Fulfillment services are just now making their way into the small business spotlight, surprising many with their amazing array of services designed and fine tuned to help small and ecommerce businesses grow. Fulfillment services, often also referred to as third party logistics providers or product fulfillment services, serve to equip web-based businesses and other startup businesses with a range of logistics, warehousing, and customer service capabilities. The range and scope of these fulfillment services is routinely far greater, faster, and more expert than the typical new business or small to medium sized business would reasonably be able to manage on their own.
Fulfillment service providers headquarter their operations inside vast warehouses, which are able to accommodate any number of pallet storage or cold storage needs. The warehouses are climate control and managed by professional inventory control experts.
The ecommerce client can even have their inventory delivered directly from the manufacturer to the fulfillment and logistics service provider, meaning the business staff never has to devote time and monetary resources towards inventory management and control.
Tracking and shipping
Fulfillment service providers also manage their clients’ tracking and tracking logistics responsibilities, safely and securely packaging the product after preparing it for shipping. The packages carry the label and logo of the client business, meaning the customer will receive the package as if shipped directly from the client ecommerce business. Fulfillment services in this sense are truly the shipping and logistics fulfillment arm of their client business’ operations.
Customer service needs and responsibilities grow as any web-based or ecommerce business enlarges in size and scope. Depending on the ecommerce’s resources, accommodating customer questions, complaints, and other issues can rapidly absorb time and energy, creating new demands for hiring, office space, office supplies, and training.
With a fulfillment service provider, such needs and demands are resolved through the fulfillment service provider. They provide the trained staff who answer all customer questions on behalf of the ecommerce partner. The staff is equipped and paid for by the fulfillment service provider as a term of its partnership agreement.
Fulfillment service providers operate in a partnership with their ecommerce clients, meaning the terms of the agreement are contractual and based on both party’s mutual needs. The typical partnership agreement allows the fulfillment service provider to take a percentage of each sale. The advantage is that under such an agreement, the fulfillment service provider has a vested interest in helping the ecommerce company grown and flourish, thereby increasing their own gains.