What Exactly Is An Order Fulfillment Center?

What exactly is an order fulfillment center?

The easiest way to answer this question is that an order fulfillment center is an area that is designated for the sole purpose of processing and fulfilling orders that are placed through a business.  If you are running a traditional store, the area where the sales take place is the “front of house” and the area where the orders are pulled from inventory and prepared for shipment is the “order fulfillment center” (warehouse.)  While this is certainly not a new concept, there has been a new evolution in the fulfillment center since the internet and shopping online has become more popular.  This concept is the “third party fulfillment center” which is essentially a warehouse and staff that is not directly employed by your business that processes your orders for you.  The first question many people ask is “why would I want to hire another company to process my orders when I can do it myself?” The answer is both savings and attention to detail.  A third party shipping and order fulfillment company has only one specialty, the processing of orders for shipment.  Because of this specialty they can generally do a better and more efficient job than your staff can, and at the same time save you money because you do not have to pay for dedicated employees or a warehouse.

One of the largest expenses with regards to any business is the employees.  This is because you are paying them for their time that they are at work, but they are not necessarily working the entire time.  Another big expense is the space that you need to rent to store your inventory, because you will need to rent an entire space that your inventory may not totally fill.  When you use a third party fulfillment center, you are only paying for the space in their warehouse that your inventory uses, and you are only paying their employees to process the orders that are placed.  When there is not work to be done for you, the employees are used for other businesses like yours, and as a result you will generally save money over paying for dedicated employees and spaces.  This advantage will not only save you money, but it will also allow you to be more able to adapt to seasonality and sales upturns or downturns, where you can simply reduce or increase your footprint within the third party fulfillment center as necessary.  This will also protect you from the dangers of long term leases that can harm your business if you have sales turn out to be different than projected.  With a third party fulfillment company, you simply increase or decrease the amount of service that you need.

If you are interested in finding out more about how we can help your business through our third party fulfillment services, contact us immediately.  We create a software bridge from our offices to your website, and we receive your orders for processing using our employees.  Your inventory is stored in our secure warehouses that are only accessed by our employees.  We do shipping and order fulfillment, and we specialize in the process.  We will be able to improve your current operations and at the same time take responsibilities off your plate!