Order fulfillment involves the receipt of a customer's merchandise into a warehouse facility and the entire distribution network. This includes placement of stock into storage, receiving, processing and the efficient logistics management of shipping orders and customer service support (e.g., tracking, tracing, reporting, etc.).
Warehousing and inventory management include labor planning, stock-level allocation, and cycle and physical counts, which occur on an ongoing basis. Order fulfillment also can encompass value-added services, including kitting, labeling, repair, refurbishing and testing.
In recent years, companies have changed how they view their supply chains and the role distribution centers play in effectively managing those chains. Three main factors are driving these changes. First, new technologies allow companies to operate in a fundamentally new way. New transportation service offerings provide opportunities to redesign product flows. And finally, customer demands are shaping distribution patterns. Three of the most compelling of these demands include:
When properly designed and deployed, UPS customers experience an increase in productivity, reduction in operating costs and improved customer service.