Most of us, at one time or another, have had to deal with unreliable service. There’s few things more frustrating than waiting on a delivery service to fulfill its responsibilities, or for an online company to ship and deliver the item promised to you. Reliability, it seems, is a concept often left behind when order fulfillment and delivery go through their day to day motions.
But one of the more concrete truths about the world of online business and ecommerce is rooted in the idea of reliability: with dependable, predictable, trustworthy order fulfillment, even the most adeptly led ecommerce business venture is doomed to fail. Fulfillment is seldom glamorous, and rarely exciting, but it’s the lynchpin of success for online and mail order fulfillment operations. You simply cannot succeed in the ecommerce or mail order arenas without it.
Fulfillment Companies Specialize In The Unglamorous
A relatively new development within the ecommerce field, third party logistics providers subcontract the shipping, warehousing, and logistics responsibilities from ecommerce and home-based businesses, assuming control of storage, pick and pack, and processing on the client company’s behalf.
Many fulfillment companies are so advanced in their operations that they can accept inventory from wholesalers and manufacturers on the client’s behalf, completely freeing the client company from the weighty and costly shipping and receiving process. The fulfillment provider then stores the inventory in their own climate-controlled facilities until such time as processing becomes necessary.
Fulfillment Companies Work With Their Clients
Fulfillment companies typically charge a percentage of each product unit sold in exchange for their warehousing and fulfillment services. However, this presents the client business with a strong ally in the business development. As the fulfillment providers’ profit grows with each unit sold, so they have a vested interest in actively and efficiently representing the client company’s interests.
How To Get the Most Out of a Third Party Fulfillment Agreement
The best means of finding the right fulfillment company for your own small or home-based ecommerce business is to do plenty of research, including asking for references. Service agreements vary among companies, with some offering more flexibility but also more guarantees than their competitors.
Remember also that while the fulfillment service agreement is legally binding, the terms and duration of the contract often come up for renewal or renegotiation. Businesses may likely find that their fulfillment needs change over the course of the agreement.