How Fulfillment Services Work for a Business
As a business expands, the owner, employees and dedicated helpers generally spend a lot of time doing the following:
> Taking care of inventory
> Receiving shipments
> Repacking products to bring over to customers
Time used for onsite inventory is time snatched from marketing and sales activities. It also puts the spotlight on a glaring business concern: the necessity of outsourcing particular business tasks such as fulfillment.
Business owners who work far from home perhaps don’t have stacks of products in their homes. Still, they have plenty of other reasons to call for off-site inventory:
> They need to be freed from handling inaccurate and unorganized inventory.
> They want to simplify the fulfillment process by building up logistics and online ordering functions.
> They want to work more on sales rather than warehouse and fulfillment.
> They want to undertake a direct marketing campaign, but have inadequate space to get it done.
> They want to save employee and overhead costs.
So what exactly is a fulfillment house?
You have choices to tackle your inventory management challenges. No, they don’t include moving everything to a self-storage facility or finding unused space to rent. The smarter solution is using a fulfillment service.
The terms, fulfillment provider, fulfillment service and fulfillment company, are interchangeably used very often.
When a company accepts an order, the fulfillment house is answerable for bringing that product to the customer.
Fulfillment can include customer credit card processing, updating website inventory, product reorders and returns and even call center support.
For example, somebody 10 products from your store. You call or email the fulfillment company to inform them and you’re done with your part of the process. The fulfillment service then collects the items from the warehouse, gets them packed and informs the customer and shipper.
If a business is already working with partners – for instance, a hosting company – the fulfillment company’s tasks may be different. A small business owner may handle the internal work himself or work with a hosting company that takes credit card information.
The fulfillment company will then be picking-and-packing products, provide customer support and take charge of returned products.
Using an order fulfillment service lets a business take care of small orders or none at all. A business that wants to handle small orders needs to hire a package delivery service and retain some inventory on hand.
Finding the Right Fulfillment
There are several other considerations you can take to make sure that you pick a good fulfillment company – references, response time, error rate, and so on.
In short, you have to do some honest-to-goodness research. With all the fulfillment service providers nowadays, not to mention the industry is not devoid of cowboys, it would be foolish to choose randomly.
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