Here’s a fact you might not have known. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Americans spend over $30 billion a year on supplements and alternative medical therapies. If you aren’t already in the supplement business, it would behoove you to get into it. If you are, it would behoove you to grow your business.
What is a BPO FULFILLMENT PARTNER?
Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO, can help you as your company expands, which is why most manufacturers add it to their logistics plan.
When you opened your business, you handled order fulfillment yourself, which makes perfect sense. Why spend money you don’t have to employ others to package and ship your product when you have everything under control? As the demand for your product grows, however, it becomes more difficult to fulfill your orders yourself. Congratulations. This is an important milestone. You’ve become too big to be a one-person shop and you need a BPO fulfillment partner’s help.
A fulfillment partner can do everything from receive and store your product in a warehouse, to pack and ship your orders. Since this is a major part of any manufacturing business, it tends to dominate each business day. You cannot spend all of your time managing your inventory; you have to focus on your customers, operations, and future business expansion. Enter your BPO fulfillment partner. The fulfillment company will handle your inventory so you can worry about other things.
To find the right BPO fulfillment partner for your business you must first evaluate your inventory needs. What supplement or supplements do you sell to your clientele? Do they have any special storage requirements? Are there any local, state, and federal compliance regulations attached to them? How much inventory do you want to store and does the inventory have a shelf life? In order for your BPO partner to understand your fulfillment needs, it must understand what you sell.
It must also understand your customer base and how you serve those customers. Take Amazon as an example. Many of its sellers can opt to have Amazon fulfill their orders. Their product is received in, stored, and then shipped from Amazon warehouses. Some sellers offer Amazon Prime shipping to their customers; others do not. Amazon warehouse personnel must understand which items require two-day shipping and which items are shipped via regular post; otherwise, Amazon faces angry customers.
The same holds true for your BPO fulfillment partner. You must take the time to educate its personnel on how your product must be received, stored, and shipped to your customers. You must also educate its personnel on your return policies. You are reliable when you ship your product to your customers yourself. You are accountable when something goes awry. Your BPO partner must also be reliable and accountable, and it cannot be either if it doesn’t understand your customer service requirements.
Once you’ve found a BPO fulfillment partner that understands, accepts, and guarantees your product and customer service processes are no trouble, consider costs. You will pay for fulfillment services, but will they be worth it in the end? Take into account all related expenses: renting warehouse space, leasing equipment, hiring personnel and logistics managers, etc. Don’t leave any stone unturned. It’s a safe bet you will see the added cost of a BPO partner to your bottom line will still be cheaper.
Also, make certain your BPO fulfillment partner is available to you at all times. There should never be a circumstance where your fulfillment partner cannot meet your customers’ needs. The partner will have its own operating and service metrics in place, but you should review them carefully and add any additional performance metrics you desire to your contract. Offer the partner perks, too, for exceptional customer service to both your customers and you. Incentives go a long way.
HIRE ION FULFILLMENT AS YOUR BPO FULFILLMENT PARTNER
Finally, make certain your BPO fulfillment partner has proper safety and training practices in place and employees who specialize in supplement fulfillment. You do not want an accident to affect your business in any way, and mishandling of your product by unskilled or improperly trained employees can spell trouble. Work with an experienced company that has years of logistics experience and the know-how to think outside of the box whenever issues arise.
Working with an experienced logistics partner helps you grow your supplement business by leaps and bounds. When you’re ready, find the right BPO company for your needs.