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Growing businesses sooner or later realize that after a certain point the demands and needs of logistics management and order fulfillment can quickly overcome their ability to consistently and successfully meet consumer demand.
This moment occurs regardless of the speed at which the company has grown up to that point or even the amount of time the business has been in operation.
Order fulfillment is a critical process for any business operation, especially businesses operating in the mail order fulfillment industry. Customers look to dependable order fulfillment shipping and delivery, with prompt shipping preparation serving as an important segment of the delivery time line.
In order to maintain the standards that their customers have come to expect from them, many small businesses have chosen to outsource their order fulfillment needs to a third party, independent fulfillment service provider.
By consigning their back end delivery needs and obligations to highly specialized, expert logistics management experts these businesses successfully reduce their regular operating costs while enhancing their efficiency and order reliability.
How Outsourcing Fulfillment Works
The outsourcing partnership begins when a client business enters into a contractually binding agreement with a fulfillment service company. Once the agreement is in place, the service provider company begins accepting deliveries on behalf of the client company directly from the wholesaler or the manufacturer. Service providers accommodate the logistics needs of several companies at once, so their facilities are optimized for efficiency and rapid processing and acceptance of inventory.
Once the product inventory is within the service provider’s facilities, it’s stored within their climate controlled and electronically secure warehousing. In many cases, the warehousing occupies the same structure as the processing center, allowing for maximized order efficiency. The service provider’s staff then works to process each order immediately upon its reception, carefully preparing the product itself as well as the packing materials needed for the shipment process.
Making The Transition
Business owners are advised to choose their outsourced fulfillment provider carefully. There are numerous resources available online, including forums and message boarders, where business owners can research prospective service providers. They are also encouraged to interview service provider owners and management, finding the right personnel that fit their expectations. Choosing a service provider that’s nearby their own business offices is also sometimes desired, but ultimately not necessary for successful outsourcing.