In the life cycle of every business, there comes a point when certain decisions just don’t make sense anymore: doing your own accounting, sweeping your own floor, answering your own calls, etc. Is it because those tasks are beneath you? No, it’s because those are jobs that can easily
be outsourced, leaving you to take care of the big picture.
Order fulfillment is no different. If you’re still on the floor putting items in boxes and taping them up and driving them to the post office, then allow me to make a case as to why you should stop…immediately.
1. It’s Unpredictable
Every business is prone to their own peaks and valleys, and spending six hours today fulfilling packages and two hours tomorrow is not an efficient use of your time. What were to happen if a major business emergency coincided with a peak time of fulfillment? Which would you choose?
2. It’s Short-Sighted
If you want your store to grow, that is going to mean constant idea generation, testing, and other decisions that have to be made – none of which will be made while you’re spending your time fulfilling orders. Your business needs you in the driver’s seat; otherwise, it’ll stall in a short period of time.
3. It’s Cheap
There are all sorts of ways to cut corners in a business (and I would encourage you to look for as many as you can find), but bringing your order fulfillment in-house should not be one of them. Once you factor in what it costs your business per hour to put you on the floor doing fulfillment, it’s much more expensive than simply using a service.
4. It’s Limiting
In your world, you can only sell what you can ship, so you will always be limited in the size, shape, and, most importantly quantity of items. A fulfillment service can handle hundreds or thousands of orders per hour, leaving you free to take care of the important things, like growing your business.