Fulfillment is the process of receiving, picking, packaging, and shipping customer orders. A fulfillment center is where these activities take place. Typically, people associate the word “fulfillment” with Amazon. Amazon sells direct or acts as a middleman between retailers and consumers. An Amazon fulfillment center fulfills orders from vast warehouses around the globe. It’s important to know that the fulfillment and 3PL options stretch far beyond Amazon.
Not many companies have the resources to fund extensive fulfillment operations like Amazon to distribute their products. That’s where order fulfillment and 3PL solutions come into the picture.
What is fulfillment?
Fulfillment is an eCommerce process developed as a processing and distribution center for customer orders. Everything that happens behind the scenes once a customer has placed an online order until that package arrives at their front door is fulfillment. The steps of fulfillment are:
Receiving refers to the arrival and storage of company inventory. An order fulfillment warehouse handles inventory management and storage until items are purchased by customers. The rate at which inventory is received depends on the needs of the company.
Once a customer sees the message “Thank you for your order!”, the picking process begins. Ecommerce integration communicates online order information to the fulfillment center where they pick the items for the customer order off the warehouse shelves.
Packing all the items a customer ordered is the final step before shipping. Some fulfillment companies offer customization of packaging materials.
The final step for a fulfillment company is shipping. A major benefit of outsourcing third party logistics is the shipping cost advantage 3PL centers have because of their relationships with shipping partners.
What are fulfillment services?
An order fulfillment service is a third-party warehouse space that prepares and ships orders for a business that sell products to other businesses or direct to consumers. Ecommerce fulfillment services are ideal for businesses that don’t have the resources to build, maintain and staff warehouse space, inventory and shipping operations or have outgrown existing capabilities to the point where they’re unable to ship orders in a timely manner themselves anymore.
What do fulfillment centers do?
While each order fulfillment center operates differently, they all accomplish the same thing — they act as a command center for receipt of orders, order prepping, packing, and logistics. Fulfillment centers also double as warehouses providing inventory storage, including automated replenishment notifications when item levels run low.
BR’s nationally dispersed centers allow us to serve multiple geographic locations quicker than vendors having just one, permitting ecommerce companies to deliver quickly and affordably to a wide customer base.
No two programs are alike, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all fulfillment solution. BR’s size and scale allows us to build solutions that meet the immediate needs of a company and grow with them.
Find Next-Level Fulfillment Solutions at BR
A strong 3PL recognizes their role as an extension of your brand. They understand the magnitude of this responsibility and take the commitment to uphold your reputation seriously.
When building your list of potential partners, contact BR. Here at BR Printers, we are committed to partnering with companies and brands like you. We have the warehouse space, expertise, and connections to build you a fulfillment solution that delights your customers and saves you time, resources, and money.