5 Common Order Fulfillment Services

Consumers have a stronger impact on supply chain management now than ever before. Changes in the way people order and receive products in the modern world have forced distribution centers to adjust their shipping methods and streamline their inventory management programs. Retailers, shippers, and corporations alike are changing the way they operate, all because of the customers they service. In this discussion, we will look at some of the many ways consumers are changing supply chain management and how that impacts various parties involved with the process.

The Emergence of Multiple Shopping Platforms

In today's society, shoppers have the option to order a product online, have it delivered to their home, and then return it in store. Those same shoppers could place an order on the phone and have it shipped to a store near them. Having multiple shopping and shipping platforms is convenient on the consumer's end, but it can be a nightmare for supply chain management companies trying to keep an accurate record of inventory levels.

As a result of this, companies must focus on having complete visibility across the entire supply chain. That means that a product is accurately accounted for from the moment it arrives at the warehouse to the moment it gets to the customer or back to the store. Real-time inventory management solutions help keep the whole team updated on where products are coming from and going to, ensuring that consumers receive their merchandise in a timely manner.

Changes in Order Sizes and Types

Because of the increased volume of online orders, distribution centers are no longer focused purely on delivering large pallets of products to stores directly. Instead, they must be able to handle the orders from the stores, as well as small orders on the consumer level. In the case of ship-to-store orders, warehouses must be able to process small to mid-sized orders containing series of smaller orders to ensure that both the customers and the merchants are properly taken care of. The inventory for each of these scenarios must be accounted for at the store level, in the warehouse, and in the company as a whole. Once again, streamlined communication across the supply chain is necessary to keep all products where they need to be at all times.

Increased Demand for Efficient Warehouse Workers

Distribution centers are now required to complete more tasks in less time in order to fulfill the demands of the consumers. Improved software and technology makes these tasks much easier to achieve, but people are still needed to handle picking, packing, and other order fulfillment services. As a result of that, there is an increased demand for efficient warehouse workers who can handle the fast-paced duties of a distribution center. This is especially true during the winter months where holiday shopping leads to an increased flow of products from warehouses to consumers.

Continue to Part 2

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