Fulfillment center and Warehouse are terms used interchangeably as their service is quite similar, but they are two different services. Both are large buildings that store the inventory of the business. However, their services also vary regarding the company’s needs. A fulfillment center is a center that deals with picking, packing, assembling, and shipping orders to customers promptly. At the same time, a warehouse is different in regards it only storing the goods to be used later.
What does a warehousing solution do?
Warehousing is the service that stores the inventory of specific companies for an extended period. Usually, this service is used to store the company’s off-season products and will be required next season, so they keep their products in the WarehouseWarehouse. Inventory can be added daily for the company and transferred out when necessary. Products are stored, stacked on a high shelf, and moved through a forklift. You can simply use warehousing if you want to keep your extra or off-season product.
Warehouses usually work for large businesses, retailers, and wholesalers with bulk products. Large retailers or wholesalers have warehouses where they can store their extra products, take on a lease, or share with other retailers. A small business or retailer warehouse on a lease is a good option. A fulfillment center can also serve as a warehouse center, but it is more costly than warehousing.
What is a fulfillment center?
A fulfillment center is a building that offers to store, pack, and ship orders to customers. It is also known as an order fulfillment center or 3PL that stores the product for a limited period and delivers it to the customers as soon as possible.
Fulfillment centers are usually busy as they work a lot to make the order shipped to the customers on time. They have a lot of work to do daily, such as picking, assembling, kitting, packing, labeling, and shipping to the final destination. Fulfillment center also handle the returns. They have the best technology and staff services for order processing, updating inventory and safe transportation, etc. It is the best service for those who want to avoid storing their products and delivering them on time.
Fulfillment centers work with eCommerce, businesses, or retailers to quickly deliver B2C or B2B orders. They only store inventory for a short period. They pick up an order and return it to the customers promptly. Warehouse centers can use fulfillment center services to deliver products to customers quickly. Most retailers use fulfillment center shipping services than a warehouse.
The fulfillment center’s services are most beneficial as they eliminate storing inventory for an extended period, take less time to deliver, have real-time documentation, and have countless operations at a single fulfillment center.
Pick and pack fulfillment services:
Pick and pack are essential steps in the fulfillment center. Firstly, after order placement from the customer, a pickup list is prepared through the website. After that, the customer’s order is picked up from the store, packed in a fulfillment center, and then shipped to the customer.
Fulfillment centers provide order pick and pack services, making it easy for companies to offer more products to their customers. This is the most crucial step, as customers’ experiences are significantly impacted by the process’ speed, expertise, and reliability. Your consumers are less likely to refer you to others or make another purchase from you if packages come damaged, delayed, or the wrong item is sent.
The pick-and-pack fulfillment service can succeed through coordination, management, and organization. One of the most significant challenges faced in pick and pack is collecting a large number of orders in a short period. Different pick and pack strategies use to make order fulfillment successful and make your customer happy. Some of the essential strategies are discussed below;
- Piece picking is a straightforward process as workers take orders to WarehouseWarehouse and pick orders and pack them directly. This strategy is only implemented in small warehouses not suited for big warehouses.
- Batch picking is a more efficient method and is implemented in busier warehouses. Piece picking and batch picking entail selecting products for individual orders, while batch pickers complete many orders simultaneously.
- Zone picking works by dividing the WarehouseWarehouse into zones. When an order calls for products from various zones, order pickers only choose those from their designated zones, and employees pass boxes from one zone to the next. It is possible to physically move the boxes. Zone picking is most valuable and practical than previous ones.
- Wave picking utilizes both the batch picking and zone picking strategy. Workers get the order from assigned zones in batches.
Fulfillment Center vs. Warehouse: The Similarities and Differences:
Fulfillment Center and Warehouse are two different terms, but they consider similarly as both are shipping services provided to other retailers or wholesalers. There are some similarities and differences between them, which are discussed here.
Similarities between Fulfillment Center and Warehouse:
- Fulfillment Center and Warehouse both hold the products for different companies.
- Both handle the products of different companies while the warehouse only store the products but the fulfillment center completed all stages of product delivery.
- A fulfillment center already has warehousing, while a warehouse does not have fulfillment service.
Differences between the fulfillment center and WarehouseWarehouse:
- The main difference between fulfillment and a warehouse is that the fulfillment center is short-term and delivers orders quickly; a warehouse is a long-term service that stores the products for a long period.
- Operations in fulfillment centers are continuous and more complex, including picking, assembling, kitting, packing, labeling, shipping, and managing returns. While warehouses are the static center, they only store products.
- Fulfillment centers work with many shipping carriers to make timely delivery possible. They need frequent pickups and daily shipments to deliver to the customers on time. At the same time, warehouses need less frequent pickups.
- Fulfillment center service is costly compared to warehouse service because it needs to pack orders individually. At the same time, the WarehouseWarehouse offers freight transportation in box packing, covering more products in one filling.
How can a fulfillment center help you grow your business?
Whether you have just started your business or have an old established business, a fulfillment center service can benefit your business in the long run. There are some reasons why fulfillment center services can be advantageous for your business.
- Fulfillment centers eliminate the need for a warehouse as they can process and deliver your products to the customers directly.
- To establish a small business, you must buy computers, printers, warehousing systems, forklifts, conveyor belts, and packaging materials. Your Warehouse, a fulfillment center, is a good option, and you can not afford to set up your Warehouse.
- Fulfillment center makes your customers satisfied as they deliver your products to your customers faster and safely.
- If you hire a fulfillment service to take care of your orders, you don’t need to worry about dealing with all the technological issues on your own.
- An order fulfillment service provider offers a better shipping rate.
- You can access more international customers by using fulfillment center services.
- Fluctuations can happen in the market and they can cause a drastic change in your company. Fulfillment centers are responsible for handling all these fluctuations, such as the sudden drop in sales or the peak in demand. It helps you maintain direction.
- Fulfillment centers make you ideal for a volatile market.
- Fulfillment centers providers are experts in delivery on time and avoid mistakes while packing and labeling, making your customers happy.
- An order fulfillment center can expand your market through its various strategies.
Fulfillment center FAQs
How does 3PL work?
To speed up the delivery of your order and handle returns, we use the supply chain management part of retailers and fulfillment centers. A 3PL supplier can give you a lot of benefits, such as reducing costs, improving delivery, increasing efficiency, etc.
How can I track my order?
A Barcode tracking system can help you in tracking your order. You can also access real-time insight into your order.
How do you handle a return?
We have an effective return strategy. You can return your order in case of the wrong size, the wrong item was delivered, or the product did not fulfill your expectation. Our fulfillment center deals with this delicate process.
How can I cancel the order?
We can cancel your orders within a specific timeframe. But if the order is already dispatched, we will keep the order. You can also contact us directly for cancellation.
What is the payment method?
You can pay us via PayPal or directly with a bank account.