Can outsourcing fulfillment work for small retailers? Yes, if you are serious in expanding the business. There is a fulcrum somewhere between increasing your costs to grow the business for more revenues and keeping current costs down to maintain your margins. You need to identify this sweet spot in your business.
The good news is, the costs for third-party order fulfillment services these days are kept at a minimum. Providers are turning to cloud technology to scale their services. Many providers no long require minimum order, that’s because they just latch you onto their existing web-based system at nearly no cost to them. This suits small and new ecommerce retailers that need more time to build their monthly order volume but require efficient fulfillment now that only an experienced logistics company can provide.
In this article we take a look at one of these experienced providers: Xpert Fulfillment. If you are on the lookout for outsourced fulfillment service, our Xpert Fulfillment reviews will help you understand, if this service will suit your needs. This is part of our continuing Xpert Fulfillment reviews to help you answer the following questions:
- What is Xpert Fulfillment?
- How does Xpert Fulfillment work?
- Who can use Xpert Fulfillment?
- What problems does Xpert Fulfillment solve?
- What are the features of Xpert Fulfillment?
- What is the pricing of Xpert Fulfillment?
- Is Xpert Fulfillment for you?
What is Xpert Fulfillment?
Xpert Fulfillment provides third-party order fulfillment services including logistics and warehousing in the U.S. and international markets. It covers inventory and order management via a pick/pack/ship model, which is built on web-based systems that make tracking and communication accessible in the cloud and in real time.
Based in Michigan, the provider has a centrally located distribution center that can ship orders fast throughout the U.S. and Canada. It boasts of climate-controlled, secure warehousing for high-value products.
Founded in 2008, the vendor claims to have over forty years of experience between the founders servicing eCommerce fulfillment. Furthermore, it partners with European Union-based providers to expand its international services.
Xpert Fulfillment caters to both startups and Fortune 500 companies. With no minimum order requirement, the provider can scale its services to match a fast-growing small business. It also provides derivative services like marketing consultancy, print and web design, phone reps, direct sales and global distribution.
How does Xpert Fulfillment work?
Here are the general terms once you start using Xpert Fulfillment:
- Standard packaging up to 1 cubic foot in volume
- Volume breakable items and other special packaging subject to additional fee
- Option to provide your own special packaging or outsource it to provider subject to special billing
- Additional $2.00 fee applies
- Standard packaging with free pallets
- Additional pallet at $15
- Long-term storage available as a separate service (more than six months)
Assembly and kitting
- Negotiable as per project scope
- No charge for SKU-labeled items and those that are sorted with packing list
- $35 per labor hour charged on unsorted items for unloading and sorting inventory
Optional shipping service
- Carrier rate billing for services like signature requirement, COD, insurance, etc.
- TPB available as per order volume and frequency
- Infrequent third-party shipments charged at $10
Customs, document preparation
- $1.50 per order for military and international addresses
- Factors that may be subjected to additional charges: very heavy items, inventory that requires special handling, etc.
Who can use Xpert Fulfillment?
Xpert Fulfillment caters to a wide range of businesses of any size and type.
- Startups. There is no minimum order required, making it ideal for small eCommerce retailers that want to prepare for large volumes or anticipate seasonal highs.
- Large enterprises. The provider can meet the logistics complexities of Fortune 500 companies.
- eCommerce sellers. Sellers on Amazon, eBay and other popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, PayPal and WooCommerce can smoothly integrate their online shops with Xpert Fulfillment.
- Industries. Xpert Fulfillment can service a wide range of industries including tech & electronics, consumer goods, cosmetics & nutraceutical, games & toys.
- International businesses. The provider has global logistics reach through its third-party shipping network.
What problems does Xpert Fulfillment solve?
Here are the main Xpert Fulfillment benefits you can expect from the provider:
- High capitalization on fulfillment. Doing in-house fulfillment is costly, which involves expenses on labor, benefits, insurance, taxes, facilities, etc. Other third-party providers may charge for hidden fees. On the other hand, Xpert Fulfillment circumvents capitalization by charging you instead with low monthly cost. Likewise, it has transparent terms and conditions so you know exactly what you’re being charged for prior to commitment. It also offers fixed costs and flat-rate shipping that makes it predictable to roll these costs into your pricing or operational budget.
- Fulfillment eats up your day. Like other outsourced logistics providers, Xpert Fulfillment takes the time-consuming daily process of order fulfillment off your shoulder. You are free to focus on growing the business instead of just managing it. The costs associated with third-party fees can easily be outweighed by the multiplier effect of your productivity on the bottom line because you are free to focus on sales and marketing. The provider also uses advanced technology to speed up fulfillment, including a web-based order management system and auto-bagging machines.
- Lack of logistics expertise. You gain expertise at once by tapping into the experience and specialization of a third-party fulfillment provider like Xpert Fulfillment. Immediately you have access to best practices and knowledge on the most efficient way to store or ship your items here or abroad. Likewise, regulatory requirements and custom processing are taken care of.
- Lack of visibility on fulfillment processes. Xpert Fulfillment is built on a cloud system that makes it easily accessible from any internet-connected device like desktop and smartphone. The system lets you access real-time notifications and gives you full control over your orders and inventory, as well as access to reports on historical orders for insights that aid business decisions.
- High cost of transportation, custom duties, brokerage fees. If you’re selling from abroad to U.S. buyers, your customers bear the brunt of the costs associated with shipping your items from outside the U.S. A local logistics provider like Xpert Fulfillment drastically cuts these costs. Shipping to Canada is also made easy given the short distance from the provider’s Michigan headquarters.
What are the features of Xpert Fulfillment?
We have culled here the provider’s key features that other Xpert Fulfillment reviews did not mention:
- Same-day shipping. The provider can fulfill and ship orders received before 1:00 PM EST.
- Web-based and tech-driven. The provider uses cloud-hosted order fulfillment and inventory management. Accessibility and tracking are flexible wherever your device is internet-connected. You can also remotely manage orders and inventory via the cloud system. Likewise, barcode scanning is used to ensure accuracy on order pickups.
- Discounted shipping rates. The provider offers special rates based on order volume and structure. For example, companies with low SKU but high order volume, specifically less than 10 SKUs and 2,000+ orders per month and shipping with less than 1 cubic foot in volume quantity are qualified for discounted rate. Likewise, the provider offers various postal service and flat-rate shipping options. Ground, 2-day and next-day deliveries are also open to discounts.
- Low fulfillment cost. No setup fees, no minimum orders, no account processing fees, no receiving fees (conditions apply).
- eCommerce integration. Integrates with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Amazon, PayPal, eBay and others.
- Automated. Real-time inventory insights and automatic notifications on shipment and order receipt are provided. Likewise, automatic email tracking confirmation is available.
What is the pricing of Xpert Fulfillment?
Xpert Fulfillment pricing is available through custom quote. A web form is available on the vendor site. You are required to indicate the following:
- Number of SKUs
- Pallets for storage
- Monthly order volume
- Your name, website and email address
Discounted shipping rates available based on volume order and structure.
Is Xpert Fulfillment for you?
Reading Xpert Fulfillment reviews, you realize it fits both small business and enterprise needs. If you have huge and consistent order volume, outsourcing to Xpert Fulfillment makes sense. The third-party costs are easily covered by your margins. Better yet, if you have a low SKU number (10 and below) but high order volume (2,000 and above) per month, the provider is open to discounted rates.
What about small ecommerce retailers? This depends on your growth forecast. Small order volumes make third-party costs expensive. However, if you anticipate the business expanding and sales to peak up in a few months, laying down a fulfillment process now with a reliable third-party provider like Xpert Fulfillment makes business sense.
Sellers from outside the U.S. will also find Xpert Fulfillment the fastest way to establish their presence in North America. They have an entire logistics ground system at once and charged at a monthly cost that can easily be rolled into product costing.