Common misconceptions about ecommerce fulfillment services are the price, the type of services offered and the delivery time. Fact: You do not have to be near the service provider to get great service. Myth: You must use a distant fulfillment facility or out-of-state fulfillment center for your high volume ecommerce orders. Fact: The type of services offered by a remote or out-of-state ecommerce fulfillment firm does not determine the delivery time.
Use 3PLs (3-point packaging) for all your ecommerce fulfillment services needs. You can use the most economical packing material on the market. 3PLs, also known as post-consumer packing or freight forwarding non-competitor, consist of a plastic product bag with a laminate coating and a sturdy inner cardboard box, both of which are specially bound to keep your inventory safe and secure. Using these special packing materials reduces the cost of shipping.
When you order in bulk, it is advisable to ship in bulk. Use one of the many online kitting companies to create a packing slip listing all the items being shipped. When your order is received at the fulfillment center, they will take care of putting the goods into a proper shipping container according to the weight and size. If your order is large enough, you can expect them to deliver the goods in less time. Fulfillment centers offer kitting services for items that are too large to fit into the packing slip.
Most ecommerce fulfillment services companies provide their clients with custom labeling solutions. The labeling solutions come in two versions, in-house and outsourcing. Outsource labeling provides the customer the ability to design their own labels that meet the specifications of their product. In-house labeling requires the assistance of the company’s in-house design staff or a skilled third party who has experience in creating attractive labels.
Many ecommerce fulfillment services use bar code technology to automate the inventory tracking on their website. By using this method, the amount of inventory that can be handled in a given time period can be significantly reduced. This method is very helpful for businesses that receive a great deal of traffic on their website. Product inventory tracking allows customers to easily locate products that have been ordered from their website. This simplifies the process of replenishing supplies as well. The reduction of overhead associated with manual inventory management reduces the cost of operating the ecommerce orders fulfillment centers.
Ecommerce fulfillment centers often provide packing services to their clients. Most ecommerce fulfillment services utilize freight brokers to pack their orders. However, some companies do choose to do their own packing, or they may utilize specialized shipping boxes and envelopes. Fulfillment centers pack products on site and ship them via standard commercial courier services to their customers. This alleviates the task of having to load and unload the products to allow customers easy access to their orders.
An ecommerce fulfillment service may also provide on-site or e-commerce storage for finished products that are not being shipped to their customers’ doorsteps. This storage can range from storing products that have already been sold to storing raw materials that are used to make the products. This type of storage is usually provided by the manufacturer who dictates how much of a facility is necessary to store their products. A third party, such as an individual or a company that does not manufacture products, will normally lease a temporary space on their behalf and pay for the cost of storing and transporting their products.
In addition to on-site and short-term storage, ecommerce fulfillment centers may also provide onsite inventory management. This will include the routine recording and tracking of inventory levels. The recordkeeping of inventory levels is necessary because a business that does not record their inventory levels is likely to run out of some products before they sell their goods to their customers. When a business knows exactly where their inventory is and when they have it, they can fulfill orders with fewer problems and less wasteage to both the company’s customers and themselves.