When you see the word inventory, what’s the first thing you imagine? Is it a sample of one of your products? How about a tall, dimly lit room full of sealed wooden crates? Inventory is a highly flexible term, meaning many things to many people. Perhaps most importantly, inventory is the life’s blood of any small business, home-based business, or especially ecommerce business. More than just an object of buying and selling, a business’ inventory also represents the company itself, giving the public a sense of the company’s identity but also its business practices. Nothing disillusions a customer faster than an inferior or inadequately shipped product. Once such a negative experience takes place repeat sale is more or less impossible. Proper inventory management includes finding the right inventory fulfillment company to help you oversee all aspects of the order fulfillment process, including not just warehousing but also product shipment preparation and shipment. It also increasingly means product fulfillment tracking, so that the customer can monitor the package’s progress in reaching their home or business.
Order fulfillment, which includes mail order fulfillment and inventory fulfillment, as well as product fulfillment in its area of influence, includes the proper maintenance and management of all your ecommerce business’ products and goods. Each and every product sample is treated as valuable merchandise worthy of care and concern. You hear many warehousing horror stories about “breakage” and “acceptable loss” but order fulfillment companies specialize in removing such hazards from the inventory and warehousing process, making sure every single product unit is fit and ready to processing and shipment.
Once a product is selected for processing and shipment, the warehouse staff guides it carefully through the order fulfillment process. This process can include various steps, from wrapping the package securely inside durable shipping materials to measuring its pieces for shipment disassembly.
Following the shipment, several steps take place more or less at the same time. First, the warehouse facility’s database is updated and posted online, so that the fulfillment service company’s client business can monitor and update its own inventory tracking records. Secondly, the package is given a tracking number, which can be provided to both the client and the customer. This allows the warehousing center to demonstrably prove they have shipped the product to its intended destination, with the information supplied by the shipping company acting as independent verification.