With the economy in the shape it is in, a lot of small business owners are looking for options to help keep them one step ahead of the competition. The decisions made are as numerous as the number of small businesses trying to succeed. Some go the lower prices route, some go for higher inventory. Others try vast and intense promotional schemes, while many businesses narrow their focus – and their appeal – by specializing in a particular kind of product or service.
One of the smarter choices available includes using a product fulfillment service to manage and expedite logistics for your business. These services provide warehousing, cool storage or other climate-specific storage, order fulfillment processing, package shipment, and especially warehousing logistics and even customer service.
What Does a Fulfillment Center Do?
In the simplest terms, a third party logistics provider assumes management of all of a given business’ logistical and after-sales needs and responsibilities, including product shipment and delivery confirmation as well as customer service. Fulfillment centers play a giant role in the successful management of many e-commerce fulfillment obligations, allowing the business’ owner the freedom and time resources to effectively concentrate on growing their e-commerce business.
When using a fulfillment service, business owners won’t lose valuable time maintaining proper levels of inventory control or spend valuable man-hours policing errant orders and lost packages through the mail or other shipping services. Instead they’re free to concentrate on the front-end, storefront side of their e-commerce efforts, including marketing and business growth. All logistics and distribution are provided by the fulfillment contractor.
What Does The Third-Party Fulfillment Service Get In Return?
Though the exact payment and fee schedules vary according to the fulfillment service, typically a fulfillment service provider will exact a small fee based on each unit of product handled on behalf of the c-commerce fulfillment client. In other words, their profit margin is based on how much inventory and warehouse logistics they provide to each individual client.
This actually provides the ecommerce business owner an important advantage: the third-party fulfillment service has a vested interest in helping the ecommerce business grow. The more inventory and product that is warehoused and shipped, the more revenue the fulfillment service generates for itself.
Finally, it’s important to remember that fulfillment services are best used by ecommerce and similar businesses who wish to focus their attentions away from self-managed logistics and warehousing. Business owners should consider carefully whether their businesses have grown to a point where such services and their tremendous advantages would benefit them.