Fulfillment for brands selling goods on marketplaces
Previously, fulfillment was used for online stores, but in this article, we will take a closer look at fulfillment services for marketplace providers.
What is fulfillment??
In Russian, the term is used without translation since there is no Russian-language analogue that would accurately reflect the essence of this term. The essence of the process is a set of working procedures and operations that starts from the moment the buyer leaves the request on the website or on the trading platform on the Internet. The basis of the whole process is high-quality and fast, as far as possible, delivery of the paid goods to the customer – and this is only the visible part of the iceberg on the surface. In fact, fulfillment is not limited to delivery only. It includes a whole range of routine operations which are usually outsourced. If we dig into the whole range of services in detail, it will become clear why it is profitable for manufacturers and trading companies to transfer these works to a third-party company professionally specializing in this field.
What issues can be solved?
|Warehouse services – warehouse availability 24/7 365 days a year. Storage of goods, accounting of goods (barcoding and automation of accounting), compliance with storage conditions (temperature, humidity, ventilation, packaging, stacking, etc.). Checking the quality and integrity of products, taking back and documentation. Packaging of goods (package, vacuum pack), assembling of kits, sets and spikes.|
|Transportation services – cargo delivery, courier delivery services, combined cargo packing, forwarding, cargo tracking in different countries and around the world.|
|Call center services – receiving and processing incoming calls and orders, organizing interaction with customers, sending messages (SMS, WhatsApp, etc.). Collecting reviews and feedback, working with complaints.|
|Accounting services – acceptance of payment on invoices and reconciliation of payments, provision of necessary documents.|
International logistics terminology and fulfillment. How are they related?
In the terminology of international logistics, such designations of service companies providing logistics services as 1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL are constantly used. The abbreviation PL means party logistics. In Russian, there are the additional words «operator» or «provider» used for 1PL, 2PL, 3PL, 4PL which mean an organization specializing in this field. The numbers from one to four in their turn indicate the depth of involvement of this company in the supply chain:
- 1 PL – all logistics is carried out by the manufacturer — seller himself and he uses his own transport and his own staff of drivers. This is an autonomous logistics.
- 2 PL – the company itself carries out part of the logistics operations: supply planning, product warehousing, packaging, etc. But in this case, the company does not have its own transport and it hires it from third-party companies.
- 3 PL – is a level where the manufacturer – cargo owner (seller) himself is not engaged in external logistics but the contractor for these services is not yet integrated into seller’s economic activities. This contractor is just an outsourcing company.
- 4 PL – the company takes over all the functions of planning, design and managing supply chains except for Procurement and Sales. In some situations, the PL provider can do this as well.
- 5 PL – is a logistics outsourcing that provides services through the global IT space. This is a kind of “virtual” logistics center that concentrates information about all logistics opportunities throughout the whole market. This is an IT product that allows you to build the most optimal logistics chains based on the development model of large info projects (such as Yandex Taxi (Uber) or Booking, etc.), your own transport, warehouses and other resources used for organizing transportation. The operator may not have them because the essence is precisely in the high quality of information technology and the level of interaction in the field of logistics. According to many experts of this field, this option remains mostly a utopia or a marketing ploy, as it requires huge resources and opportunities for its implementation.
How can I choose from all the services that are important for my business?
The points described above are vital for any business engaged in the field of production and/or trade through trading platforms on the Internet! The choice of the entire range of services or its individual items depends on your understanding of possible weaknesses in the structure of your business and the current tasks that you set. The main thing that comprehensive fulfillment services can help you with is to focus on priority issues, such as production, product quality, cost price, new technologies. By putting all non-core issues in the hands of highly specialized professionals, you will have the opportunity to focus on the most important and not spread yourself too thin. At the same time, it will be possible to keep non-core issues under control through a contractor.
If you have any other questions or need more details, we are always happy to advise you on all issues related to fulfillment services.