Fulfillment companies play an important role in the world of e-commerce. While you may be familiar with storage warehouses and distribution centers, fulfillment companies offer different services and appear at different points in the supply chain. So, what exactly is a fulfillment center, and how does it work? Read this guide to learn more about fulfillment centers, what they do, and how they can benefit your company.
Is a Fulfillment Center the Same As a Warehouse?
When you hear the term fulfillment center, you may think of a stand-alone storage warehouse. However, while the two have similarities, they are also very different. Warehouse space is typically used for long-term storage. This often includes industrial and bulk storage for businesses and merchants who need off-site space for excess inventory. Their products may stay in a warehouse for months on end.
On the other hand, fulfillment centers are essentially the hub for all the logistic processes needed to get a product from the seller to the customer. Like warehouses, they also store products, but it’s typically on a short-term basis. This is because their main goal is not storing items but packing and shipping them to customers on time. As a result, fulfillment centers are usually filled with much more activity than warehouses.
How Do Fulfillment Centers Work?
Sales in online stores are skyrocketing, making third-party logistic (3PL) providers more essential than ever in streamlining operations and efficiently delivering orders. 3PL providers, like Sherpack, use fulfillment centers to pack orders placed online and ship them to customers. So, when you outsource fulfillment with a 3PL, your products are stored at a fulfillment center in preparation for when a customer makes an order. Once an order is placed, the center will pick, pack, and ship it directly to the customer’s door for you.
What Does a Fulfillment Company Do?
Fulfillment centers provide various services for businesses across all industries and are especially popular for e-commerce and retail fulfillment. A fulfillment center can do many things for your business, including:
- Inventory management
- Subscription box fulfillment
- Order processing
- Shipping orders with custom packaging
- Return management
Outsourcing fulfillment can make a huge difference in how your business operates, not only in the fulfillment process but in other areas too. The time and money you save by partnering with a fulfillment company will allow you to focus on other important business aspects, like company growth, customer service, marketing, and more.
Should You Hire a Fulfillment Company?
As a business owner, you’ve probably adapted to juggling many different tasks at once. However, in order to avoid compromising the quality of your work, it’s important not to let your hands get too full. It may have been easy to handle everything initially, but as your business continues to grow, operations will only become more complex. If you’re overwhelmed with processing customer orders and hoping to save time and money, it may be time to consider outsourcing your fulfillment operations. Sherpack has worked with multiple retailers throughout the Midwest and other parts of the United States. We can get your products picked, packed, and shipped for an affordable price. Call us today for a consultation, or fill out our contact form to get started!