[Previous] [Next] - [Index] [Thread Index] - [Previous in Thread] [Next in Thread]

Subject: RE: UKNM: Re: ecommerce Xmas wet dream or nightmare
From: Robin Edwards
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 1999 12:20:50 GMT

I agree, decent fulfilment is a necessary evil for running a successful
e-business. The issue, like so many, is the chicken and egg scenario (which
can also be attributed to greed and/or short-sightedness, but hey!). The
entrepreneur knows good fulfilment would improve the service and sell more
stuff, but they can't afford it at the outset. I've often thought
fulfilment houses fit into a particular band - above the incredibly low
volume retailer's budget, and below the highly successful venture's costs
to do it themselves.

I'm sure most fulfilment houses will be falling over themselves to offer
services to the well-funded start-ups at a considerably reduced fee on the
basis of revenue share or equity, but it is down to the start-ups to build
this into the business plan at the outset. Given the amount of professional
services on offer for such deals (including ourselves, lawyers, ad agencies
etc) the pie will have to be cut into pretty darned small pieces!

On the issue of reliable, guaranteed delivery to an address of your choice
at a time of your choice, including Saturday, Sunday and out-of-office
hours, I think it is asking a wee bit too much to expect this for a low


Robin Edwards
Clockworx Design Limited
T: +44 1543 252370 F: +44 1543 420761
E: robinatclockworx [dot] co [dot] uk W: http://www.clockworx.co.uk/

On Wednesday, December 08, 1999 3:07 PM, Russell Buckley
[SMTP:russellatthepartnership [dot] co [dot] uk] wrote:
> As a fulfilment consultancy, we've been discussing internally for some
> that this Christmas is going to be one big e-disaster, though the fact
> Dell is getting it wrong is even more a cause for worry than we were
> predicting.
> Here's a typical scenario - slightly cynical, but I've been through it so
> many times.
> Whizzkid entrepreneur exits VC with promise of lots of dosh. Calls
> Enquiries on mobile and asks for Fulfilment Houses in London. There's
> one (us) so they ask for a meeting now - they've got a killer site,
> of money and now all they have to do is sort out this 'fulfilment' thing.
> The VC suggested outsourcing non-essential services, so here they are.
> [Leave aside the argument that fulfilment should not be regarded as
> non-essential].
> The cost of superb fulfilment doesn't fit their business model and they
> can't go to the backers to explain they need to revise everything to take
> this into account. So, they go to a cowboy outfit whose costs do work.
> all how important is next day delivery? Do people really want an email
> confirming that their order has been 1) Received 2) Despatched and an
> Blimey consumers aren't that fussy are they? No, nobody's going to want
> return goods they ordered, this is a brilliant product. What do you mean
> they may want to phone or email us? - the information they need will be
> the site, for heaven's sake. Doesn't the consumer understand the concept
> FAQ's?
> The result I'm afraid will be indifferent to piss poor fulfilment and a
> whole bunch of frustrated, disappointed and disillusioned consumers.
> put ecommerce back by 2/3 years.
> If the fulfilment operation isn't designed properly and isn't well
> through, you're going to be inundated with email and calls by justifiably
> irate consumers. Plus you'll have star billing on Watchdog, which won't
> pleasant.
> I'm not arguing that fulfilment is sexy, but it's impossible to overstate
> how important it is.
> Russell Buckley
> The Handling Partnership
> http://www.thepartnership.co.uk

post new media vacancies for free uknm-jobsatchinwag [dot] com
sponsor the uk-netmarketing list and website, contact
salesatchinwag [dot] com for more details.
To unsubscribe or change your list settings go to
http://www.chinwag.com/uk-netmarketing or helpatchinwag [dot] com

[Previous] [Next] - [Index] [Thread Index] - [Next in Thread] [Previous in Thread]