Fulfilment service / Pick 'n Pack

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by PCLTD, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. PCLTD

    PCLTD UKBF Contributor Free Member

    31 4
    Evening everyone,

    I run an online company selling sporting goods, the company is now seven years old and steady away, figures are up and we are pulling in good money.

    At the moment I rent a unit local to my self where I hold stock but dont work from there full time.

    Due to other business interests I am getting a bit limited time wise and might have to make some regular trips out the country which has lead me to look out a pick & pack service in the UK.

    Has anyone jumped from your own commercial unit set up to a warehouse facility and if so how did you find it?

    I would have no need for the unit if I proceed so will be about £500 p/m better off as a couple of fulfilment centres near me offer free storage. Chances are I can also save on some postage as they will likely have lower rates due to volume compared to myself so on paper it looks like a win/win but has anyone done it and regretted the move of not being in control?

    Also if you are using one can I get products from my supplier posted to them to be re-sent?
    A lot of the products we sell come packaged up so we simply open the box, remove our invoice, tape it shut and send it out again so would be hoping this is OK rather than it coming to my address to be then sent to the warehouse facility?

    Any advice appreciated.
    I am in the North East but suppose it could be based anywhere so any recommendations appreciated.
    Posted: Apr 23, 2019 By: PCLTD Member since: Aug 3, 2018
  2. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    564 100
    My immediate thoughts on this are: nothing is for free you will be paying for the cost of storage within their handling fees. You also need to find out what their postal charges are, do not assume you will be saving money.

    Can you walk away from your current lease, if so how much notice do you need to give?

    In essence I am sure a fulfillment company can do a whole load of things for you but this will all come at a price. Find out what this price is and how will this effect your bottom line are you still going to be in profit.

    You may find employing someone on a part time basis is a better option.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2019 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    15,598 1,719
    A fulfilment service can be a good option - expect to pay for additional services but yes there are some who will let you send from supplier direct to them and be labelled / boxed as appropriate.

    Have used royal mail, they were all right. Other companies may offer better services, better link to your selling or simply automated processes.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  4. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,490 760
    There are a couple of companies in the North East who provide this service.

    When I got to this stage, however, I employed someone to do it. That is not better, but I preferred that approach.

    The pick and pack services are not cheap. But they do provide a decent service - unsurprisingly, it's what they do. I would be inclined to ask around the local business networking scene in the North East, and get some recommendations.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
  5. PCLTD

    PCLTD UKBF Contributor Free Member

    31 4
    Thanks for the feedback.

    We have no problem ending the lease and only need to give a months notice, the initial lease is up for renewal in September anyway.

    The companies I have looked at are 'smaller' local firms, not the likes of Royal Mail etc and they dont charge you to store (we would probably only need 2-3 pallets worth of room) but of course make their money on the packing and postage side of it.

    We dont send a huge volume but what we do send is quite big parcels so there not cheap £2-3 deliveries, usually £10-£25 each. If the forwarding company can keep us within this tolerance or even very slightly out it would be cost effective for us cause the rent saved from the unit plus bills associated would of course cover and minor postage fee changes.

    In regards to packing must they do this in house or can we arrange for our goods to be dropped off their every so often already boxed. As mentioned above its big heavy (and valuable) items we send and I would prefer for example to pack these my self knowing they are packed as they should be and then warehoused ready for them to label and send out rather than someone incorrectly pack them or have them sat unpacked on a pallet in a warehouse.
    Posted: Apr 24, 2019 By: PCLTD Member since: Aug 3, 2018
  6. GlitterClaire

    GlitterClaire UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Hey PCLTD, I would be really interested to hear which 'smaller local' companies you have looked at - I am looking at getting a new fulfillment company too and am trying to find exactly that - a smaller business with a personal approach. Also interested to hear which ones dont charge storage! I used to use a place like this but they closed down :-( Ill let you know if I come across anything of interest in my research :)
    Many thanks,
    Posted: Jun 26, 2019 By: GlitterClaire Member since: Aug 23, 2016