Interview with Dileep Kumar
Founder of Fulfillmen
Originally Dileep is from India; he moved to China after his graduation. He felt inspired during his MBA studies in shipping and logistics while working for a Chinese company in Shenzhen. Met many of the company's customers in person, gained useful insights and developed valuable connections. He decided to create logistic services that are new and more professional than what was out there on the market. Fulfillmen was born.
1. What does Fulfillmen do? Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a popular business these days, but not one without risks and opportunities for significant failures. When working in dropshipping, need to cover all areas of the business, think about every detail that affects the shipment from the factory to the end-consumer. A myriad of things can go wrong due to lack of understanding of the businesses related to production, regulations, and shipping. We go beyond drop shipping and offer customized solutions to the exact requirements of Western/International companies. Customer service is one big area where we provide more than what an average Chinese company would. Fulfillmen is specialized in customizing shipping lines according to specialized requirements such as fast shipping, virtual warehousing, 3-6 days delivery, and special lines with 6-9 days delivery. We also offer support services related to shipping a product from a factory in Asia to anywhere in the world. We remove a large percentage of the risks associated with dropshipping by working with an expert team.
2. What type of services do you offer?
We are exclusively offering five services:
- Warehousing (Huizhou, Hong Kong, USA, UK, and India.)
- Software (OMS- Order Management Systems)
- API integration (our software can be integrated to other platforms)
- Customer packaging – receiving the products from the factory and we-re-package them as per their request. (detailed quality control checks at every item to be shipped, or random QC where we randomly check products)
- Logistics (creating shipping lines for products according to the requirements such as budgets, timeframe, quantity and quality of products to be shipped)
3. Who are your customers?
Our customers are big, international brands, as well as many private label E-commerce brands, selling on their own platform (not using Amazon or other big online sales platforms). We go beyond just dropshipping, and we focus on community, customer service, and network building around the world. We do a lot of hardware accelerators, especially in Shenzhen, where I met with Hubbers's Founder Ben Vignon.
4. What are the standard parts of the shipping process?
It all depends on who are our clients. With established brands, we have an agreement on what quantity and quality is shipped to various destinations around the world.
With crowd funders and startups, we have to complete the pre-orders for the backers first. If the campaign is successful, the brand sends us the unit number for each country and data of the product (price, weight, how many pieces, deadlines, and budgets).
**We offer three kinds of shipping lines (solutions): **
- Express line: delivery within 2-4 days.
- Postal option: slow service of 7-14 working day, the prices are lower. We are working on more than 50 postal lines.
- Customized lines: private shipping lines with virtual warehousing. Most customers don’t want to show the Chinese labels, and we help the products to go through the USA/EU/UK warehouse. This way customers can compete with Amazon and other brands, and the assumption of customers about product quality is much better. We ship the products in one consolidated shipment daily. Shipping takes a day to the local warehouse on the other side of the world, and then the product is shipped from the local warehouse with local labeling.
5. Can you help with the crowdfunding process too?
We do 10-15 crowdfunding yearly from Kickstarter, Indigogo.
We also help with the return handling – when faulty products are received, or the customer doesn’t want the product. We send it to our Hong Kong warehouse, and we ship them back to China from there.
6. What problems can be avoided through proper planning?
Shipping is an essential part of the business, and it can also create a lot of challenges. Almost every time, companies without adequate experience want to stay away from this process. We can help to avoid certain parts of the process, such as delays, packaging issues, while we are working with reliable partners. What we can't affect are weather troubles and ad-hoc, unexpected issues. Our main benefits are:
- Especially when shipping from China to the USA we can help reduce tax/duty (especially in the current political situation).
- We offer reliability, and clarity through the procedures.
- Reduced/controlled shipping charges: if you are sending a product on your own, you get much higher prices because you are shipping a single product. At a Fulfillment Center, you get a substantial discount due to bulk shipping.
- With the help of our software, the exact location of the product can be tracked.
- We help with packaging, shipment suggestions, and find the best solution for our customers.
7. What type of products do you ship?
We can ship all listed products that are safe and not copy products. Sensitive products are always a bit of headache such as flammable liquids, powders (batteries). Depends on the classification of the product we have to choose the right airline and get the proper certification. Usually, the factory has to provide the documents for the shipping, and we adjust the shipping solutions to the products.
Dileep is an expert in shipping, drop shipping, packaging, quality control and shipping-related administration and product handling.