The end of the year is prime time for planning, budgeting, and evaluating your processes, and that includes analyzing your product fulfillment. Looking back at how your company is processing, warehousing, and sending out orders is the best way to not only see if there are any improvements to be made, but also if the system in place now really is the best solution.
Whether your process is in-house or outsourced, you can do this by taking a few minutes to think about the various aspects of your product fulfillment listed below.
If you’re managing the entire process of getting your goods to your customers yourself, examining the following areas will show you what’s working as well as opportunities for improvement.
- Performance – How effective are your operations? If you have the data, look at the number of late deliveries, customer complaints, and employee turnover and brainstorm ways to reduce the numbers.
- Cost – Think about warehouse rent, employee wages, software licensing, machinery, packaging, and shipping. Is there any area where you could cut costs without sacrificing quality? Are you actually saving money with in-house fulfillment?
- Time – Consider time spent on daily management, but also on hiring and training, managing inventory, and even details like ordering supplies. Compare the amount of attention spent on product fulfillment versus the cost savings from doing it yourself to decide if outsourcing would make more sense.
- Scalability – If business expands or contracts, do you have the ability to scale your fulfillment process with it?
After analyzing these areas, you should have a multifaceted view of how well your in-house fulfillment really works and what you can do to improve it in 2016.
If you’ve hired another company to completely handle fulfillment, do a performance review for them like you would for any other employee. Your review can include any metric you’d like, but the factors discussed for in-house fulfillment can also give you a comprehensive perspective of how well your provider is working out and whether changes need to be made.
- Performance – In addition to considering customer complaints and late orders, ask yourself about your relationship with the company. Have they handled your work well, been flexible when needed, or gone above and beyond? A quality provider can make or break the success of your fulfillment, so it’s worth thinking about critically.
- Cost – Weigh the cost of your provider against other providers as well as against the money you could spend or save doing fulfillment yourself. Remember that time is also a significant cost that should be considered for every option.
- Time – A fulfillment vendor should save you time to focus on your business, not cost you time. If you find yourself regularly working out problems with them, it’s time to consider a change.
- Scalability – Does your provider offer you flexibility for how much warehouse space you need at any given time with varying volumes of orders at different times of the year? Considering whether this vendor is meeting your needs in this area can help ensure you’re fully receiving this significant advantage to outsourcing.
Taking an in-depth look at how your company is going about your product fulfillment might take some time, but it’s a worthwhile investment. You’ll gain insights that will make your processes in 2016 more efficient, cost-effective, and profitable for your business.
Ready to save time and money by outsourcing your product fulfillment? Contact us today by calling 214-373-1999 or filling out an online form.