Online retailers offer a variety of products and sell their wares to consumers around the world. Because of this, many business owners find it challenging to keep track of their inventory and the state of their sales. However, with the help of order fulfillment services USA residents trust, they can rest assured that their customers’ orders will arrive on time.
Order fulfillment centers handle all the functions of the logistics process of a company. They take care of the brand’s inventory management, warehousing, order processing and packaging, as well as shipping of goods locally or worldwide. They also have the resources to accommodate large quantities of products and keep track of each item by using the latest software. Thanks to the services they provide, business owners can focus on the other areas of their company like working on their campaigns.
To better understand the function of an order fulfillment center, let’s explore how the order fulfillment process works:
Step 1: Receiving the Inventory
Before order fulfillment providers start managing an inventory, they must receive it first. Depending on the type of product that’s being handled, retailers can deliver their goods to the center themselves or have their supplier do it for them. Once the items are received, the order fulfillment process will formally begin.
Step 2: Keeping Track of the Inventory
To ensure that the products are organized, order fulfillment companies will use the shipment details that were provided by their clients. They’ll stock and tag each unit, so it’ll be easier to include the items in their inventory tracking system. They can also create a unique internal SKU number system for their customers to prevent order mix-ups. After the products are properly stored, order fulfillment services can help their clients forecast their inventory purchases by keeping track of their sales.
Step 3: Picking and Packing
When an order is received, order fulfillment providers will start the pick-and-pack process. Here, they’ll pick up items that their clients’ customers ordered and bring them to the packaging station where they’ll be assembled for delivery. At this point, the following tasks will be carried out:
- Additional quality control checks
- Barcode scanning
- Adding packing slips or inserts
- Sealing of packages
Step 4: Shipping of Goods
After the packages are weighed, order fulfillment companies will have to choose which delivery method is best suited for every item. Depending on the type of merchandise that’s being transported, the shipping process can be more or less complex. Once the products are shipped, retailers will be able to track the progress of their consumers’ purchases and receive an update when their orders are completed.
Step 5: Processing of Returns
Many order fulfillment companies are prepared to accommodate an online retailer’s product returns. However, they may charge extra for handling such items. Nevertheless, it’s an investment business owners should consider because order fulfillment services can streamline the entire process, making the returns easier on their clients and their consumers.
Purchasing items online is more than just clicking on the buy now button and waiting for them to be delivered at your doorstep. Products have to go through several phases in the logistics process to ensure that they arrive at the correct destination safely and on time. The procedure is by no means easy. However, with the help of a trusted order fulfillment provider, business owners will have greater peace of mind knowing that their inventory is well-taken care of.