3 Signs It’s Time To Switch Your Business From In-House To Outsourced Fulfillment

What distinguishes your business from your competitors? Is it your product line? Your brand’s uniqueness? Your prices? Or is it your order fulfillment? Many online business owners are shocked to learn that fulfillment is their key competitive edge, but it’s true! Your fulfillment process may either propel you forward or hold you back depending on your capacity to handle more orders, provide better customer service, reduce expenses, and free up time. The success of your company depends on your ability to determine when to switch from internal to outsourced fulfillment. How do you know when it’s time for you to do so? Here are 3 signs to look for when considering this decision.

The Quality of Your Deliveries Is Declining – Look to Fulfillment!

First of all, you’ll know it’s time to outsource your fulfillment if your delivery standards are declining.

Following a bad delivery experience, 17% of customers, or almost one in five, won’t visit your store again. You must take outsourcing fulfillment into account if the rise in your order volume is causing deliveries to be made late or incorrectly. This is why engaging in third-party logistics (3PL) services can help ensure your customers’ products are in good hands every step of the way.

Whether it’s a gradual increase as your business grows or a seasonal surge because of the products you sell, outsourced fulfillment companies can help. They have the knowledge, resources, and personnel to handle an increase in orders. You are ensured flawless deliveries each and every time, keeping customers satisfied and more likely to support your business in the long run.

You’re Looking to Scale Your Business

Make sure your fulfillment procedures are prepared for expansion before taking the plunge.

In-house fulfillment might draw you away from crucial jobs pivotal to the business, especially when you’re fulfilling more orders. Managing numerous sales channels, larger order amounts, and additional marketing activities takes time.

By collaborating with an outsourced fulfillment company, you can free up more time for your business expansion objectives and eliminate the stress and time-consuming tasks associated with fulfillment. 

Additionally, it means your outsourced fulfillment service will take care of managing the capacity of your technology, warehouse, and staff to handle a growing business on your behalf.

Your Expenses are Too High

The goal of operating an eCommerce business is to turn a profit! Relatively simple cost-cutting measures should always be considered.

Your warehouse, personnel, shipping, and packaging costs increase along with the growth of your marketplace, inventory, and promotional expenses.

You may have extra income after outsourcing fulfillment to use for free shipping, a sales promotion, or just to put in your own pocket.

How? Delivering your professionally packaged goods as quickly as possible in an affordable manner is a specialty of outsourced fulfillment companies, saving you money on shipping. Additionally, you’ll pay less on employees, packaging supplies, and warehouse space.

Managing all aspects of your business in house can be tough and time consuming. Apart from solving your own packaging needs, producing marketing assets yourself may just be infeasible. Maybe it’s not worth the equipment investment.

Storage Methods – The Downsides

Now that you’ve been introduced to the benefits of partnering with a 3PL service, let’s take a look at some of the downsides of various storage methods. In this manner, you’ll get a broader look at your options and why, in the end, it’s best to go with third-party logistics. The three methods we will look at here are warehouse storage, self-storage and, of course, 3PL or outsourcing.

Warehouse Storage

Where inventory storage methods are concerned, the most traditional is that of warehouse storage. From a central warehouse, all inventory is handled. This means that shipments are received here, products are sent from here to customers or stores, etc. Let’s look at a few of the unfortunate circumstances that can be presented by warehouse storage.

Cons or downsides:

  • For your business demands, the space may be too small or too large.
  • To quickly fill orders, a warehouse may not be in an ideal location.
  • To handle receiving and shipping, warehouse staff is a necessity.


Many small businesses, to store their stock, opt for the use of existing spaces and/or self-storage. While it can work out nicely for some exceptionally small businesses – as long as they stay small (and who wants their business to stay small?) – it still presents any number of problems. If the business grows, which is frequently the goal of any business, these problems grow even more troublesome.

Cons or downsides:

  • To match business growth, there is likely no room for expansion.
  • There’s always the threat of damaged inventory and/or miscalculations.
  • Due to a lack of an organizational strategy, this can be a frustrating way to store and inventory your products.

Outsourcing or 3PL

To relieve hands-on inventory storage stress and manage stock volumes, outsourcing inventory storage can prove to be a worthy undertaking. Today’s 3PL providers handle everything for you including packing, receiving, shipping, and more. This means your resources and time are freed up so you can concentrate on your operations, focus on business, deal with your consumers, and more.  Some 3PL companies, in fact, go above and beyond the basics by offering graphic design, printing and copying, broker services, credit card services, kitting and assembly, and more.

Here are three pros or upsides to outsourcing:

  • At the storage facility, security will be of the utmost importance. That makes your products safer.
  • To optimize delivery times, a network of storage centers will be used.
  • To maximize shipment speed and efficiency, all shipments and inventory storage is handled at the site of your logistics partner – the third-party logistics service you choose.

Naturally, warehousing is only one aspect of your business. But as you can see, depending on how you store your products, it can make a huge difference in profitability, number of employees needed, customer satisfaction, efficiency, security, and more. By relying on a company that provides third-party logistics, you eliminate not only your warehousing concerns but numerous other worrisome aspects of running a successful business.

Here’s who to turn to for your third-party logistics.

As a Fulfillment Service Company, Alpaka Takes the Job Seriously

Here at Alpaka, we provide value added business services on top of serving your fulfillment needs, such as printing and graphic design assistance. That way, you can focus your energy on managing and growing your business.

we can help
cta banner image

Ready To Discuss
Your Project with Us?