These are Brian Schoenbaechler's ramblings, rants, and raves about his life trying to grow his Small Business.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Advantages Of Hiring A Third Party Logistics Service

The benefits of flexibility and efficiency to using a contract warehouse are well known in the industry, but less well known are the additional fulfillment services that can be provided by the warehouse staff. On the East Coast, an Atlanta warehouse can provide expert fulfillment services. In fact, Atlanta Fulfillment services can save your business large amounts of time, space, and money. The most outstanding benefit of using a contract warehouse for your fulfillment tasks is that it allows you to concentrate on other key areas of your business. That is, you can do the things you do well and let someone else do the things that they are good at. (It’s kind of like hiring a cleaning service to do your housework so that you can spend time with the kids.)

A sales model that is best suited to outsourced fulfillment services is ecommerce. When selling a product over the Internet, you probably want to concentrate your efforts on the product and want nothing to do with the nitty-gritty details of storing and shipping. As business takes off, you can avoid the need to acquire warehouse space and hire warehouse staff by setting up a relationship with a fulfillment warehouse. Maybe you want to start selling your wares on the other side of the ocean—Atlantic or Pacific. In this case, you can just make a single shipment to your overseas fulfillment warehouse and let them do the work of storing, packaging, and shipping your foreign orders.

Here is some advice on what to look for during the selection process. First, choose a fulfillment service with flexibility. As you start out as a small startup company, you may require just a pallet or shelf in the warehouse. Then, as your sales increase and your business grows; this flexible service can provide you with the additional space that you require. Next, look at the services that are actually provided. Look for a service that will receive your products, store them securely, package them professionally, and ship your orders out immediately and transparently. Who are your customers? Will your fulfillment service put together small orders for consumers as well as processing bigger orders for business-to-business customers? If you can find a fulfillment service that does all of these things, make sure that they will treat your customers as if they were their own. Their work ethos would have a direct effect on your company’s reputation with your customers.

If you are an individual, you have most likely viewed the commercials on television that try to intrigue you with promises of astronomical income by setting up an ecommerce web site to sell goods that you never touch. A warehouse and fulfillment service is the key to this concept. You may not want to rely on the selection of product provided by these hucksters, but you can apply the concept on your own. All you need to do is find a business with a product to sell, set up a web site, and work to promote your web site using search engine optimization techniques. Then, your job is to create a stunning site and keep it at the top of the search engines.


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