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Make Business Run Smoothly with Distribution Fulfillment Services

how you handle distribution can be the difference between business success and failure

  • Written by Tess Holman
  • Published on December 4, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Introduction

In the ever-changing business world, companies always look for ways to improve operations, save money, and make customers happier. One way to do all these things is by using distribution fulfillment services. Whether you run a new online store or a big retail company, how you handle distribution can be the difference between success and failure. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore distribution fulfillment services, what they do, why they matter, and how to pick the right company to help your business do well.

Understanding Distribution Fulfillment Services

Distribution fulfillment services cover many tasks needed to get products from the factory or supplier to the customer’s doorstep. These services are essential in the supply chain and can affect a business’s performance. Let’s break down the main parts of distribution fulfillment:

1. Keeping Track of Stuff

One big part is keeping track of all the things a business has. This means knowing how many products are left, where they are, and when to get more. Special computer programs help do this job and make tracking more manageable and accurate.

2. Getting Orders Ready

When customers order stuff, it needs to be prepared and sent to them quickly. This includes checking the order, getting payment, and putting the products in boxes for shipping. Computers can also help with this to avoid mistakes and make things faster.

3. Storage

Before items get sent out, they need a place to stay. These places are called warehouses. Warehouses are usually set up to make it easy to find things quickly. They also use technology like barcodes and unique tags to keep track of everything.

4. Sending Stuff and Getting it There

The final step is sending the product to the customer. This means choosing the best way to ship it, ensuring it gets to the right place, and handling all the details. Many companies have partnerships with shipping companies to ensure fast and dependable deliveries. 

Often, companies can strike a deal with major shipping carriers for discounted rates. You usually have to have a high shipping volume to get these rates. Partnering with a company like eHub can get you access to high-volume shipping discounts because they leverage all the companies they work with to gain these high shipping volumes. If you want access to these discounted rates, plus a lot of other valuable help with your business, contact eHub today to get a customized plan.

5. Handling Returns

Sometimes, customers want something other than what they ordered or need to return something. Distribution fulfillment services also deal with this by making it easy for customers to send things back and for businesses to manage returned items.

Why Distribution Fulfillment Services Matter

Now that we’ve looked at what distribution fulfillment services do let’s talk about why they are so crucial for businesses of all sizes.

1. Saving Money

Using distribution fulfillment services can often be cheaper than doing it all in-house. These services can save money on storage, labor, and shipping. This lets businesses spend money on things like making new products or advertising.

2. Growing Your Business

As your business gets bigger, you need to send out more products. Fulfillment services can grow with your business, so you don’t have to worry about finding more space or hiring more people during busy times.

3. Focusing on What You’re Best At

When you let experts handle distribution, you can spend more time on what your business is good at. You won’t have to worry about shipping and storage, so you can focus on creating great products and reaching more customers.

4. Happy Customers

Quick and accurate order processing, reliable shipping, and easy returns make customers happy. Happy customers are likelier to come back and tell others about your business.

5. Access to Cool Tools and Experts

Fulfillment companies use the latest technology and have experts who know how to manage stuff. Your business can use the best tools and tricks without building them yourself.

A graphic illustration shows a business owner thinking deeply, trying to decide on the best fulfillment provider for his business.

Picking the Right Distribution Fulfillment Provider

Choosing the right company to handle your distribution is a big decision. Here are some essential things to think about:

1. What Services You Need

Not all fulfillment companies do the same things. Consider what your business needs, like storage, order processing, or returns, and pick a company offering those services.

2. Where They Are

Where the company’s warehouses are located can affect how long it takes to ship things and how much it costs. Find a company with warehouses in places that make sense for your customers.

3. Using Good Technology

In today’s digital world, technology is vital in distribution. Look for a company that uses the latest software and tools to make things work smoothly and lets you see what’s happening with your products.

4. Growing with You

Think about how big you want your business to get and if the company can handle that growth. A good company can grow with your business and handle more orders when things get busier.

5. Knowing the Costs

Understand how the company charges for their services. This includes things like storage, order processing, and shipping. Make sure you know all the costs so you can plan your budget.

6. Checking Their Reputation

Look into the company’s history and ask them for references from their current customers. If other people like their service, it’s a good sign they might also be a good fit for you.

7. Communication

Having good communication with the company is essential. Ensure they have a customer service team that answers questions and updates you on your orders and products.

8. eHub

eHub is nestled in a sweet spot for e-commerce companies looking to find distribution fulfillment services. eHub has spent years cultivating a network of vetted providers that offer varying services to companies that need fulfillment. Finding a distribution center, let alone one that fits your needs, can feel overwhelming. Contact eHub today, and let us remove the stress and work of finding a good fulfillment partner.

A graphic illustration depicts a happy business owner shaking hands with a fulfillment center worker, clearly pleased with increased sales.

Case Study: How Distribution Fulfillment Can Change a Business

Let’s look at an example to see how distribution fulfillment can make a big difference for a business.

Company X is a fast-growing online store that sells all kinds of electronics. At first, they did everything: running a small warehouse and hiring people to take care of orders and shipping. But as they got bigger, they faced some problems:

  • Problems with Inventory: They needed help keeping track of what they had, and sometimes they ran out of products or had too many.
  • Lots of Costs: Hiring more people during busy times costs a lot of money and takes up a lot of time.
  • Shipping Issues: They couldn’t get good deals on shipping, so it cost their customers more.
  • Upset Customers: Late deliveries and order mistakes made customers unhappy and gave them bad reviews.

To solve these problems, Company X decided to work with a distribution fulfillment company. Here’s how it changed their business:

Better Inventory Management: The company used new software to keep track of its products. This helped them avoid running out or having too much.

Savings: By using the distribution company, Company X saved a lot of money on labor because the distribution company was good at taking care of orders and shipping.

Easier Shipping: The distribution company had good partnerships with shipping companies so that Company X could offer faster and cheaper shipping to customers.

Happy Customers: With the distribution company, orders were right and arrived on time, so customers were happy and wrote good reviews.

Growing Without Problems: As Company X grew, the distribution company could handle more orders without issues.

In just a year after working with the distribution fulfillment company, Company X made a lot more money. They could focus on making more products and telling more people about their business because they no longer have to worry about shipping and storage.

Conclusion

Distribution fulfillment services are the behind-the-scenes heroes that ensure products get to customers quickly, correctly, and without costing too much. In today’s competitive business world, letting a good company handle your distribution can help your business grow and succeed.

By understanding what distribution fulfillment does, why it’s essential, and how to pick the right company, you can improve your business, save money, and make your customers happy. In the business world, having an efficient distribution system is the key to making your business the best it can be.

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