Seasonal demand and special offers can be a boon to many companies, but sometimes they can cause more problems than they solve. If a young company runs a promotion and finds themselves unable to keep up with customer demand, then it can seriously damage their reputation. This is where ecommerce fulfilment and mailing fulfilment outsourcing services can come in useful.
For a small company, a surge in demand at a specific time of year causes many logistical problems. If the demand is expected, then it could be possible to hire staff on a short term contract basis to pick up the slack, but what if you don’t have a big enough office to house the extra staff? What if you don’t know roughly what the demand will be like? Using an external ecommerce fulfilment or mailing fulfilment outsourcing service can help with this.
An ecommerce fulfilment company should already have enough office space and staff to cope with all but the biggest mailing fulfilment campaigns. They work with several companies, and have procedures in place to handle high-demand projects with ease. For short term campaigns, or sudden spikes in demand, it makes a lot of sense to use a flexible ecommerce fulfilment contract. When demand drops to a more usual level, you can either bring your mailing fulfilment back in-house, or continue using the outsourcing service on a reduced plan.
This avoids issues where customer service could suffer because your existing staff set up is unable to cope with the large volume of orders. Just think of the number of times you’ve seen a company appear on Watchdog or a similar program because they took thousands of orders and were unable to deliver the right product, on time, or cope with returns, complaints, or queries from the sudden influx of customers. It’s easy enough to avoid falling prey to such problems if you are able to respond rapidly to changes in demand.
By avoiding the issue of having to rent new office space, and find, interview, and hire new staff, you should save a lot of time and money. It’s vital to be able to move quickly in today’s economic climate, and if you are comfortable in the knowledge that your company can respond to changes in demand, you open up the possibility of responding to popular trends and gaps in the market in a way that a less agile company would struggle to do.
The extra flexibility offered by ecommerce fulfilment is too useful to ignore for most companies. You do not have to give up control of your brand to take advantage of mailing fulfilment services, and combined with other outsourcing options (such as support, billing, or sales), you have the potential to focus your own work on the specific aspects of your company that make it unique. After all, you built your company on your product – not how quickly you can package and post it! Remember that, and your company will thrive.
James Harper wrote this post on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. James writes on many subjects relating to business and has experience of outsourcing services and the benefits this freedom can bring to organisations of all sizes.