As a business expands, the owner, employees and dedicated helpers generally spend a lot of time doing the following:
> Managing inventory
> Receiving shipments
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> Repacking products to bring over to customers
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Time used for onsite inventory is time snatched from marketing and sales activities. It also puts the spotlight on an unmistakable business issue: having to outsource particular business tasks, including fulfillment.
Business owners who work away from home likely don’t have piled of products kept in their homes. Still, they have plenty of other reasons to call for off-site inventory:
> They need to be freed from handling inaccurate and unorganized inventory.
> They want to make the fulfillment process more efficient by bettering logistics and electronic ordering functions.
> They want to work more on sales rather than warehouse and fulfillment.
> They are enthusiastic about a direct marketing campaign, but don’t have enough space to do the task.
> They want to save employee and overhead costs.
So what is a fulfillment house in particular?
You have options for resolving your inventory management concerns. No, you don’t have to rent an unused area or move everything to self-storage. Utilizing fulfillment services is the smarter answer.
“Fulfillment company,” “fulfillment service” and “fulfillment provider” are terms that are frequently used interchangeably.
When a company accepts an order, the fulfillment house is answerable for bringing that product to the customer.
Fulfillment can include customer credit card processing, updating website inventory, product reorders and returns and even call center support.
Let’s say you got an order for ten products on your e-store. You call or email the fulfillment company to inform them and you’re done with your part of the process. The fulfillment service then collects the items from the warehouse, gets them packed and informs the customer and shipper.
Should a business have other partners already, such as a hosting company, the job of the fulfillment company could change. A small business owner can do the internal work or use a hosting company to get credit card information.
The fulfillment company will then be picking-and-packing products, provide customer support and take charge of returned products.
With an order fulfillment service, a business can decide to handle small orders or not at all. A business that wants to handle small orders needs to hire a package delivery service and retain some inventory on hand.
Finding the Right Fulfillment
There are plenty of other things you should consider in ensuring that you end up with a quality fulfillment company -error rate, response time, overall reputation, etc.
In other words, you need to do some honest-to-goodness research. With all the fulfillment service providers nowadays, not to mention the industry is not devoid of cowboys, it would be foolish to choose randomly.