Fulfillment – unmasked

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Logistics are a side of the business world that rarely receives any attention except for from the people directly involved in the stock management side of things – or when business owners and managers realise how much they can save by utilising the services provided by companies who specialise in logistics and other related services.

Why is logistics so sidelined? Well, articles on business in a weekly business magazine are more likely to focus on marketing and branding because they are easy enough for everyone to understand, and considered more glamorous. This is simply because products sitting on a shelf in a warehouse simply cannot compete with brainstorm sessions and art directors with cool beards…but if it wasn't for the products on the shelves, the art directors wouldn't get paid.

What is fulfillment and who typically provides fulfilment services?

Fulfillment is also referred to as order fulfillment or product fulfillment and describes the system by which a company meets their obligation to send a customer something that they have ordered. Hence the word 'fulfill' in the title.

Companies that provide fulfilment services are generally also the same companies that store the products in anticipation of their being ordered, receives the orders, processes the orders, packages the items and then is responsible for shipping them to the customer who has made the order request.

It is not a small operation. There is a huge amount involved in successfully staying on top of all the work that has to be done. For example, there might be a wide range of products being stored for several different clients, and not all of those items will need to be stored in the same way. Some will require a temperature controlled environment and others will need a lot of space.

Similarly, it takes a large team of effective staff to keep on top of the orders as they come in and ensure that they are being processed properly so that the right customer receives the right item.

These companies play a pivotal role for many businesses, and their importance shouldn't be understated.

About the Author

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