An Introduction to Ecommerce Fulfilment Centres

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What Are Fulfilment Centres?

Fulfilment centres are a storage and distribution hub. They will receive orders and ship them to customers. Fulfilment centres may serve a single business or accept orders for a variety of firms.

Why Are Fulfillment Centres Important?

Don’t take time and energy away from your retail staff to fill online orders. Don’t waste valuable space in expensive retail stores trying to pack and ship online orders. That’s one of the benefits of fulfilment centres. They can be set up in much cheaper warehouse and industrial space and take advantage of excellent transportation access to ship more packages at a lower cost.

Ecommerce fulfilment centres have all of these advantages along with economies of scale. Mail distribution companies or third party logistics (3PL services) have a single massive warehouse or grouping of them. They have dedicated, trained staff. And they can take advantage of bulk shipping discounts when shipping orders to your customers. That pays off when you’re shipping heavy items or multiple items as part of a single order. This makes third party ecommerce fulfilment far cheaper than trying to set up your own fulfilment center in a warehouse.

Furthermore, ecommerce fulfilment centres allow small businesses to offer the same level of service as larger firms when they start selling online. You get a cost-effective mailing solution that eliminates the stress of trying to fill orders that come in 24×7. You don’t have to find people to pack orders over weekends or holidays. The fulfilment centre does all of it.

How do you work with an ecommerce fulfilment centre? All you need to do is connect your ecommerce ordering system to their inventory management system so that they have the information they need to fill the order and send them the inventory they’ll ship to customers.

What are the biggest benefits of fulfilment centres?

•  Custom management information and reporting

•  Professional inventory management

•  High speed tracking of orders from receipt to deliver

•  Cost-effective 24×7 warehouse and shipping labor

•  Dramatic savings on shipping costs

The best ecommerce fulfillment centres have dedicated account managers to help you when you have questions or run into problems, whether they’re shipping a few dozen or several hundred orders a week.

What is the ecommerce fulfilment process?

A third party logistics or 3PL service will become an extension of your business. The process of integrating them into your business can be summarised as:

1.  Store and fulfilment integration

This is the process of integrating IT systems so that your website receives orders and passes information on to the fulfilment centre. The data should include the name, address and other pertinent information to track the shipment.

2.  Inventory management

Too many small business owners think that shipping the first batch of product to the fulfilment center is the last thing they need to do. In reality, you want there to be enough orders that you have to regularly restock the fulfilment center. The fulfilment center should send you requests for inventory with enough time to ensure that they don’t run out and your customers don’t abandon purchases because the item isn’t in stock.

Fulfilment centres should also check inventory regularly, correcting inventory when items are lost, damaged or expired.

3.  Order fulfilment

The most important job fulfilment centres have is fulfilling orders. The IT system integration means the fulfilment center is alerted when an order comes in. They should pack and ship orders correctly, quickly and securely. It doesn’t matter if they do it fast if there are items missing or if product is damaged in transit.

4.  Returns processing

Every business is going to encounter problems, and customers will make mistakes. The customer may realize they ordered the wrong item or more than they expected. The fulfilment centre might have shipped the wrong item. This is why you need to choose a 3PL vendor who can effectively handle returns, while properly crediting the customer’s account and the inventory management system.

Are you looking for an ecommerce fulfilment centre?

The Delivery Group has three core principles: people, partnership and performance.

This allows us to provide a fast, flawless and cost-effective solution for your ecommerce business. Contact our team today.

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