In the business world, outsourcing has become a dirty word synonymous with shipping jobs overseas, leaving good, hardworking folks jobless. Like many stereotypes, this isn’t an accurate description of outsourcing as a whole.
First, outsourcing is simply having a company, outside your own, deal with certain aspects of production, shipping, orders, etc. This company can be as close as a few blocks away or across the country, but there is no reason why you need to send your operations overseas; there are many affordable fulfillment centers here in the United States. Second, doing Kickstarter orders yourself can be a prescription for disaster if you have more than a few dozen to fulfill. Here are a few reasons why outsourcing your orders makes good sense.
The first problem you will come across when trying to fulfill Kickstarter orders is organizing them. Figuring out who got what, how many items need to be sent, where the items need to be sent, and what orders have already been completed takes a very organized, almost compulsively organized, person. If you aren’t someone who loves creating spreadsheets, then you probably won’t be able to handle dealing with large amounts of orders. Fulfillment centers use sophisticated software to sort out order details to make sure that everything gets shipped in the right amounts to the right people.
Even if you are able to get all of the right orders in the right mailing envelopes, addressed to the right people, how long will it take you? A month? Two months? Another benefit of using an order fulfillment center is that they will be able to get incentives into the hands of your benefactors quickly. A quick turnaround can keep the buzz of your project fresh and may bring you more opportunities or overfunding.
For argument’s sake, say you are able to organize the orders and ship them out. Do you have the time to do it? Organizing orders, filling out addresses, packing and shipping can take a huge chunk of time, and more than likely, your Kickstarter isn’t your only commitment. Plus, you want to work on more than just the orders of your Kickstarter project and get the actual idea up and running with your funding. Fulfillment outsourcing will free up your time so that you can do more important things.
Outsourcing orders can be a great thing for your Kickstarter project. If you choose a qualified fulfillment center and let them do their job, your orders will go smoothly and you can get your project sailing forward ahead of schedule.