What is order fulfilment?

Order fulfilment is the service provided by third party companies to take over certain aspects of a companies storage and distribution so the companies can concentrate on other aspects of their business such as marketing, sales etc.
A fulfilment centre also known as a fulfilment house is a large warehouse adapted to storing customers goods and shipping them out to customers on demand.

Why would I need a fulfilment company?

There are several reasons why a company would sub contract their storage and distribution to a third party.

  1. Start ups - with no room or infrastructure to store products
  2. Warehouse costs - rent, staff, power, equipment is very expensive
  3. Time - companies can concentrate their time and resources on other aspects of their business
  4. Price - fulfilment centres can negotiate bulk and better deals on courier and postal services pricing as well as discounts on packaging etc
  5. Expertise - A fulfilment house is an expert in distribution and shipping
  6. Convenience - Everything is already in place with a fulfilment company, no additional set up required
  7. IT - A fulfilment house already has the integrations and IT infrastructure to send and receive orders
  8. Equipment - A fulfilment centre already has in place forklifts, container unloads, printers, labelling equipment, racking, scanners and other specialist equipment required for distribution
  9. Postal accounts - Most couriers and postal companies require a minimum order quantity to set up an account.

Is order fulfilment expensive?

Order fulfilemnt pricing can vary drastically, as an example a standard rate for picking and packing your goods is £1 per order, you can generally add that cost on to your shipping fee to your customer, additional fees to take into account include storage of goods and and account maintenance fees.

What does it cost to run a warehouse?

  1. Warehouse rent
  2. Warehouse rates
  3. Warehouse insurance
  4. Lighting and power
  5. Forklift
  6. Pallet handling equipment
  7. Pallets
  8. Racking
  9. Shelving
  10. Scanners
  11. Computers
  12. Printers
  13. Label printers
  14. Staff
  15. Phone and Internet costs
  16. Labels and consumables
  17. Storage boxes
  18. Postal accounts
  19. IT integrations