When Should I Start Outsourcing Fulfillment?

Three tell-tale signs it might be time for your small business to start outsourcing fulfillment
start outsourcing fulfillment

Here at Shipping School, we’re all huge fans of using in-house fulfillment for your eCommerce business. However, keeping fulfillment under your roof can become tougher as your business grows. That’s no reason to get bummed out, though! At the end of the day, too many orders is a good problem to have. If this is the case, there are benefits to outsourcing fulfillment that can meet your business’ needs. Here are three signs it might be time for your business to start outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider.

Your Business Experiences Cyclical or Uneven Sales

Sometimes the number of orders your business receives can fluctuate throughout the year. If this is the case, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to run and staff a warehouse full-time. Warehousing your products costs money—even if your sales are in a lull period. A third-party logistics provider can adapt to your needs, and you won’t have to pay to maintain a warehouse.

You Don’t Have Enough Time

Time is money, people! If you’re so busy fulfilling orders that you don’t have time to focus on other core aspects of your business, it’s probably time to start outsourcing fulfillment. You need to devote time to sales, marketing, and customer service if you want your E-commerce business to be successful. Outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL can help you do just that.

You’re Outgrowing Your Infrastructure

If your E-commerce business is experiencing rapid growth, you might outgrow your current infrastructure before you can adapt. While growth is a good thing, sometimes it’s hard for newer small businesses to keep up. When you outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistics provider, they’ll be better equipped to quickly adapt to changes so you can keep focusing on doing what you do best: running your business.

Think Carefully Before You Start Outsourcing Fulfillment

Here’s a quick piece of advice: don’t start outsourcing fulfillment too quickly! We believe it’s crucial to take care of fulfillment yourself at first—especially for new E-commerce business owners. By keeping fulfillment in-house for as long as possible, you gain hands-on experience, a better perspective on how fulfillment works, and you learn first-hand what your business needs to function properly. Most importantly, it gives you knowledge that makes communicating with a 3PL much easier when the time eventually does come for you to start outsourcing fulfillment.


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