How Do You Start An Order Fulfillment Business?

With more entrepreneurs running e-commerce stores nowadays, order fulfillment centers are becoming more popular and important in the e-commerce industry. Primarily, order fulfillment refers to the process of receiving, processing, and delivering to the end consumers. It begins with the customer placing an order and is completed once the customer receives their order.

However, due to the challenges associated with shipping, most e-commerce store owners would prefer to hire an order fulfillment or dropship companies that can take care of their customers’ orders from placement to delivery. Thus, if you want to have your own business, then, starting an order fulfillment company can be a great idea if you want to earn a lot.

Keep reading this article to learn more about how you can start an order fulfillment business.

  • Create A Business Plan

Before anything else, it’s important to have a business plan in place when building an order fulfillment business. Typically, a business plan refers to a document that gives you an overview of the company you’re starting. It can guide you at several points in your business development and growth and allow you to anticipate challenges even before they arise.

On the other hand, as you make your business plan, be sure to ask yourself and the rest of your team some questions about the company, its needs, and limitations. For example, consider things such as whether you want to offer fulfillment services to start-ups only or established companies. Also, you may want to think about how to raise the needed capital or how to identify your target market.

Remember, by having a business plan, you’re able to prepare everything you need to make your fulfillment business work for you and your potential clients. If you’re looking for insights on how this business model works, you can check here for more information. This may help you understand how to build an order fulfillment company with passion and purpose. 

  • Determine The Space And The List Of Essential Equipment Needed

When building an order fulfillment business, it’s important to know the amount of space and the list of essential equipment needed for smoother business operations. The perfect way to do this is to compute the number of pallets and cartons you can accommodate and have it multiplied by the measurements of your average carton or pallet. Also, when determining the space needed, be sure to consider the order fulfillment stages such as receiving, storage, forward staging, shipping, and returning.

In addition to the space required, you should also identify and prepare the essential pieces of equipment your fulfillment company needs for the operations. These can include warehouse shelves, racks, material handling equipment, packing, and shipping equipment, inventory management software, and many more.

By paying attention to these things beforehand, you’ll be able to launch your fulfillment business without any hassle. 

  • Automate Processes And Integrate Various Business Systems

Running an order fulfillment business can become challenging and complicated. This is one reason why automation is essential to improve your company’s efficiency. Just like how the e-commerce industry has made the buying and browsing process much more efficient, your company’s order fulfillment procedures would be more streamlined through the following tools:

  • Barcode scanners – These can help automate picking and reduce the burden of cycle count to improve accuracy.
  • Laser DIM-weigh scanners – These can help calculate the measurements of the shipments to speed up the shipping process and ensure efficiency.
  • Conveyor belts – These can help safely move heavy items and containers from one place to another, thereby reducing the need to carry some stocks.
  • Vertical lift modules – Vertical lift modules are fully automated vertical storage systems that take up a minimum footprint by utilizing all of the ceiling height that is available.
  • Horizontal carousels –  Horizontal carousels bring a new level of performance, reliability, and safety to high-speed picking operations. Multiple horizontal carousels can be combined to achieve even higher picking performance.

Aside from the automation processes, it’s also essential to integrate several business systems to make the operations much smoother and faster. For instance, integration lets you share data, thereby providing you with a lot of opportunities to cut costs, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.

If you’re starting an order fulfillment company, consider integrating the following systems:

  • Channel software/shopping cart software
  • Accounting systems
  • Ordering systems
  • Shipping scheduling systems
  • Enterprise resource planning systems
  • Market Your Fulfillment Business

The final step in launching an order fulfillment company is to promote it and connect with your prospective clients. For instance, you can market your business through offline and online marketing strategies. For offline marketing campaigns, you can do live demonstrations, direct mail, telemarketing, print ads, billboard ads, and many more.

However, if you want a digital way of advertising your business, you can do it by being active in social media channels where your potential clients congregate. This can be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many more. In addition to social media, you can use content marketing, search engine optimization, and other online marketing strategies to get your name out to your prospects, highlight your services, and attract more people to do business with you.

The Takeaway 

Starting an order fulfillment business requires a lot of planning and preparation. While the whole process may be difficult, keeping the tips mentioned above can help you build your own fulfillment company smoothly and efficiently. This can be a great start for your journey as a thriving business owner.

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