Modern third party logistics management and fulfillment houses employ state of the art systems, both electronic and real-world, to bring a level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness to order delivery, shipping, and storage that most small and medium sized businesses would find virtually impossible to achieve on their own. Yet these companies can enjoy the benefits of the service center’s expertise while decreasing their own operational costs.
How The Outsourced Fulfillment Starts
By outsourcing, the brick and mortar or online business can take advantage of the incredible resources that the fulfillment house has to offer. These can include state of the art, climate controlled warehousing facilities, a trained and highly efficient staff, and expert package and product processing and shipment preparation. The service company’s staff accepts the client company’s inventory deliveries directly into their own warehouse and processing center, meaning there’s no need to ship inventory a second time to another warehouse before it has to be shipped out to customers.
Once in the processing center, the inventory is maintained according to the strictest guidelines for preparation and precaution, in storage space kept constantly free of humidity, grime, mold, and especially human tampering. Meanwhile, the client business is spared the expenses of maintaining their own storage facilities, paying employee payroll and payroll tax expenses, and coping with employee turnover. For a small percentage of each sale a business can cut operational costs by half or more, which is a great deal for companies who are looking to save money without sacrificing the integrity of the business.
The Next Steps
When a package is prepared and processed for shipment, it’s wrapped carefully in preservative packing materials and then addressed using the address and log of the client business on its shipping label. This effectively makes the fulfillment service company an “invisible” partner in the transaction, letting the customer believe the client business if of sufficient size and resources to accommodate all their needs.
Many service providers also offer their client businesses knowledgeable and trained customer service staff, to assist in resolving customer questions and issues after the product has been delivered. They may also offer mail order fulfillment and direct marketing campaigns that manage the mailing of newsletters, catalogs, and other promotional materials directly to the customers on the client company’s behalf.