What is a Fulfillment Centre?

09/04/2017

Fulfillment centers are nothing new. They have been around since the '90s, and they have been essential ever since in fulfilling manufacturers' need for warehouse logistics. Looking into the bigger picture, fulfillment centers are part of a dynamic supply chain solutions that functions as storage units and safe places as the circle of the supply-and-demand continues to revolve.

"Fulfillment centres enable ecommerce merchants to outsource warehousing and shipping. This relieves online business of the necessary physical space to store all products, which is beneficial for merchants without the capacity to directly manage inventory. Sellers send merchandise to the fulfillment centre, and the outsourced provider ships it to customers for them. Inventory management is a prevalent operational problem for many online stores, but is an essential component of cultivating the best possible customer experience. Fulfillment centers make inventory management much easier and allow store owners more time to focus on other areas of their business," as an anonymous writer of bigcommerce.com in the article What is a fulfillment center and why is it important? chronicled.

Michelle Lee, who just read about fulfillment centers in Asian printer, shared that she now understands how companies like Amazon function, "As I am an e-commerce business aspirant myself, I have always wondered how these big shipping companies are able to cater to millions of their buyers around the world. It is such a breeze and an enlightening experience to know more about fulfillment houses. I've always thought there is some kind of a magic that goes on because I cannot visualize how this whole thing works."

Still confused? Think of fulfilment centres (or fulfillment houses or fulfillment houses as British English would use it) as modern packing warehouse. As Wikipedia would comprehensively chronicle, "The terms were coined in the middle of the 1990s, and "fulfilment centre" is usually used about an in-house packing warehouse, while "fulfilment house" tends to be used about companies that specialise in warehousing and packing for others."

You may also find terms like e-commerce fulfilment, which basically has the same process, "E-Commerce Fulfillment is the process of receiving orders from an online shopping cart (or Web store) and picking, packing, and shipping them to individual customers across the globe. Ecommerce fulfillment differs from other forms of fulfillment in terms of the source of the ordering, since it takes place online, as well as the destination of the orders - individual consumers. Other types of fulfillment include retail fulfillment (shipping of orders to business retail locations), marketing and collateral fulfillment (shipping of orders to employees or internal business locations), and various B2B (business to business) fulfillment services, which focus on shipping orders to businesses rather than consumers (B2C - business to consumer)... When outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment with a professional fulfillment services operation, there are a multitude of steps in the overall process. Each of these steps will be describes in further detail below, but in general they include: Account set up, Receiving inventory, Receiving orders, Fulfillment of orders (including the information that is included in the package as well as the packaging itself), Shipping of orders, Tracking of Shipments, Inventory control and syncing, and Handling returns" as an anonymous writer for fulfillmentcompanies.net would put it.