Order Fulfillment Services
Order fulfillment services handle key areas of your fulfillment process, such as inventory management, order packing and shipping task for your ecommerce business. Outsourcing your order fulfillment services can help you focus more on developing products, marketing and other key tasks that will help you grow sales.
As you’re looking to hire the best order fulfillment service you can, there’s a few key things you’ll want to do to make sure you find order fulfillment services that meet your company’s needs and goals.
Best Ecommerce Fulfillment
If online selling is a major sales channel in your business, you’re going to want an order fulfillment services that specializes in ecommerce fulfillment.
You’ll also want ecommerce order fulfillment services that integrate with your ecommerce software. You’re going to need to make sure your order fulfillment services provider has the specific integration you need.
Here at Thill, our order management software works with all the popular ecommerce platforms.
Comparing Fulfillment Services
One thing you need to know now is that order fulfillment service providers differ a lot in their pricing models.
Even so, here’s the typical order fulfillment services you can expect.
- Receiving: $0-$35 Per Shipment
- Pick And Pack: $0-$5 Per Order
- Inventory Storage: $1.00-$40 per SKU/Month
- Shipping: 30-50% off Average Rates
Order Fulfillment Services Cost Variations
- Receiving: Per received pallet (LTL), per truckload (FTL), per shipment, per container, per parcel.
- Pick And Pack: Per quantity of ordered items, per order value, per packed box, per dimension and per weight.
- Inventory Storage: Per SKU, per shelf space, per full pallet, per 1/2 pallet, per 1/4 pallet, per cubic foot, seasonal fees.
- Shipping: Based on parcel size, weight, quantity of parcels in order, volume discounts.
Matching Order Fulfillment Services With Your Goals And Needs
Just as your business likely has a specific niche you specialize in, so does fulfillment companies. Some fulfillment service providers focus on working with a certain sized company while others handle products that require special handling.
Some order fulfillment services may focus on apparel, they may also offer valued added services for that specific niche too. Another fulfillment company may specialize in products that have special storage needs or have a shelf life, such as perishable foods.
Working with the right order fulfillment services can help give your company the logistics advantage you’re looking for.
Ecommerce And Marketplace Integrations
Most fulfillment companies do offer ecommerce integrations. As you read above, Thill integrates with some of the biggest ecommerce platforms in the world, such as Shopify, Bigcommerce and WooCommerce.
Thill also has marketplace integrations, like Amazon and Ebay. These ecommerce and marketplace integrations are very important as product orders go directly to your fulfillment company as soon as customers place an order.
Batch Shipping And Crowdfunding Fulfillment
Long-term storage fees can be costly for a new start-up business. For those of you that may have just finished a KickStarter crowdfunding campaign, it’s likely you may have a lot of orders that need to be filled at one-time.
Here at Thill, we specialize in crowdfunding fulfillment.
Volume Requirements For Order Fulfillment Services
Partnering with a fulfillment company, you’re going to get a partner that plays a key role in your logistics. While hiring the right fulfillment company is important to you, it’s equally important to the fulfillment provider.
Due to the fact that most fulfillment companies don’t have upfront fees, they’re making an investment in the clients they choose to work with. After all, a fulfillment company needs to make sure they’re profitable too, so most of them do have requirements that must be met.
Minimum And Maximum SKUs
One of the most common requirements that fulfillment providers have is minimum and maximum SKUs. If you don’t know what SKU means, it stands for stock keeping unit. In essence, every unique item that’s stocked by a fulfillment center is considered to have an unique SKU.
SKUs are important for accurate inventory management and storage. For example, let’s say you have 10 jackets, but each style is available in 10 different colors and 10 different sizes. In this scenario, you’d have 1,000 SKUs. In this case, you’d need 1,000 storage units in your warehouse to stock them.
Another great example to use is apparel retailers. These companies sell thousands of different products that come in many styles, sizes and colors. One company can have tens of thousands of SKUs that the high SKU fulfillment company must accurately track.
Minimum Orders Required
Another common requirement that order fulfillment services often have is called minimum orders required. Most fulfillment companies prefer to work with clients that average at least 100+ orders per month.
While that’s not a requirement for all fulfillment providers, many of the top order fulfillment companies do have rules in place like this. All in all, it’ll be your task to ask potential fulfillment companies you plan to hire what requirements they may or may not have.
As you can see, finding the right fulfillment company can drastically improve the performance and sales of your business. If you’re using self-fulfillment now and your business is growing, outsourcing your fulfillment process can give you the extra time and resources you need to focus on other areas of your business.