There comes a time when all direct to consumer businesses must address the question, “What is fulfillment?”. These days, electronic commerce has been streamlined. There are methods that greatly simplify the backend processes that will lead to faster delivery, simplified logistics, and efficient order fulfillment. These integrated systems can also have full customer service systems.
Fulfillment is a set of integrated business processes that have changed over the years, although the core principles remain the same. Fulfillment is getting your product to the customer after the customer decides to purchase. Order fulfillment is a subset process under backend office logistics. In fact, sometimes the terminology is used interchangeably. In the past, intelligent logistics was one major key to competitive advantage. However, now with the advent of the Internet, good logistics capability is rapidly obtainable. For example, in the past, a business needed to build end-to-end logistics fulfillment, starting by leasing a warehouse, hiring and training staff, then negotiating with delivery couriers. This training of staff also included building of entire departments for accounting, procurement, receiving supply chain, production, and customer service. However, modern business practices allow smaller companies and e-commerce outlets to segment and outsource entire backend business departments. Using this model of compartmentalization and outsourcing, e-commerce vendors can drastically improve and reduce costs. Capability is obtained through negotiating directly with established warehouse and fulfillment providers. There is neither time nor money lost for maintaining a team of employees, or leasing space for a warehouse for expenses associated with fulfillment.
By utilizing fulfillment houses, a small or midsized company can save a lot of money for direct to consumer orders. There are several ways to have affordable end-to-end fulfillment for ecommerce companies. It is rare that your business growth would outdo the capabilities of a professional fulfillment house. This way, small businesses and proprietors can focus more exclusively on front-office operations. Best practices for outsourcing your fulfillment allows faster business growth, and these manual processes no longer affect your business strategy as much. Fulfillment houses can simplify startup costs and expenses involved in setting up a distribution center. This is sometimes a vital strategy for companies that are struggling to make ends meet, or need a fast and stable infrastructure to the consumer immediately.
Startup companies often do not have the resources to solve fulfillment needs. You can fast track your company development by completely outsourcing your entire inventory and customer fulfillment processes to an experienced team. You will save on developing warehouse capabilities, as well as finding the right staff to maintain your business. You can cut down on hiring costs by outsourcing the fulfillment department’s functions. This will give your business time should it be necessary to develop a private distribution system later.
To answer the need to outsource fulfillment for your company, ask yourself these questions. What is your volume of sales per month? How much of your business resources do you have to spend on improving delivery processes, or handling customer service problems? How much staff do you have for front end versus back end processes? What is your direction of projected growth? Does your company or product acquire seasonal demands?
Once you determine what your fulfillment needs for your company entail, go compare fulfillment services and warehouses. Make sure that the fulfillment provider offers an effective IT solution for managing orders, inventory, accounting, servicing, returns, etc. Technology and proven processes are a key component and a major competitive advantage. Having a good IT platform for your business makes keeping track of orders, customers, and other data simplified. You may have access to management reports, as well as other tools that are put together for your use by the fulfillment house. Successful fulfillment services will provide you with efficient regional delivery needs as well as competent business needs.
Hopefully you can answer what is fulfillment needs for your business now. We are experts at order fulfillment services, warehouse management, marketing logistics, and e-commerce solutions. With bi-coastal locations, we serve a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations on local, national and an international level. Promofill is your one-stop shop for anything from order fulfillment to supply chain management.