The Challenges of Filling Orders

An image depicting an inventor struggling with the challenges of order fulfillment. The background includes various elements of the manufacturing and shipping process, such as boxes, shipping labels, and packaging materials. In the foreground, the inventor, dressed in work overalls and looking overwhelmed, is surrounded by a cluttered desk with papers, packing supplies, and a computer. Symbols of fulfillment challenges like time clocks and dollar signs are subtly integrated into the background, highlighting the time and cost issues involved. The overall tone is cautionary and educational

What a pain in the neck! After getting a patent filed, prototypes done, paying for manufacturing, and the crazy cost of marketing, now you have to deal with the fulfillment!

It’s not bad enough that you have to keep the day job to pay for everything, but manufacturing is a full-time job too. The marketing is a huge time suck, and now you have to package and ship every single unit you manage to sell. Holy Cow!

There is a reason why we say inventing is a lot like having a child: you conceive it, nurture it, and it sucks you dry. It is time to have it move out!

For inventors who go into production, fulfillment can be daunting. You are lucky enough to get to the point of actually selling units and then have to face the issue of time and cost for shipping. Some might have little sympathy and hope that someday they would get to this problem.

I have inventors who have learned different options on how to successfully deal with fulfillment:

  1. Sell Through One Store: Some inventors sell through one store, and the store does the work. The Blue Viper Trenching Shovel is an example of this method. It is sold only through Lehman’s.
  2. DIY Fulfillment: Some inventors do it one at a time in their garage. Marcus Hunt handles his fulfillment himself for now and can’t wait to get big enough to hire a fulfillment company.
  3. Hire a Fulfillment Company: A fulfillment company like AWESUNG, whom we met at ASD Market Week and is a guest on Invent America Radio, can do the heavy lifting for you when the sales of your product hit a certain level. It is amazing how much more efficient this will be for your business.

The bottom line is to be careful. There are lots of scoundrels out there who will take advantage of an inventor. Ask questions and go to the Inventors Roundtable meeting where you can talk to other inventors. There are lots of surprises in the inventing world, and many of them are not good. Most will cost you money. Talking to other inventors is a good way to gather honest information. The IRT meetings are twice a month and free. You just need to get to your computer. Sign up for meeting notices at Inventors Roundtable or at Inventor Lady.

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