Fulfillment or Warehouse Center? The differences & similarities to better aid your business solutions.
People often confuse the obligations of a fulfillment center with those of a warehousing facility. And that's okay! We know some things can get lost in translation, and we are here to clear that up.
What is a Fulfillment Center?
Fulfillment centers are large facilities that house inventory for all business sizes. Fulfillment centers are commonly used for online retailers and e-commerce businesses, because of the operations that a fulfillment center is able to perform. Fulfillment centers are usually operated by a third-party logistics provider, known as a 3PL. The 3PL provides the facility with inventory storage information, freight transportation, cross-docking handling, customer services, and of course, the fulfillment of physical products.
What's special about having us as your fulfillment center provider is that our computerized fulfilling system makes everything, from ordering to inventory management, convenient and accessible. Our product fulfillment is seamless, we perform all the services in house. Meaning all the storage, shipping/tracking, packaging and logistics happens directly at our fulfillment center. The best of all is that we offer flexible volume requirements and personalized services to all businesses!
What is a Warehouse?
To be clear, a fulfillment center IS a type of warehouse. But there are many types of warehouses. A warehouse is a very large and spacious building that houses finished goods or products until they are redistributed to the proper owner. Sizing for warehouses can vary depending on what company owns it. Below are some examples of different warehouses that your company can pick/choose from!
Private - private warehouses are owned by an organization that uses to accommodate the owners supply chain.
Automated- automated warehouses are controlled through the use of AI-artificial intelligence. This helps keep the amount of employees needed to run the facility low.
On-demand - On-demand warehouses are for companies with short term needs. Items that get sold, transported and have a monthly change will be stored here. The product typically is made for each order placed. If the product is ordered by a customer, the shipping process is immediately started for the specific product
Public- Public warehouses are owned by a different retailer and are leased for businesses in need of more space for their inventory.
Climate-controlled - Climate-controlled warehouses are specific for businesses that need to store inventory at certain temperatures. Food suppliers and companies will tend to utilize a climate controlled warehouse to make sure their products are properly sustained.
What is the difference between a fulfillment center and a warehouse?
The answer you have been waiting for! The main difference between a fulfillment center and a generic warehouse is a fulfillment center is utilized for the purpose of quick inventory turnovers. Inventory at a fulfillment center will stay at that location for approximately a month. If a business were to attempt to do this at a generic warehouse, they could end up spending more money than needed.
Since a fulfillment center ideally has quick inventory turnovers, it becomes a more in depth operation. Which is why most centers will have a 3PL system in place. The 3PL system can conduct various forms of data and services such as:
Kitting & Distribution
Specific survey & attribute management
Variable campaign management
Plan-O-gram creation & Management
Pick & Pack
Whereas the main function of a warehouse is to move inventory in, and move inventory out. Warehouses don't offer many or any services.
If your company expressed interest in using a fulfillment center and what they have to offer, click here.
If you would prefer to speak directly with a customer service specialist, contact us at +1 (609) 645 - 1940.