfilment service made for sellers, by sellers. Huboo has a fulfilment model that works for companies of all shapes and sizes, no matter how small, or how big. With transparent pricing, no unexpected costs and no-fee integrations, Huboo offers numerous benefits to its sellers. Huboo is designed to give sellers a cost-effective solution to fulfilment that allows them to grow their business.
What makes Huboo so different is the fact that people are the centre of the business. The warehouse space has broken down into an ecosystem of connected ‘hubs’, with dedicated hub managers who work closely with clients, enabling them to personally speak with the team picking and packing their products. Also, account managers are familiar with their client’s inventory and are only a phone call away, giving fulfilment the human touch that it has so often lacked.
If you are a small seller curious about the potential of fulfilment, or perhaps an established retailer frustrated with their current set-up, then all it takes is a phone call to Huboo. Safe in the knowledge that we can handle any size and scale, it is a fantastic place to start for you to find out what fulfilment can do for you and your business. You can visit our website here!
This is a guest post by our new fulfilment partner, who offer reliable and inexpensive fulfilment services to companies of all sizes. They have put together this guide on what to look-out for when considering outsourcing fulfilment and an introduction to how their service is different to the other options out there.