Do You Need Fulfillment Services?

People ask about fulfillment services all the time. There are a lot of very expensive warehouses here in the LA area that make a lot of money warehousing and shipping other people’s products. I know because we have visited some of those warehouses. The cost of getting into one of those warehouses is expensive. The initial fee just to start placing product in the warehouse is usually around $3000 to $5000. It is a great option for those who will be shipping thousands of different products to thousands of different customers. Amazon has warehouses that does that. In fact Amazon actually outsources some of their work to other warehouses. We went to one warehouse and there must have been 10,000 trash cans. They were all headed to different Amazon warehouse from where they would ship to the customer. I don’t know who the owner of those trash cans was, but I could see that storing all of those trash cans in a retail store front waiting to ship them to customers would have been overwhelming. This is a very efficient way to sell a lot of products. But what if you are just getting started? What if you don’t have a 1,000 different products shipping to 1,000 different customers? This is where we have helped some customers. One customer came into the store. They were starting a product line of cake mixes and such. Honestly I have tried the product and I am still not sure what their niche is. Anyway they were a startup and they needed a way to quickly and simply ship their products to people who would write about them. The solution we came up with was a simple fulfillment solution. They brought in about 100 boxes of different varieties of product. We kept them here on site. They would simply send us an email and we would send out the product. Since we were not sending to their customers but rather to newspapers and publicity outfits we did not need to create packing lists and invoices. It was a simplified fulfilment. We did not charge them a initial fee, nor a warehousing fee. We only charged them for shipping. It was a very smooth and easy process for them and for us. We have the capabilities for much more complicated fulfillment, but we were able to tailor this solution to the customer’s needs. This is what we do.

What’s Your Shipping Requirements?

We are about solving problems for people. Many times people will come in wanting to start shipping the stuff they are selling on line. They want to know how much to charge for shipping. Of course our first question is where are you sending it. And of course they want to sell many things to many locations. That makes it really hard.

We worked with a company that sold bones over the internet from their own website. They were processing 20+ orders a day. They did not want to spend time getting pricing on each order, communicating that to the potential customer, and then finally selling and shipping the product. We analyzed their orders and determined that they should charge $10 flat shipping. Every day they would bring in the packages that needed to be shipped. We would create the labels and then send the tracking number to their customer and to them. Some packages would cost $5 some would cost $40. Sometimes we would send the package FedEx Ground, sometimes we would send it priority mail. This greatly simplified their work and allowed them to do what they did best. They went from a very confusing process to a very simple process. Everyone once in a while we would get an unusual package, maybe it was going international, maybe it was heavier and therefore more expensive to ship, maybe it required a lot of extra insurance. We handled those exceptions as quickly and as best we could. They were the exceptions and we did not try and change the quick process we had created to accommodate the rare exceptions. This solution is not for everyone.

The important aspect of this is that we created a solution that exceeded this customer’s expectations. I will be honest and tell customers that there may be a better solution for them than using our services. In this case the customer is getting the right service for the right price.