Choosing the right partner can make or break your company’s logistics, customer service, and repeat purchases. Using a fulfillment center like Shipfusion frees you from navigating the fulfillment landscape with zero stress. Below are some insights on how Shipfusion can take your business to the next level.
Finding the perfect 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company to handle all your fulfillment and shipping needs can be stressful, but deciding on whether or not to use multiple locations for your inventory doesn’t need to be. Most people think that by choosing to house inventory in multiple warehouses, you’re choosing to multiply hassles as well. The truth of the matter is that when you choose a single 3PL with multiple locations for your inventory and fulfillment needs, it comes with many advantages. Let’s take a look at ten of the benefits you reap by choosing to spread out your fulfillment center services for your eCommerce brand.
1. Better customer service.
If there is anything a customer loves more than a fabulous product, it’s a fabulous product that ships out super fast. Most customers, regardless of the shipping time chosen at checkout expect a quick ship time. It’s a proven fact that the quicker a customer can get their order, the happier they will be. It is easier to offer a free 2-day shipping option if you have products spread out in major hubs in the US, not only allowing for your company to possibly offer a free 2-day shipping option but to also save while doing so. Happy customers are repeat customers.
2. Spread risk in emergency situations.
Some things are just completely out of a business owner’s control and one of those things is bad weather or natural disasters. You can minimize your risk by spreading inventory among several distribution centers and in the event of a hurricane, flooding, tornadoes, snowstorms, or similar situations, you won’t have all your inventory eggs in a single basket. It’s always smart to have backup inventory in other locations. Just in case.
3. Lower shipping costs with fulfillment center.
One of the best benefits is being able to drive down shipping costs by using several different warehouses to house your eCommerce inventory. The truth of the matter is that shipping is crazy expensive and ask any small business owner and they can tell you that not only is it one of their main pain points, but they also dread that annual USPS shipping rate hike. Right now if you ship a box from a warehouse in Florida to a customer in California, it’s going to cost you dearly. Ship that same box to the same customer but instead from a warehouse on the west coast and you’re looking at major savings. Multiply those several dollars you will save by lots of customers and you will be saving a small fortune in shipping costs.
4. Possibility to offer a pick up option.
Hey, hear me out. You would be surprised to find out how many customers are willing to drive thirty minutes or more to pick up their order if they get it the next day and save a $10 shipping charge. Seriously. Not only that, but it also makes the customer feel like your company is somewhat “local” and more approachable because they get to put a physical location to the online name of your business. A pickup option can be a definite plus. A ton of customers may not choose it, but some definitely will. There are always a few in every crowd.
5. Primed for growth.
There is nothing worse in business than growing pains. Okay, so there may be a few things we could imagine as being worse, but going through a growth spurt and not feeling ready for it definitely tops the list. If you have inventory spread out in several locations and also have a super intuitive inventory system in place, you are for sure primed for growth. You don’t have to worry about outgrowing a single warehouse because you have space available and systems in place. The sky’s the limit. Well, the fulfillment center roof is, but you understand what we’re saying.
6. Competitive advantage.
A competitive advantage in eCommerce is always a good thing. Putting your products in front of customers in several different areas gives your company a foothold of sorts. Instead of being the first company to gain traction in your given niche in one area, it is always better to have that advantage in several areas. Now, when you grow, expand, and branch out, you already have several areas where you can count on customers recognizing your brand. If you’re also giving great shipping rates and fabulous customer service as well, you’ll have an edge over your competitors.
7. Reduction in returned goods.
Depending on what types of products you ship out to your customers, choosing to spread your inventory among several locations may help you reduce the number of items that are returned to your company. For example, if you ship candy, chocolate, or any food items, this may pertain to you. Or perhaps you ship candles or things that may melt if left out in the heat too long. The quicker shipping times as a result of choosing multiple fulfillment centers will absolutely come in handy here. Just think about all the loss you can prevent your company if your items arrive quicker because they have fewer transit times. Every small business needs to be sure to prevent product and revenue loss. Cutting down the number of goods returned is a good step in this direction.
8. Take advantage of quality control using a fulfillment center.
Another advantage we can chat about is quality control. With more eyeballs on your product and more people looking out for the integrity of how your product is handled and shipped, the more you can rest easy that you don’t have to worry about mistakes being made. Let’s say you have a large shipment of a product come in and is sent to several different warehouses. Warehouse number one doesn’t notice anything wrong and packs up and ships out a thousand customer orders. Warehouse number two is in the middle of packing out when they notice a flaw in the design or your product. They halt fulfillment and let you know. Thanks to a second entire set of eyes in warehouse number two you are able to halt shipping in all of the warehouses, saving yourself a true boatload of cash in returns, shipping, and let’s not even mention the upset customer emails. Sure 1000 packages slipped through the cracks, but if you shipped 1000 packages from 5 different warehouses, you saved yourself 4000 more problems.
9. Better control over inventory counts.
Inventory. Oh, inventory. Any 3PL company worth their salt had better have an intuitive and accurate inventory management system in place. And when you choose one that has several locations, likely you get great inventory management as a bonus. You’re welcome. We cannot express how important keeping super accurate tabs on inventory counts is to you and your small business. A small mistake could cause large consequences and that’s not something any of us want to see happen. Housing your inventory with a great 3PL like Shipfusion will help with that.
10. Fulfillment center helps you to lower shipping on inbound products.
Besides shipping costs to get your products into the hands of your customers, there is another shipping cost you have to take into consideration when running your business. And that is having your manufactured products shipped to the fulfillment center. Let’s look at this from a single shipment’s perspective. You have a wonderful new product for your customers that was exclusively designed and manufactured by a company based out of St. Louis. Your main fulfillment center is in Los Angeles. It’s going to cost you an arm and a leg to ship all those pallets across the country. Now, imagine your 3PL had locations with your inventory in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto. You can choose to send all your special inventory to the Chicago location and save yourself and your small business a lot of cash.
Whether talking about customer satisfaction, lowering shipping costs, reducing inventory risks, or even cornering a market, choosing to go wide in your distribution locations is something you should seriously consider. When you are bombarded with running the day-to-day tasks of growing your business all while trying to keep it running smoothly, don’t let inventory and fulfillment trip you up. That’s what we’re here for. Let Shipfusion help you manage your inventory and take care of all your shipping needs. You can do what you do best while we do what we do best.
Now you can finally get that full night’s rest you’ve been needing.
You’re in good hands with Shipfusion
Shipfusion sets your business on autopilot and combines flexible, reliable fulfillment with powerful, real-time technology. Shipfusion has multiple fulfillment centers across the US and Canada– making it easy to manage your eCommerce business. For more information on how to set your business on autopilot, contact one of our fulfillment center specialists today.