What Can A Fulfillment Company Do For My Business?
The business world is a tough place right now, especially for those seeking to build their own home-based or small business online. A tough economy, painfully low consumer confidence, and often bleak economic forecasts are just a few of the discouragements and dangers facing small business and small ecommerce business owners. Given such harsh conditions – it is a cold world out there – many small business owners are turning to a third-party logistics provider, sometimes called a fulfillment center or fulfillment service companies, to assist them in getting the right logistics and warehousing services they need to effectively fill orders.
What Does A Fulfillment Center Do?
It is not a bad analogy to imagine your ecommerce business as the brains and beauty of your business enterprise, while a third party logistics provider brings the brawn of distribution, warehousing, and customer service infrastructure. Fulfillment centers work to supplement small and home-based businesses with all the support and product fulfillment services they need to make their business grow into a full-fledged operation.
Fulfillment centers take your forwarded orders and pack and ship the merchandise necessary to complete the sales transaction, then ship the product directly to your customer. They provide customer and technical support to the customer after the sale, and store the merchandise you select while the sales are still in progress.
How Does A Fulfillment Center Work?
As an ecommerce business owner, you send your merchandise to a fulfillment center, sometimes as much as months in advance. Many fulfillment servicing centers will also track and manager your inventory for you, taking careful measure of your inventory needs and determining when reorders and supplemental stock becomes necessary. Fulfillment centers even provide customers with shipping and tracking information once the sale is complete and the product has been sent to them.
The fulfillment service provider not only restocks the merchandise you need but also trains and equips the personnel needed to effectively manage your ecommerce inventory growth and supply. In other words, they handle the day to day operations, processes that can really wear down the time and energies of even the most committed small business entrepreneur.
How Much Does A Fulfillment Center Cost?
Prices vary according to the individual fulfillment center and the services they offer. Many distribution centers and specialized fulfillment centers, however, enter into an agreement with the small business or small ecommerce business owner to take a small fee based on the number of individual units of product shipped. The fee is based on several factors, including volume and price, and may sometimes be negotiated or set according to the ecommerce business owner’s capabilities.