Why it’s Important for your Fulfillment Company to be Flexible
Outsourcing to a third-party fulfillment center can provide growing companies the warehousing and distribution services they need to support business growth. However, in order to maximize their potential benefits, companies should consider working with professional fulfillment services that utilize flexible technologies to deliver a customized distribution platform designed around their specific business requirements.
Many business owners believe that using third-party fulfillment services will force them into a predetermined model for fulfillment, distribution, inventory management, and reporting. In reality, many fulfillment and distribution providers offer greater flexibility in designing effective distribution models customized to each of their clients.
Every business organization has unique needs in terms of inventory management, warehousing, and distribution. Consider the following questions: Does the fulfillment service provider have the capability to effectively track customer orders, regardless of volume? Are they able to support business-to-business (B2B) fulfillment, direct-to-consumer, or both? Do they have the ability to integrate their systems with your organization’s data infrastructure?
If your business supplies products that require complicated, large-scale assembly and packing processes, for instance, it certainly helps to take advantage of services that offer the use of spacious and reliable warehouses, as well as the technology and experience needed for special or complex assembly work prior to delivery.
As your business grows, you may need better storage options, not just in terms of available space, but also for inventory control and management procedures. A fulfillment service provider should be able to customize their inventory management system based on your business requirements. RF tracking systems, for instance, can provide a more accurate view of your inventory, even as items are brought in or out of the storage area. Automatic ordering rules can also be set in place to ensure that stocks never fall below the minimum required amount.
Some fulfillment centers also have the capability to integrate their own ordering system into their clients’ existing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or e-commerce infrastructure, This can help eliminate the additional step of sending the order information to the warehouse floor for processing, and facilitate fast and accurate product distribution.
While boxes and cartons can be manufactured in any size, automated packaging capabilities can help create perfect-fit, custom shipping packaging for each order. Some fulfillment services can even provide special care for certain products during pack-out, such as POP/marketing materials or garments on hanger (GOH) for fragile items.
Working with a third-party fulfillment center can provide tremendous savings in terms of storage and distribution costs, and ease the burden of inventory and order management. However, to gain an edge in a competitive business, you’ll need the services of a company that goes beyond meeting your basic needs. By identifying specific business needs and creating a customized solution, a professional fulfillment center can ensure reliable, efficient, and cost-effective product warehousing and distribution that will fuel your business’ growth.
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