Many companies looking for warehousing and fulfillment services are simply looking for a traditional fulfillment firm – one that can store their product, pick and pack orders, and ship orders without any additional customization or special ancillary services. But for others, such as those looking for contract bottling and packaging, CD/DVD duplication services, printing services, web design or marketing services, or even customer service solutions, the challenge of choosing the right company becomes more intense. In this case, there are usually a couple of options ranging from using one provider for fulfillment and another for the additional service to using a single provider for everything or even keeping some of the services in house. How does a company best determine the optimal solution for their business? A thorough examination of each option reveals the answer.
A High Performing “All Inclusive” Services Provider is Hard to Beat
For ease of use and management, and for the benefit of minimizing costs associated with additional movement of product from one service provider to the next, a company that provides all of the fulfillment and value added services under one roof can be a compelling solution – if, of course, the provider performs each of the services at exceptional levels. For example, some companies, such as cosmetics companies, require the use of a contract bottler, contract packager and warehousing and fulfillment company. For these companies, the ease of use of having the same company perform bottling, packaging, and fulfillment services can bring significant savings and eliminate unnecessary movement of goods and labor hours managing the entire process. Companies such as Simplicity Filling Systems are known for high level quality and service for contract bottling, packaging and fulfillment for cosmetics products. Again, this can be a very good option if the company performs each service up to standard – so make sure that you adequately access the quality and performance of the outsourced provider in each area of specialty.
Sometimes Combining Separate Specialists Can Lead to Success
In some cases, all inclusive options either don’t exist in a specific niche or location, or high quality companies that can perform at a high level in every specialty isn’t an option. It is not uncommon to see some “all inclusive” fulfillment providers perform the fulfillment work, but offer less than stellar performance related to other areas such as printing, bottling, contract packaging or call center work. In these cases, you may have to combine the resources of multiple companies to find the best solution. This approach has many benefits. First, it diversifies risk. If ever you want or need to make a switch with either of the providers, you can do so without having to pull the entire outsourced set of services. Second, you can find true professionals in each service area needed, which should result in higher quality since the provider is a specialist in a particular niche.
You May Have to “Pitch In” Yourself
Of course, there are situations that require you to outsource some of the services while at the same time performing other services in house. Many companies choose this option when they absolutely cannot compromise in a certain service level, or when they simply can’t find a satisfactory solution on an outsourced basis that is feasible for their business. While this option requires in house work, it also allows the company to maintain complete control over the process.
All in all, the options are plentiful – so be sure to check out each option. Most importantly, be sure to check the quality of each solution that you’re considering by performing a thorough background check and screening process. By taking time to look at all of the options, you’ll be better suited in the long run to make the best choice.