A fulfilment service is a third-party logistics provider that prepares and ships customer orders on your behalf.
As online shopping and ecommerce begins to exceed physical retail, it has become more critical than ever to fulfil customer orders quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. Its importance has been greatly amplified by the covid-19 pandemic.
Using a fulfilment service is a fantastic option for any business which has outgrown their existing warehousing capabilities and is looking for support to keep customers satisfied and improve efficiency.
A fulfilment provider can act as a hub for receiving, preparing and shipping orders and have a huge impact on your business’s growth. Third party logistics companies can handle all the elements of fulfilment; helping you reduce costs and improve service.
But what steps are included in a fulfilment service and how can it help your business achieve the growth you’re looking for?
Receiving stock from your suppliers – or finished products from your production line – is the first step in order fulfilment.
Once your product arrives, the fulfilment provider will ensure the stock received matches that anticipated and inspect the goods to ensure no items have been lost or damaged in transit.
SKUs (stock-keeping units) are added to the warehouse management software in order to keep track of the number, location and status of each item. If not already affixed, SKU or bar code labels are added to packaging to enable scanning.
Once your goods have been checked and inspected, it’s time for them to be properly stored.
Correct storage is one of the most important steps and will help maximise the speed and accuracy with which your customers orders are fulfilled. Stock is placed in locations designed for fast, efficient processing by the order fulfilment team.
Customer orders are generated once an order is placed online, in-person or over the telephone. As well as the business’s own website or retailers, this now increasingly includes orders placed by customers on third-party eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay.
Once an order is received, the warehouse staff will pick the correct items off the shelves and pass them to the packing area. The packing process goes through a series of quality control checks: scanning each item, placing it in the correct packaging, adding packing slips and other documentation, sealing the order and arranging shipping.
Shipping and Transportation
Now the order is ready to be shipped to the customer.
Depending on the order, your fulfilment partner will use a range of shipping providers to dispatch the order to the customer in the time needed. Orders will typically be collected en masse from the warehouse periodically throughout the day and delivered to the customers door – ready for them to enjoy.
Why are Fulfilment Services Important?
Outsourcing order fulfilment – especially eCommerce fulfilment – can be a simple but highly effective way to reduce costs and create growth.
Establishing suitable warehousing and order fulfilment requires considerable capital investment, manpower and management. With a third-party logistics provider, goods sold through your website, a third-party eCommerce site – or any other channel – can be quickly and efficiency fulfilled, leaving you to focus on the critical elements of your business.
Costs are incurred for each individual order fulfilled – helping you plan expenditure without having to invest money in warehousing, staff and systems.
Using the latest technology, a modern fulfilment provider can integrate seamlessly with your own systems, eCommerce and customers. By carefully tracking both goods and their movements, they can provide real-time data to both you and your customers.
Maximising Your Time
Using a third-party logistics or fulfilment provider, frees you to focus on the parts of your business which have the greatest impact on your bottom line.
As with any growing business, you need time to devote to sales, marketing, product development, resource management and expansion. Using a fulfilment service to ensure customers receive a peerless service will help you build your reputation and customer loyalty.
Why Johnston Logistics UK?
Choosing the right partner is critical when entrusting your order fulfilment to a third-party logistics provider.
At Johnston Logistics UK, we provide warehousing, logistics and fulfilment to major retailers, leading brands and growing businesses alike.
We provide all elements of the logistics from receiving and distributing parts and materials, to warehousing finished goods and fulfilling thousands of customers’ eCommerce and direct orders each day.
With our state-of-the-art Warehouse Management System (WMS) we provide access to critical data anywhere and anytime, via a user-friendly dashboard. This ensures our clients can manage their own inventory, monitor orders and enjoy end-to-end supply chain transparency.
As well as integration with our client’s IT systems, we can seamlessly link with eCommerce websites and systems including:
- Not On The High Street
Your One-Stop Fulfilment Service
Outsourcing order fulfilment is critical to effectively and efficiency servicing modern customers, especially through eCommerce.
It’s a great way to improve service, avoid costly capital investment and free up your time to focus on growth.
Here at Johnston Logistics UK, we provide a complete end-to-end fulfilment process, from receiving and sorting stock, to processing and despatching same-day orders. We can even receive, assess and process returns.
With extensive experience and expansive capabilities, our team can help you satisfy customers and improve profitability with our excellent warehousing, logistics and fulfilment.
If you’d like to know more about how Johnston Logistics UK can help, contact us today.