10 Reasons to Outsource
Outsourcing Your Fulfillment Operations
Today, outsourcing your fulfillment operations has become the rule, not the exception. As competition for consumer dollars continues to rise, companies must find ways to increase sales and market share while cutting costs. There are many ways fulfillment companies can help businesses reduce overhead and shift expenditures into sales and marketing efforts. Below are 10 strategic advantages we can bring to your growing business.
Experience & Innovation
A deep understanding of the fulfillment industry is one of the most valuable assets EchoData brings to each and every customer relationship. With over 100 years of combined fulfillment expertise, EchoData’s team members have the knowledge and background to take on your most complex programs. We are constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to drive process improvements in all areas of our business. These enhancements drive efficiency, accuracy and cost savings for our customers.
Smart Inventory Management
Inventory management is about balance. Too little inventory can risk stock out situations, leading to delays in turn times or lost sales. Too much inventory can increase your storage and carrying costs, leaving you with excess stock that does not move. EchoData works closely with customers to develop unique strategies for optimizing their inventory. Analyzing usage will determine which products are moving and which products are just sitting on the shelf. Setting up mix/max inventory levels with automated alerts can optimize your on-hand inventory, enabling you to make critical decisions on purchase or reorder quantities.
Whether you’re shipping B2B or B2C, order accuracy goes a long way in saving money and increasing customer satisfaction. We drive accuracy levels to over 99.8% for your business, employing advanced technology such as item bar-code scanning, automated business rules, proper material handling and ongoing process improvement. Ship it right the first time and you can avoid costly returns or dissatisfied customers.
Managing Peaks and Valleys
In today’s market, customers demand same or next-day shipping, which can pose a challenge for in-house operations with limited staffing. This becomes more evident as order volume increases. We optimize labor planning, employ temporary labor pools and draw from multiple staffing agencies. In addition, EchoData cross trains team members in order to provide flexible staffing across departments. It all comes down to having the right processes and systems in place to manage both the peaks and valleys.
Product returns are a key component of the back-end logistics process. Experienced fulfillment companies work with clients to establish a set of customized rules for the disposition of returned products to minimize costs and provide immediate credits or reships. EchoData will work with clients to establish a clearly communicated, solid returns policy that can lead to a more positive brand experience and repeat business.
Experienced Resources, On Demand
The key to strategic growth is having on-demand scalable resources available to meet the needs of your expanding business. Incrementally paying for this scalability through a fulfillment partner will keep cash on hand rather than tying up critical resources. These resources – financial or otherwise – should be fueling the sales, marketing and development of your business rather than being consumed by fixed overhead or inefficient processes.
Fulfillment companies positioned in the Northeast corridor are within 1-3 days of ground shipping for over 65 percent of the US population. This can significantly lower transit time for many customers, while also reducing shipping expenditures. EchoData takes it a step further with West Coast and European partners to provide strategic distribution points directly into those markets.
Experienced fulfillment partners like EchoData already employ sophisticated systems, which out of the gate are positioned to support the needs of your business. Development of an in-house system from the ground up can come at a high cost while requiring on-site IT staff to provide ongoing maintenance and updates. Backup and redundancy plans are also important to keeping your business running smoothly and efficiently, even under the most difficult situations.
Shipping Rates and Carrier Logic
EchoData ships large volumes of orders and is able to leverage highly-discounted shipping rates with major carriers. These discounts are passed on to our clients, who may not have the volume to leverage these rates. To further enhance savings, we employ automated shipping algorithms. This “logistics logic” significantly reduces shipment costs by automating carrier selection through a variety of characteristics including size, weight, destination zip code and delivery time. Clients can add these savings directly to their bottom line or pass them onto customers.
Value Added Services
Digital print on-demand. Project Management. Vendor sourcing. These are just a few ways companies can take advantage of additional costs savings with EchoData. Having the ability to bundle services – not to mention eliminating the hassle of juggling multiple vendors – can lower expenses and tighten integration of these service areas. Best of all, clients have just a single point of contact to manage their entire fulfillment program.
Customer satisfaction is a key driver of success. If you have the above pieces in place you will reduce overhead and fixed costs, enhance the customer experience and improve sales growth. All of these savings go directly to the bottom line and ensure your customers are happy and invested for the long term.
If you are in the market for an experienced, scalable fulfillment partner, Contact EchoData to discuss your business objectives. We have been supporting the needs of the fulfillment and supply chain industry since 1983. Learn more about our order fulfillment or give us a call at 800.511.3870.