What Is An Order Fulfillment Center?

E-commerce has become an essential service to our modern society. Rather than visiting brick-and-mortar stores, many consumers prefer the ease and convenience of shopping online. They can get anything they want delivered right to their door.

To that end, most online shoppers rarely consider the journey their purchase takes. What is this magical, invisible force behind e-commerce? Order Fulfillment centers.

Order fulfillment centers keep the world of e-commerce running smoothly through the use of supply chain optimization. To learn about the benefits of order fulfillment centers, keep reading.

What is an Order Fulfillment Center?

In the past, warehouses stored inventory until it was shipped to retail stores. With online shopping, retail stores are often cut out of the order fulfillment process. Instead, products are sent directly from the warehouse to customers’ doorsteps.

These modern warehouses are better known as order fulfillment centers since they provide a full-suite of fulfillment services.

These supply chain tasks include:
– Receiving inventory from manufacturers/suppliers
– Storing inventory in a secure facility
– Picking and packing products once they’re been ordered
– Shipping these items direct to customers
– Addressing customer service inquiries from brands
– Managing the product returns process

Order fulfillment centers are run by third-party logistics (3PL) providers.

What is a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider?

As a business owner, you probably don’t have time to manage an order fulfillment center on your own. You have other core business functions to attend to, like growing your business!

Rather than renting out your own warehouse, hiring staff, and negotiating with shipping carriers, paying healthcare, retirements and general overhead operational expenses, you can let a 3PL fulfillment partner do this work for you.

3PL providers run thriving order fulfillment centers that are ready-made to carry out order fulfillment services. They’re filled with a dedicated staff of logistics experts. Thus, they will ensure your inventory is taken care of properly and that your customers are satisfied.