Fulfillment Services – An Overview
As a business gets bigger, the owner, workers and enthusiastic helpers typically spend much time doing the following:
> Handling inventory
> Receiving shipments
> Repacking products to forward to customers
Time spent on onsite inventory is time stolen from marketing and sales efforts. It also highlights a sure business concern: the need to outsource specific business chores like fulfillment.
Business owners who work at some facility may not have products stacked all over their homes. However, they have lots of reasons to need off-site inventory:
> They want freedom from chaotic and incorrect inventory.
> They want to restructure the fulfillment process by enhancing logistics and Internet ordering abilities.
> They would rather work more on sales than warehouse and fulfillment.
> They want to undertake a direct marketing campaign, but have inadequate space to get it done.
> They want to save save money on their overhead and employee necessities.
So what exactly is a fulfillment house?
You have choices to tackle your inventory management challenges. No, these don’t include renting an unused area or moving things to a self-storage facility. The smarter solution is using a fulfillment service.
“Fulfillment company,” “fulfillment service” and “fulfillment provider” are terms that are frequently used interchangeably.
As soon as a company receives an order, it is the responsibility of the fulfillment house to deliver that product to the customer.
Fulfillment usually includes customer credit card processing, updates on website inventory, product returns and reorders and even call center services.
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 company gets the items from the warehouse, packs them and informs the shipper and customer.
Should a business have other partners already, such as a hosting company, the job of the fulfillment company could change. A small business owner can do the internal work or use a hosting company to get credit card information.
The fulfillment company will then pick-and-pack the products, offer customer support and take charge of the returned items.
With an order fulfillment service, a business will be able to choose between handling small orders and not 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 plenty of other things you should consider in ensuring that you end up with a quality fulfillment company -error rate, response time, overall reputation, etc.
In other words, you need to do some honest-to-goodness research. With the huge number of fulfillment service providers these days, not to mention there are many cowboys in the industry, it would be downright foolish to choose indiscriminately.
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