Buying product inventory ready to ship to your customers can be expensive. In addition to these costs, you need adequate storage and you need to hire staff to handle all aspects of the order processing including picking, packing and shipping the products when the order is placed. If you’re trying to process all the orders yourself that can eat up a large chunk of your workday that could be spent on tasks that would help your business grow. A fulfillment distribution service can process phone and Internet orders, pack and ship items, and provide a customer service call center where customers can reach a real person if they have questions about or problems with an order.
There are many manufacturers who provide drop shipping. This means that, after you send the orders to the manufacturer by phone, fax or email they will pack and ship the orders using your company labels and include a completed order form or packing slip in the shipment. The advantages of drop shipping include no inventory storage costs as the distributor or manufacturer assumes all expenses and responsibilities. Another advantage is corporate branding since most drop shippers will customize the shipments with your labels and form so customers will assume you shipped the products directly.
A fulfillment house is the most common distribution service and will handle some or all of the expert services you need from storing to handling and shipping the product to your customer. They will maintain inventory, provide warehousing with temperature controlled and pallet storage if needed, order new products, pull, assemble, pick & pack and ship using automated print and apply label systems. All these services will be provided according to your specifications and company information. In other words, you can run an entirely virtual business by outsourcing everything to the fulfillment house.