If you run an online business that sells a physical product, it is common to use a fulfillment center to package and send out your orders. When running a small business, it is important to keep all your costs under control, including your fulfillment costs. Luckily, there are various steps you can take to use fulfillment services while keeping your costs affordable.
Way #1: Shift to Bags
When it comes to shipping products, boxes used to be the gold standard. However, polybags are a great alternative to cardboard boxes, especially for small and lightweight items. Polybags cost less to purchase, take less time to pack, and cost less to ship as well. With polybags, you save money all around on the shipping process. Switching to polybags for some or all of your items, depending on what you are shipping, can be a great way to reduce your fulfillment and shipping costs and hang onto some more money.
Way #2: Invest in Automated Quality Control
Next, you want to make sure you are shipping out the right products. Checking that yourself, by hand, can be a labor and time-intensive endeavor. Instead, if you add barcodes to all your products, you will need to scan the barcodes on a box or bag to see if the order is accurate. This will involve investing in a barcode system, but your costs for quality control will decrease once you have that system in place.
Way #3: Batch Orders
Try to make an effort to batch orders together. By batching the same product's orders together, you will make it easier for the fulfillment center to get your orders together. This can help reduce the amount of time putting together orders, which will save you time and save you money and work to get orders out in an efficient manner.
Way #4: Improve Inventory Forecasts
Finally, you are going to want to work to improve your inventory forecast. By predicting your sales volume more accurately at different times of the year, you will be able to help reduce the need for overtime when you have high demand and reduce the need for expedited shipping. You will be able to balance your labor needs more effectively and stick to more affordable standard ground transportation for your goods.
Fulfillment costs can cut into your profit as a business. If you want to get your fulfillment costs under control, you are going to want to consider switching to bags, investing in automated quality control, batching orders, and working to improve long-term inventory forecasts. These four changes can help reduce your fulfillment costs.