You’ve been finalizing changes to your product, setting prices, and have prospective buyers waiting for their first shipment of YOUR invention– what happens next? When we hear “logistics and fulfillment”, we automatically assume the end goal: product in the hands of consumers. So, what all does this critical step entail? Let us dive deep into the world of logistics and leave with a newfound appreciation for the process. We begin with a fulfillment center, which in layman’s terms moves a product from Point A to Point B. Fulfillment centers also may handle your credit-card processing, supply current inventory levels to your website, reorder products, offer call-center services, send notices of shipping and handle returns.
It all starts with the purchase order. How many units, cost, what stops the product will be making on its journey, and where the supply will be dropped off and unloaded last. The center receives a notice from the warehouse where containers of product are held, and begins prepping to receive the shipment. The arrival of the shipment takes planning, and that starts the minute the fulfillment center is made aware of the incoming order. Orders can go to big-box retailers, individual consumers, and to every buyer in between. There are literally thousands of these companies to choose from, but experts say the best way to find one that suits your needs is by word-of-mouth.
Once the order is received at the fulfillment center, the shipment must be inspected for damages, quantity, and quality. Next, the order will be unloaded and moved to another checkpoint. This is where the planning earlier comes in, as the team unloading goods only has 2 short hours to do so. Why is this? Due to high demand, labor, and the constant hustle and bustle of a fulfillment center, maximizing efficiency is of the utmost importance. For every minute after two hours, a preset fine is attached. Then, the goods are taken to the staging area, which in essence is a checkpoint for the goods. The last stop at the fulfillment center is the staging area, and goods are loaded onto a truck which then delivers product to the necessary source. Upon arrival of the goods at their last stop, whether that be at the door of an individual, or the loading dock of a big-box retailer, it all begins and ends similarly.
After all these steps, the process repeats itself. These fulfillment centers and logistics teams work hard to ensure your goods go where they need to be, when they need to be. May we never take their effort for granted, because the success of your product/business is impossible without them.
“No one but YOU knows how hard you work, how many hours you put in behind the scenes, so rely on yourself for approval, not the outside world.”