When it comes to warehousing and fulfillment, small business owners face a number of challenges. Maybe you donâ€™t have enough warehouse space. Maybe there isnâ€™t enough capital to hire staff for packing orders. Or maybe you crunched the numbers and it simply isnâ€™t cost-effective to operate your own warehouse yet.
If youâ€™re not sure what the difference between a warehouse and a fulfillment center is, youâ€™re in good company. The two share similar functions but they also have distinct differences. A warehouseâ€™s main purpose is to store products efficiently for a longer period of time, while a fulfillment center (also known as a distribution center) provides a broader range of services focused on preparing and routing orders for shipment to end users. Those services can include short-term storage, product mixing, packaging, cross-docking and, of course, order fulfillment.
Warehousing and fulfillment can be both costly and complex for a small business owner to manage, which is why many small business owners across both e-Commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses choose to outsource these elements of their supply chain to a professional third party partner specializing in the field. Outsourcing your warehouse and fulfillment offers a number of advantages for small business owners.
Outsourcing your warehouse is a cost-effective alternative to managing your own space.
Whether you purchase or lease your warehouse and fulfillment centerâ€™s space, there are huge overhead costs associated with running the physical footprint, not to mention the variable costs associated with hiring staff.
By choosing to outsource these services, you bypass all of this and leave it to a trusted third party company who knows the ins and outs of how to run a warehouse and fulfillment center cost-effectively and at scale. Further, because of the volume that fulfillment companies drive, they are able to negotiate discounts on per-unit shipping costs that you can then pass along to your customers.
The service can scale and expand along with your business.
You only pay for the services you use, which means that as your business grows, youâ€™re able to seamlessly scale up your warehousing and fulfillment partnership along with it. Thereâ€™s no need to worry about hiring more staff, purchasing or leasing a larger space, or growing your fleet of vehicles. You get to leave all of that in the hands of the professionals.
You benefit from specialized expertise.
External companies that specialize in order fulfillment bring a wealth of knowledge to the table that makes them a worthwhile strategic partner for many small business owners. The number and size of their fulfillment centers can streamline shipping operations and allow you to offer faster shipping times to your client.
If you operate an e-Commerce business, you stand to benefit greatly from an external partnerâ€™s knowledge of managing a physical footprint and the logistics around storing and shipping goods to your customers.
More time for you to focus on growing your business.
As a business owner, you know all too well how little time there is in the day to do all of the things that need doing. As one of the more challenging areas of a business to manage internally, warehousing and fulfillment can eat up a disproportionate amount of your time, taking you away from other important tasks.
By partnering with an external company, you pass the stress and headache of managing your supply chain on to people who specialize in it and free yourself up to do the tasks that are most conducive to growing your business.
Few business owners have the capital, know-how and time to manage their warehousing and fulfillment needs themselves, which is why many choose to work with an external company. Distribution is a capital-intensive business that benefits greatly from volume and economies of scale, which is why it also lends itself particularly well to outsourcing.
By working with a professional external partner for your warehousing and distribution needs, you can save money, offer better service to your customers and free up time in your own schedule to do what you do best, run your business.
Mayer Alloys’ NEW 36,000 Sq. Ft. Facility offers warehouse and distribution services. This includes long and short term secure storage, receiving, shipping, packaging and fulfillment services and outdoor truck and trailer parking rental.
Mayer Alloys also, now offers Mil-Spec, military packaging and labeling in compliance with government contract requirements. This includes providing packaging solutions and engineering, heat sealing, bagging, boxing, shrink wrapping, crating and more.