What do you need for fulfillment

What do you need for fulfillment?

Can everybody do it, including you? It is question to many e-commerce start-ups. Should they start with their own logistics, see how it is going and then decide further? It is not a “safe” approach. The opposite. Many start-ups fail just because you do not focus on that is important, just collecting the goods, fighting with suppliers and couriers and preparing parcels.

Then if you think about opening a ecommerce shop, dedicate 1 hour to decide deliberately on whether use or not the 3pl logistics partner. Ask yourselves in advance:

1. Where is to be the core competence of your planned e-shop, how you are going to win? Choosing unique products, lower prices, better marketing (reach right target group)? If the preparation of parcels and sending them to customers is not on your list, better leave it to somebody

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2. Do you have infrastructure? To pack 5 parcels per day you need just a table. But once you exceed 15 parcels/day (and it is a key to become profitable), the professional infrastructure comes. You need storage space, packing material, it integration with couriers, capacity to unpack returns, etc. The trick is that once you have 15 parcels, you do not have neither capacity to search for a 3pl partner.

3. Do you have time? Time is the most scarce resource you have. Do you  have time to spend 5 hours per day to pack?

4. Do you have intention? Do you really want to focus on ecommerce fulfillment? Would you not prefer to develop your business instead?

5. Do you have resources? The financial resources? Your time is not for free. It is not just that you should charge for each minute you spent on fulfillment. It is also the opportunity cost of your time, which you can spend otherwise? Saving money on fulfillment you loose the money you could earn at the same time, focusing on sourcing and customer relationship? Is the money you save taking care for fulfillment by yourselves is really saving or loosing opportunity? And the money you can spend on fulfillment, may be it is not just a cost, but well aimed investment?

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