Whether you work at a startup or an established organization, it’s essential to become familiar with supply chain fulfillment. Fulfillment centers are an integral component of the supply chain. They help ensure that online orders reach customers quickly and conveniently. Retailers rely on fulfillment centers to help them store their products strategically, so that warehouse workers can quickly pick orders as soon as a customer completes an online purchase. 

Here’s some insight into the role fulfillment centers play in the supply chain in an era where online orders continue to increase. 


Introduction to How Fulfillment Centers Work 

If you’re new to fulfillment centers, it’s useful to become more familiar with how they impact and benefit the supply chain and supply chain management.  

Fulfillment centers are an integral component of the supply chain, verifying that online orders reach customers in a timely and convenient manner. They help retailers store their products strategically, so workers can quickly pick orders once a customer completes an online purchase.  

Benefits of fulfillment centers include: 

  • You can scale up and down efficiently, as needed, such as during busy and slow sales periods, which often is the case with companies providing seasonal offerings. 
  • If you are testing the waters with a crowd-funding campaign, a 3PL partner can provide friction-free fulfillment on demand, leaving you time to focus on the other parts of your growing business. 
  • What’s more, when working with WSI, you have access to the latest in software and technology used to make fulfillment easier, with such features as systems to provide order tracking in real time and state-of-the-art transportation and management systems. 


What Is Order Fulfillment in Supply Chain Management? 

The process of fulfilling orders begins with our team receiving your shipments of inventory. Then, we store it in an appropriate facility, whether for food, chemicals, electronics, or whatever else you are selling. 

When orders come in, we process the items that need to go out and then take care of shipping them to your customers. Of course, our order fulfillment services also include processing any returns. 


Comparing Distribution With Warehousing and Fulfillment 

Businesses selling products online frequently find themselves relying on a combination of warehousing, order fulfillment, and distribution into a comprehensive supply chain system. 

WSI offers a full range of storage, distribution, and fulfillment centers to help take you from your current market position to where you need it to be for your expanding business plans: 

  • Warehousing: The warehouse serves as the storage facility for your company’s operations. You may store raw materials for delivery to manufacturers, or provide unfinished components or finished products. Items may stay in storage for a significant amount of time before shipping. 
  • Fulfillment: In the fulfillment center, 3PL experts receive and store your inventory, where turnover tends to be more rapid than in a warehouse. Then, when it’s time, they pack and ship the products needing to be fulfilled to bring them to their ultimate destination. 
  • Distribution: The distribution center is the final stage in getting your orders from storage in the warehouse after the fulfillment team picks and packs each item. 

We run the 17th-largest 3PL network in the United States, spanning more than 145 million feet. We are experienced and prepared to meet your end-to-end supply chain and logistical needs. 

If you need more information about any of these aspects of supply chain inventory management, feel free to start a conversation with the 3PL experts at WSI about how we could be your best choice. 


Count on WSI for All Your Online Order Fulfillment Requirements 

The team at Warehouse Specialists, LLC is proud of the outstanding reputation we’ve developed in the 3PL industry for helping our customers succeed with integrated, third-party logistics. 

Our devotion to meeting standards of excellence is one of the many reasons we have such a high client retention rate as one of the country’s largest privately-owned third-party logistics providers. A family with small-town values runs WSI, but we operate on a big-league scale. 

To learn more about how our fulfillment centers can bring greater efficiencies to your supply chain, connect with the distribution and supply chain management professionals at WSI today. 

Discover the WSI Difference

For over 50 years, WSI has helped customers operate their supply chains more efficiently. What can we do for your business?

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