New businesses have two things in common. One is the insufficiency of money. Many businesses, especially online businesses, are founded with shoestring budgets and the first few months are very lean. It typically takes some time for a business to begin making profits. The other similarity between new businesses is the shortage of personnel. This is often due to lack of funds to hire more people and the founders' desire to run a tight ship before the business turns the corner into profitability.
Businesses are sometimes held back by these two factors. Take the lack of money, for example. When a business is cash-deficient a lot of things cannot be done. New equipment can neither be purchased nor can enough resources be dedicated to marketing the business. Fortunately, business owners now have a way of sidestepping these challenges. This is by outsourcing some of their regular tasks to outside consultants who are better placed to do the same tasks more efficiently and at a lower overall cost.
Fulfillment companies come to mind when you talk about outsourcing. Fulfillment houses, as they are sometimes called, are companies that have the requisite infrastructure and manpower to simultaneously handle the storage, packaging and shipment of orders for several businesses. Now we even have fulfillment companies that offer non-traditional services like printing fulfillment and kitting.
A business can save a lot of money through outsourcing its printing fulfillment requirements. A considerable amount of money is spent on printing. First you have the normal office stationery like letterheads, business cards and information pamphlets that you find in most offices. Then you could wish to print promotional material such as brochures, catalogues, calendars, posters, banners and t-shirts for use in marketing your business. It is not economical to print all this material in-house. To start with, expensive equipment is necessary for the printing and this costs money that a small business doesn't have. In addition, even if the business could buy the printing equipment, this won't be a worthwhile investment since the equipment will only be used once in a while. There is also the need to employ people and train them for the task. A business can save itself this burden by outsourcing all its printing needs to a relevant fulfillment house.
The company offering printing fulfillment is well equipped with all the tools and skilled personnel. A reputable fulfillment company will do a better job compared to what most businesses would do on their own because it has the skill and technology to do it. A business that is therefore not very well versed in, say, graphic design shouldn't worry itself because graphic design is often part of these implementation services.
In the case of promotional materials or correspondences intended for mailing to many customers, the fulfillment company is well placed to dispatch the materials after printing them. This is where kitting comes in. It simply involves bundling together materials that are usually sent as one unit. It is much easier to mail preassembled kits to customers as compared to mailing separate packages to them at different times.
With fulfillment outsourcing therefore, a small business will be in a position to thrive despite having a small staff and meager resources.