Order Fulfilment is simply the process of receiving items, processing them, and finally distributing orders to clients. The transaction begins when a customer places an order and concludes when they get it.
Therefore, a fulfilment centre is where the seller or a business the seller outsources their order fulfilment. A fulfilment centre is usually a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that fulfils customer orders placed through an online store or retail store.
The primary job of a fulfilment centre is to help sellers handle the crucial but frequently challenging fulfilment operation by:
- managing inventory;
- storing inventory;
- shipping orders directly to customers and merchants;
- and assisting with order fulfilment.
These facilities are necessary for online product sales companies and play a significant role in e-commerce. There are various kinds of fulfilment centres, such as:
Types Of Fulfilment Centres
In-House Fulfilment Centres
These facilities are owned and run by the company. Large corporations usually have an in-house fulfilment centre since they have the infrastructure and resources to meet their order fulfilment requirements. Unlike other small and medium e-commerce businesses, these large corporations like Amazon can absorb the cost of any revenue loss due to problems incurred in the shipping process. They are also able to run a big shipping service effectively at a minimal cost to their profit.
Third-Party Fulfilment Centres
These facilities are run and owned by outside logistics firms. These firms exist to offer order fulfilment services for e-commerce businesses that prefer to outsource their shipping needs. They offer a variety of services to businesses, including order processing, warehousing, and shipping.
MultiChannel Fulfilment Centres
Multichannel fulfilment centres are made to handle orders from a variety of sales channels, including online auction sites, e-commerce websites, and physical storefronts. Businesses that distribute their goods through a variety of channels frequently use them.
Cross-Docking Fulfilment Centres
These facilities accept products from suppliers and distribute them directly to customers without keeping them in inventory. This kind of fulfilment facility is primarily used for high-volume, low-value products.
Regional Fulfilment Centres
Regional fulfilment centres are placed strategically in various locations to cut down on shipping costs and timeframes. They reduce the delivery time by having warehouses in multiple regions rather than one central warehouse. Businesses with a national or international customer base frequently use them.
Automated Fulfilment Centres
These centres use automation technologies like robots and conveyors to conduct the fulfilment process. They are usually utilised by major companies that receive many orders.
Functions Of A Fulfilment Centre
Online businesses depend largely on fulfilment centres to get their products to customers quickly. Here are a couple of the most important functions e-commerce fulfilment centres perform:
Receiving and Storing Products
Fulfilment centres take delivery of products from suppliers and hold them in storage until it is time to dispatch them to customers. They often use cutting-edge inventory management systems to guarantee that products are reliably tracked.
After a customer places an order, the fulfilment centre completes it by selecting the desired items from stock, packing them, and getting them ready for shipping.
Fulfilment centres handle product shipments to customers. They cooperate with shipping companies to guarantee prompt and undamaged delivery of the goods. Fulfilment centres also track these packages at every stage of the shipping journey.
A fulfilment centre handles returns by receiving the returned item, checking it, and restocking it.
Fulfilment centres frequently offer customer service, including answering client inquiries and addressing problems with orders and shipments.
Businesses can scale their operations effectively and fast thanks to fulfilment centres. These centres remove the liability of shipping while also improving the shipping and order fulfilment process and attracting more customers. And when the order volume increases, businesses can count on fulfilment centres to take on the increased workload.
Finally, fulfilment centres are essential to the e-commerce sector because they allow companies to store, handle, and transport goods to customers quickly and effectively.
A fulfilment centre partnership makes financial and logistical sense as an e-commerce business is booming. If you’re constantly running behind in inventory, missing orders, late shipping and delivery and customer complaints are through the roof; then it’s time to research and find a fulfilment centre to handle things.
Furthermore, a fulfilment partner’s knowledge and built-in procedures help manage seasonal or trending sales increases without slowing down operations.