Order fulfillment, in the most general sense, is concerned with managing the supply chain of a product, starting from inquiries about the availability of a product to the delivery of the product to the end users. In other words, the phrase ‘order fulfillment’ can be used to describe any logistics operations, from the process of narrowing distribution, to distribution itself, to storage. However, in most cases, order fulfillment is concerned with responding to customer orders. Whilst businesses of any size can secure the services of a specialized order fulfillment company, it is most commonly larger business that use this service as a means of eliminating storage and shipping issues.
In contrast to logistics, order fulfillment is more specialized and more automated. However, like logistics, it functions to free up a lot of time and resources, which can be better spent on sales, marketing and growth opportunities. It gives a business the opportunity to focus exclusively on operations such as processing or assembling. When it is outsourced, order fulfillment also relieves a business of the burden of leasing, constructing, managing and upkeep of warehouses. In essence, order fulfillment helps a company supply its customers quickly and efficiently by providing a high quality customer mechanism dedicated to satisfying orders.
Is Professional Order Fulfillment Right For My Business?
How can someone tell if his or her business is in need of a professional order fulfillment service? It’s actually very easy! On a day-to-day basis, a business gets orders from various customers through different sources such as websites, regular mails, telephone calls or emails. Whatever way it happens, when a customer places an order, the order should be forwarded to a warehouse for selection and packaging. If the orders need to be shipped, the shipping company is informed early in advance so that the order can be shipped and billed within the stipulated time. Clear details of all these processes should be recorded in a management statistics for future analysis. Occasionally, there might be the need for printing, updating, and distribution of relevant documents such as promotional materials to various destinations.
If everything runs swimmingly (without any problems, errors or difficulties on a daily basis), then the business should be cost effective and all customers should be fully satisfied. However, at times, things can still run smoothly while the business ends up incurring extra costs and customers are left complaining. This is when the business requires the assistance of an order fulfillment service.
Outsource to Save
These services can be provided by a reliable order fulfillment service company, which completely assumes all the above-mentioned duties on behalf of the company. Due to economies of scale, by outsourcing order fulfillment, a business actually saves money as it’s able to focus on other core activities. A company lives and dies on its ability to fulfill orders in a timely and reliable manner. Though, order fulfillment is actually one area that often pays to outsource to the professionals.
About the author
David Hamer is an SEO writer for Vision Logistics who offer a range of order fulfillment services.