Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Many Benefits Of Working With Fulfillment Services

There are several benefits in partnering with fulfillment services for businesses & manufacturers.

Many challenges arise when fulfillments are conducted within the company.  The advantages of partnering with fulfillment services are vast and include better bottom lines, improved security, customer satisfaction, and lower inventory & distribution costs.  Not to mention using fulfillment services can save many headaches along the way.

When a company tries to carry out the duties of fulfillment services they begin to face several roadblocks. Disorganization of orders, over compensated inventory levels and the ongoing changes of delivery expectations are just a few of the factors that challenge orders.  Of course customer satisfaction to a business can often determine their success or even survival.  Because of the challenges and needs orders require it only makes sense to leave fulfillment services to the professionals.  Ultimately, leaving it to the experts allows for more productivity on your end, because it allows more focus to be centered on other areas like product development and growth.

Why is it so challenging for companies to complete orders?

One key finding from a study of 589 supply chain execs’ discussion was that many industries face the same problems including those in manufacturing, high-tech, and retail. Across the board, they have claimed that fulfillment orders have become more complicated because customer demands have heightened, and order processing is a narrow road.  Many companies usually have a fragmented multifaceted system in place.  For example, they may have a retail store, a customer care phone line, e-commerce and electronic data interchange services in place. With all these varying channels, it makes it difficult to have a systematic way of tracking all orders.

As one vice president of supply chain operations responded: “Currently, we do not have the ability to create one invoice for a customer that has placed multiple lines of shipping from different facilities. The adoption of new technologies could help give us a better picture of what types of orders are coming in, what our average size is by volume and length, and streamline our invoicing process.” To get a hold of all the data of orders and streamline, it is not cheap either. 

Other problems that occur when businesses don't have a partnership with a fulfillment service provider, is that many companies give unrealistic delivery times, store higher than needed inventory levels, and face high supply chain costs. Also, it is only becoming more rapidly complex to complete orders due to increasing globalization & high e-commerce demand.  All of these challenges threaten the bottom line.

Here’s’ where utilizing a professional fulfillment service can save the day.

1.    Integration & streamlining all orders.  Order complexity was another key challenge for supply chain professionals when managing order fulfillment. This difficulty in managing orders efficiently and accurately has been caused by a number of factors, including the explosion of order capture and fulfillment systems that many companies now operate.  Fulfillment services can integrate the different channels the orders are being placed into for a more efficient outcome and, as a result, track better inventory levels. Companies benefit because it can help lower costs, increase margins, and greatly improve customer service.

2.    They have the capabilities to forecast higher accuracy on delivery.  They are experts and they can determine with greater veracity when the end customer/retailer will receive their order. Naturally this will improve reliability and customer satisfaction that was one priority for those respondents in the study. “39 percent of supply chain executives named inaccurate order promise dates as a top inventory management challenge.”

3.    Better demand management by utilizing capabilities that establish a demand-driven organization with higher service levels and sales, more satisfied customers, and lower inventory and distribution costs.

4.    Continual monitoring.  Fulfillment services will continually monitor your orders and inventory- taking away this responsibility can lead to more productivity in other areas of the business like product development, marketing, and growth. 

To find out more about how Stamar Packaging can provide fulfillment services contact us at custserv@stamarpackaging.com or (630)282-5400.

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