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What is fulfillment?

“Order fulfillment” in the most general sense is the complete process from the point of sale to delivery of a product to the consumer.

Also known as “product fulfillment” this refers to the services that a fulfillment company offers to store, receive the orders, package, and then ship the ordered item to the end consumer.

Below are 15 crucial steps to order fulfillment.

  1. Storage and Warehousing
  2. Inventory Control
  3. Pick and pack
  4. Shopping cart design and development
  5. Inbound/outbound freight management.
  6. Receiving and put-away
  7. Call center integration
  8. Daily order data transmissions
  9. Credit card processing
  10. Order Fulfillment
  11. Auto ship confirmation
  12. Shipping materials
  13. Shipper selection and integration
  14. Returns processing
  15. Fulfillment activity reporting with 365/24/7 online access

The first three of these fulfillment services are detailed below:

  • Storage and warehousing

A fulfillment company stores items until an order for the item comes in. Storage facilities can be prepared for perishable items, temperature sensitive items, or highly secure guarded storage.

Fulfillment companies often charge a storage fee based on the product storage requirements, storage volume, and any special handling that may be required.

  • Inventory Control

A fulfillment company will typically maintain and publish inventory counts as goods are shipped. Reporting systems are extremely sophisticated allowing for 365/24/7 online access for thousands of fulfillment reports.

  • Pick and pack

“Pick and pack” is the process of selecting items currently being stored by the fulfillment company to prep for shipping. Once the fulfillment order data is downloaded, systems print out “pick lists” and “packing slips”.  Fulfillment companies have employees known as "pickers" that will receive the order manifest. These "pickers" will then proceed in walk sequence to the pallet or bin and, using a RF system, “scan” the product against the pick list.  The “pickers” then delivers the item to another employee known as a "packer" who double-checks the scan.  The items are then placed in the appropriate size box with the fulfillment packing slip.

 

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