A recent report from GFS suggests that ecommerce parcel volumes within the UKwill make up at least half of all Christmas packages by 2016. Their post 2011 findings also revealed that:
But have you considered how your business willperform with a potential increase in demand of 15 percent next December? Andthat is not accounting for any marketing or sales drives that you implement overthe coming months which could easily drive that figure to 20 or 30 percent.
Now a twenty to thirty percent uplift in sales is not to be sniffedat, but have you realistically considered how you are going to get another 20 to 30parcels out of the door for every 100 you despatched last Christmas?
Remember that this is Christmas we are talkingabout. Were your systems and staff (the wife, the kids and anyone else youcould convince to help out) already at breaking point in 2011?
Even forgetting about despatching 30 percent moreparcels, where are you going to store 30 percent more stock?
Simply putting your head down and grafting onwards intoChristmas 2012 could spell disaster for the long term success of your ecommerceventure. As orders mount up do you simply work 20 percent longer, packing boxesinto the night?
Helplessly slave away while despatch timeframesslip and delivery deadlines are missed. Experience that â??head in your handsâ??moment as your overstretched operation makes picking errors, furthercompounding the workload. Watch those months of excellent customer service andattention to detail become a distant memory as your customers begin to suffer,and when your customers begin to suffer, they tell their friends, and theirfriends and.. (you know where this is going).
It is far easier to address these issues now thanit is to put things right with a disgruntled customer base once the proverbialhas hit the fan.
So what is the answer? Invest in an expensive warehouse? Employ anextra member of staff who you need to bring up to speed and then pay throughthe nose to watch them stand around idle when the sales drop off again in thenew year?
Now whilst outsourcing ecommerce order fulfilment canbe the holy-grail for many businesses it is certainly not a 'one size fits all' solution.
Over my next couple of posts I will be highlightingthe pros and cons of outsourcing your ecommerce order fulfilment, enabling youto make an informed decision on whether outsourcing your fulfilment is theanswer to your cost effective and efficient business growth.