American businesses are moving more merchandise than ever before. But warehouses are disappearing across the country. Why?
More and more businesses are realizing the value and efficiency afforded by offsite order processing fulfillment services. These facilities can house merchandise, process orders, ship products, provide comprehensive reports and accountability every step of the way. So any company that has any kind of product to sell no longer has to maintain their own personal warehouse and staff their own shipping and receiving departments.
Efulfillment centers are offering businesses even more flexibility by streamlining the online buying process for seller and buyer alike. Inventory can be reflected in online catalogs and website listings, providing all parties with realtime information of what is in stock and what is not. And if a customer is browsing through the aisles of your physical storefront, you can easily direct them to your website if they fail to find the right size or style on your shelves, and your fulfillment center can let them know what is on their shelves.
Fulfillment centers (or “fulfilment centres” for our English speakers in other countries) can also provide customer service for orders, refunds, and replacements. Many facilities maintain a phone bank of employees who study your company profile and mission statement to better serve your specific customers, as well as those of their other clients. In fact, all you have to do is maintain a steady supply of products on their shelves, and they do the rest.
By eliminating your own warehouse, you can utilize a fulfillment center nearly anywhere in the world. An overseas “fulfilment centre” can reduce shipping times to international clients, while a Heartland “fulfillment center” can normalize shipping times to either coast, regardless of transport method. And clients who receive their product quickly are more likely to buy from you again.
Perhaps the only downside of using fulfillment centers for your storage and shipping needs, is that you have to decide what to do with that old onsite warehouse. Racquetball, anyone?