Self-Fulfillment is self explanatory but it refers to doing your own order fulfillment. There’s nothing wrong with fulfilling your own orders. If you have warehouse space and the talent to fulfill orders, you can have a seamless fulfillment process in place. Perhaps your order fulfillment process is amazing and you have it dialed in, why worry? Why think about changing your order fulfillment strategy?
If you see continued success in your business, there will come a day when your self-fulfillment will be maxed out. While that’s a great problem to have, it still is a big problem. What would happen if you received a bulk of orders while you’re already maxed out with your self-fulfillment?
Unfortunately, things can get bad quick. You may run out of product, you may not be able to keep up with demand or your self-fulfillment process gets strained to the bring of breaking. What would it do to your business if you weren’t able to get to your new orders? What happens if shipments go out a day or two late?
That’s the risk and concern your business has on a daily routine doing your own self-fulfillment.
If Not Self-Fulfillment, What?
As we said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with doing your own fulfillment. With that said, you need a plan in place now to handle the growth of your business or growing demand.
If you don’t have the extra warehouse space or additional team, your company is going to be limited. You’re going to be limited to growing, you’re going to be limited to demand.
If you don’t want to fall into this trap, you need to start making plans today.
Outsourcing Your Order Fulfillment To A 3PL Company
One of the easiest ways to solve your fulfillment problem is by outsourcing your fulfillment to a 3PL (third-party-logistics) company. 3PLs specialize in order fulfillment and distribution. Many 3PLs allow you to outsource some of your fulfillment or all of your order fulfillment, what ever makes the most sense to your scenario.
Many 3PL companies specialize in specific niches and industries. Let’s use Thill as an example. While we help companies of all sizes and industries, we specialize in ecommerce order fulfillment. One of the industries we serve is subscription box fulfillment. Subscription box order fulfillment is specialized and takes a specific process to fulfill properly.
This is important because when you’re considering hiring a 3PL company, you want to make sure they have the capabilities that your specific industry needs as it pertains to your fulfillment.
Value Added Services
Another thing you need to keep in mind is potential valued added services that the 3PL company you hire may or may not be able to provide.
Many 3PL services include value added services, which gives you additional services and support for your special needs.
When you’re evaluating a 3PL company to partner with, make sure you ask about their valued added services and see if they match your needs.
Order Management Software
When choosing between 3PLs, you’re going to want to make sure that they have the right order management software that will integrate with your ecommerce platform.
Here at Thill, we have popular ecommerce platforms that are order management software integrates with to give you real-time data and analytics. You need this because you want to see your real-time sales and data.
You can find some of our main ecommerce integrations below.
For those of you doing self-fulfillment, outsourced 3PL fulfillment can help you drastically reduce your shipping cost. 3PLs can usually cut your shipping cost in half due to their strategically place fulfillment centers and distribution networks.
If you’re doing your own shipping now, you know just how costly shipping can be.
Your Order Fulfillment Process
Outsourcing your company’s order fulfillment process is a big decision. The good thing, you can choose to outsource all of your fulfillment or just parts of your order fulfillment.
None the less, you must be prepared.
The last thing you want is to jeopardize your great customer experience.
One great night in sales is more than enough to hurt you.