Not Just a Warehousing Company: Fulfillment and More

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Warehousing is a key component of an ecommerce supply chain, and it consists of much more than just storing ecommerce inventory. How and where inventory is stored and how it’s tracked and managed can impact the entire supply chain. 

Unlike traditional retailers, most ecommerce brands don’t need a warehouse that also handles other important logistics tasks, such as inventory management, retail fulfillment, and shipping. Some brands also choose to self-fulfill orders from home or store inventory in an office, which can get challenging as your business grows.

For direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to be successful, it’s important to have an ecommerce warehousing solution that fits their unique needs. Read on to learn how partnering with a warehousing company can help ecommerce businesses optimize their supply chain.

What is a warehousing company?

A warehousing company handles logistics operations tasks, including storage, inventory management, picking and packing, and automated shipping for ecommerce businesses.

Although some warehousing companies only provide warehouse space and nothing else, a third-party logistics (3PL) company takes care of all-things logistics, including warehousing. 

What traditional warehouses do

A traditional fulfillment center may function as a storage facility in the middle of nowhere to store large quantities of finished inventory. Traditional warehouses solely focus on storing inventory without any investment in technology. Here is an overview: 

Receive inventory and store inventory

When your suppliers (or other vendors) have products ready to deliver, they’ll send them to your warehouses for receipt. Once the orders are received, payments are made to the vendors. Once the inventory is received, the inventory is stored in a designated area. 

Manual inventory management

Inventory management is the most important aspect of managing a warehouse. At a traditional warehouse, there is no technology involved and managing inventory is done by hand. This makes it difficult to oversee inventory in real time, forecast demand, and make decisions on when it’s time to restock inventory. 

How ShipBob takes it to the next level

If you’re running a fast-growing ecommerce business, a warehousing company that offers order fulfillment is going to better serve your needs. A 3PL like ShipBob provides a growing fulfillment center network all powered by best-in-class technology.

By letting us handle warehousing and fulfillment, you’re set up to reduce shipping costs and transit time, save on fulfillment costs, and ultimately spend less time on logistics. 

Here’s an overview on how ShipBob works:

Picking

Once an order is placed on your store, the warehouse picking process begins. A ShipBob fulfillment associate will locate the item(s) so the entire order can be packed in the next step.

ShipBob’s proprietary warehouse management system (WMS) automatically assigns similar orders with inventory in the same area of the warehouse to the same picker to reduce the number of steps required to pick orders for a more efficient workflow.

picking list is automatically generated, which includes the items ordered, quantity, and where each product is located in the fulfillment center. Each unit that’s picked is scanned from the inventory container so inventory counts are updated in real-time, providing up-to-date stock levels for merchants.

Packing

When all items in an order have been picked, the next step is to securely pack them and add the shipping label. All items should be shipped in the same package if possible to avoid a split shipment.

At ShipBob, for example, standard packing materials — including brown boxes, plain bubble mailers and poly bags, packing tape, and dunnage — are included at no extra cost.

Shipping

With ShipBob, you won’t have to worry about shipping orders yourself. We partner with major shipping carriers to negotiate both domestic and international shipping rates and have them pick up packages daily sorted by each shipping service.

Inventory tracking

ShipBob’s technology includes built-in inventory management software. That makes it easy to track inventory in real time and set up reorder notification points when inventory levels fall below a certain threshold.

This way, you can reduce manual inventory tracking and optimize stock levels to avoid high holding costs and avoid stockouts and dead stock.

No hidden fees

ShipBob’s pricing structure is simple. There are no surprise costs or hidden fees. You pay:

  • A set monthly charge for each pallet, shelf, or bin to store each product
  • A single flat rate for receiving inventory
  • A single fulfillment cost per order that includes picking, packing, packaging materials, the shipping label, and tracking once it’s in the carrier’s hand).

With ShipBob, you don’t have just one warehouse

At ShipBob, we work with some of the fastest-growing ecommerce brands that want to expand their business across the country or worldwide. Whether you’re a regional business that wants to ship to the entire US or a business wanting to expand internationally, ShipBob has you covered.

We use a distributed network of fulfillment centers to help you save money. How so? By storing your inventory in one or more of our fulfillment centers, orders will be sent to the warehouse closest to your customers. This reduces shipping costs and allows your business to ship orders to your customers faster.

One key competitive advantage you gain by working with ShipBob is that we let you offer 2-day shipping. Trying to offer 2-day shipping on your own is expensive. But with ShipBob, we have the fulfillment capabilities required to ship orders fast and in a cost-effective manner to meet customers’ expectations. 

Save time, make customers happier

Speed is key in today’s world of ecommerce. Fast, accurate deliveries equal happy customers. But having the fulfillment network to keep up with ecommerce giants is hard. Here’s how ShipBob helps you grow your ecommerce business.

Fast 2-day shipping

ShipBob lets you offer 2-day shipping to your customers. Tired of losing sales to Amazon? Now you can compete. Our 2-day shipping capability is easy to implement and is a cost-effective way to improve conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment.

Easy return management

Processing customer returns can be a hassle. Unlike most other 3PLs, also handles the returns management process for you. We can process all returns and even provide a discount on shipping labels. We also partner with leading returns solutions to help you enhance your returns management process. 

Lower shipping costs

Thanks to our partnerships with leading carriers, we have shipping discounts available so you can save money per shipment. Our technology also automatically sends orders to the fulfillment center closest to each customer to reduce costs and last-mile delivery times. 

How these 3 companies grew when they switched to ShipBob

Want to see how ShipBob goes beyond being a simple warehousing solution? Here are some stories of the brands we’ve helped grow thanks to our fulfillment services.

Prymal

Prymal offers a non-dairy, sugar-free coffee creamer so customers can enjoy their coffee without feeling guilty about all the extra additives from traditional coffee creamers. They originally worked with a 3PL that promised them the world, but they fell short.

Prymal switched to ShipBob, and the results couldn’t be better. With ShipBob’s support, Prymal has been able to grow their business every year and save on fulfillment costs.

“With my prior 3PL I felt sidelined — emotionally and financially — because all I could think about was troubleshooting errors and reconciling with the high costs. When I switched to ShipBob, it was game over! I could finally start growing my business.

They made the move from my prior 3PL fast and easy, and I saw the benefits of working with them right away. Now I am encouraged to sell more with them. My CPA even said to me, ‘Thank God you switched to ShipBob.’”

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

TB12

Tom Brady’s brand, TB12, goes beyond offering nutritional supplements. They believe that everyone can benefit from a smarter, more holistic approach to health and wellness. As a fast-growing business, they needed a 3PL that could keep up with demand. Their previous 3PL couldn’t keep up, and after switching to ShipBob, TB12 saw a drastic change in performance.

“We need to deliver quickly and inexpensively. Since switching to ShipBob from our previous 3PL, our fulfillment cost on comparable orders went down by 25%.”

Michael Peters, VP of E-Commerce Operations at TB12

Partner with ShipBob for all your warehousing needs.

A warehouse that goes beyond inventory storage can be a great way to save money, time and energy. With a 3PL like ShipBob, you can outsource fulfillment and focus on important business development tasks. 

To learn more about how ShipBob works, fill out the form below to request custom pricing. 

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Warehousing company FAQs

Here are some of the common questions we’ve received about warehousing companies.

What does a warehouse company do?

A warehouse company focuses on receiving, storing, and managing inventory for any business selling physical goods. 

How much do warehouses cost for storage?

The pricing for warehouse storage is often in one of three ways: pallet storage, cubic footage storage, and square footage storage. Depending on the amount of products stored, each pricing model has its pros and cons. ShipBob offers straightforward and transparent pricing with no hidden fees. 

What is warehousing?

Warehousing is the process of storing physical goods before they are sold or further distributed. Warehouses safely and securely store products in an organized way to track where items are located, when they arrived, how long they have been there, and the quantity on hand.