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Business Planning Process Planning & Strategy

A Brief Introduction to Fulfilment

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Fulfilment deals with all of the services which involve getting a product to its desired destination, and thus is essential in the supply chain procedure. This deals with receiving the order, to anything which goes on in the warehouse, to the transportation process, to even the returns processing.

It is fair to say that fulfilment services are of pivotal importance. Nevertheless, not every business (in fact very few) has the resources and the capacity to deal with these services in house. Many mustuse an outside company who can offer the full fulfilment service package so that everything runs smoothly on all supply chain levels. These companies have full-service warehouses with spiral elevators, cutting-edge technology, and experienced workers. You should never underestimate the importance of quality control when seeking such a company.

As a business owner who is considering fulfilment, your mind may zone in on the point of purchase – the location where the transportation occurs. This is of course a pivotal area of fulfilment and needs to be addressed. Not only does the transportation process need to be effective and timely, but so too does the processes which build up to this moment – the bagging, the cutting, the tagging, the labelling, the reworking – everything.

QC audits also need to be implemented across the board. Even when cross docking is utilized and there is little product handling, quality still needs to be assured for the efficiency and the monetary value this method is known to provide.

You should also look for a warehouse and distribution company that offers you several different packaging options. This translates to the way in which your products are grouped together, as well as the way in which they are wrapped. Dealing with the former, products may need custom assembly or be kitted. Custom assembly is important when dealing with unique packages.

Looking for a fulfilment company who boasts kitting services is also important. Kitting involves grouping products together identically – gift sets, literature collation, variety packs, instructional packs, sampling sets, welcome packages, and so on and so forth – these are essential for efficiency as a fulfilment company can have all of the kitted products assembled and ready before an order has even been processed.

This is beneficial from a time and cost savings standpoint. There are of course other options as well, for example small parts assembly, which again deals with a differing area of the supply chain.

As previously mentioned, there are various different ways in which the packaging process takes place.  For example, do you want to offer the option of gift wrapping?  Some businesses may only offer this during the Christmas period, or not at all.

There is then the re-packaging of goods when they have been sent back and need to be distributed again. This can often incorporate a lot more than meets the eye. For example, testing often needs to take place to ensure the product still works.

In addition to this, there is shrink film wrapping. This is an option which is widely utilized in manufacturing and can be used to wrap anything from duvet covers to kids’ scooters.

And last, but not least, there are blister packs. These tend to be more applicable in the pharmaceutical industries, however, there are other types of blister packs which are suited to toys, electrical items, stationary, and parker pens.

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