The Difference Between Fulfillment and Distribution Centers

One of the important elements of a distribution business network like is by having a strategic use of all of the fulfillment facilities for customer’s orders. This is needed especially if the company is dealing with an e-commerce type of business. Distribution and fulfillment centers are the two distinct facilities that must be supervised and abide by the right operational procedures to ensure the safety of all orders.

What is a Fulfillment Center?

The fulfillment center or also called a fulfillment service makes sure that all customer’s orders are completed based on the specifications of suppliers. In most cases, items or supplies that are directly sent to consumers will be shipped first to this center.

How does it work?

Most warehouses receive orders and store those items for a number of days depending on the day when those items can be sold. It is crucial to know that the fulfillment center serves as the final or last storage place for the item or product. The next stage happens when the supplier makes the deal like having sales and will send the right product to the end user. This center is fully responsible for getting up the products based on the customer’s order. Selection of ordered items happens next inside in this center and then will ship to customers. The center needs to pack or secure the products very well and affix the right labels such as the customer’s destination address as a safety measure. They will notify then the carrier that package delivery is now ready. The chosen carrier will get the package and send it directly to the buyer. This is one of the reasons why most carriers have their written agreements like ongoing contracts like these together with fulfillment centers so they can pick up the item for the right and specific client. Pick-ups are done every day for the purpose of having a seamless supply. The fulfillment center also provides some supportive services such as order customization, offering services that provide multi-channel fulfillment, doing adjustments based on their specifications, and following the right process of managing inventory.

What is a Distribution Center?

The distribution center also acts as a warehouse. But this center has a different function and purpose in the supply chain, unlike the fulfillment center. The most common meaning of a distribution center is it is any way station allowing any product to be redistributed as there are cases where the items can be placed like in this center. One crucial difference between these two centers is that the distribution center does not ship the products directly to the customers. Instead, they serve as a transit place for those products to alter the trans-distribution mode like when truck transport through the distribution center or freight may alter to shipping. There are cases also wherein products are being sent from a distribution center and going to a fulfillment center before passing them to the customers. Large retailers normally employ and utilize distribution centers through merchandise hubs like grocery chains such as the ones from this page and are relying on these centers to maintain and monitor enough levels of supplies in their stores.