Business management is humongous task. It includes promoting an inventory, making sure it reaches the maximum people, boosting sales, and then meeting the requirements of order fulfillment. The last part is one of the most time consuming tasks for online business. The process needs immense expertise to handle it economically. Fulfillment services to be more precise third party order fulfillment come to play here. Before delving into how these services work, we need to know what it means. It is the process in which the inventory is received, stored, packed and shipped after an order is received by a seller. Learn how fulfillment service works in the following steps.
Receiving The Inventory
As a seller, when you receive an order, you need to send it to the fulfillment services. It can be difficult to track all of your orders and accurate available inventory. However, you can send your inventories well in advance. This facilitates your business by saving time once an order is received. Once they receive your inventory, they move to the next step.
Storing Your Inventory
After the inventory has been received by the company they store it according to your sales logistics. The products which have a higher sale are stored near the product packaging area so that it speeds the process after an order is received. The items which are perishable are taken special care of so that they do not get spoiled, special care is also taken in case of fragile items to ensure they do not get damaged in the process.
Fulfillment services often integrate the process of receiving orders with the website of the seller. If, that is not the case they receive orders and maintain an account for each of the different sellers. They differentiate between inventories using bar codes or the numbering system used by the company.
After an order has been received, the inventory that has to be delivered is packed for shipping based on the size, weight, perishability, fragility, etc. They choose the most suitable packaging if the buyer or the seller has not made any specific request. Of course, if you have negotiated freight or shipping rates, they will choose the packaging that will cost the least to fulfill.
After the packaging, they ship the products. As they often ship products in bulk their shipping rates are low. This cost is often included in the fulfillment services fee or sometimes they are charged separately. They choose the cheapest and most suitable shipping option available if the buyer or the seller has not specified otherwise.
The fulfillment services pricing depends on the services they are offering i.e. special storage and packaging for perishable items, fragile items, knitting inventories, etc. , the type of inventory that they are handling, whether they are handling returns or not.
One can choose fulfillment services either based on their charges, personal budget for order fulfillment, services offered or just based on market survey. Some of the popular names in this field being – Shippo, Shopify, ShopBob, Magneto etc. The returns policy is a part and parcel of shipping an inventory. Some of the services do this as a part of the whole project while some charge extra for the same.
While choosing a fulfillment service the cost incurred should be kept in mind. One can always alter it as the business grows. Appointing a third party to do this job allows you to focus more on marketing and other aspects of the business.