Ecommerce Fulfilment Services

Professional Packing Services vs Order Fulfilment Services: What’s the Difference?

professional packing services vs order fulfilment
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For eCommerce businesses growing too fast to keep up with their order processing in-house, they might make the smart decision to outsource certain aspects of their fulfilment process. 

Outsourcing opens the door to significant benefits, like reduced overheads, improved logistics, and the ability to scale quickly. However, deciding whether to opt for professional packing services vs order fulfilment services can take time and effort. These services, while sometimes overlapping, cater to distinct needs.

Professional Packaging Services vs Order Fulfilment Services: At a Glance 

FeatureProfessional Packing ServicesOrder Fulfilment Services 
Core Focus Packing products for shipmentManaging every part of the logistics process including storing, packing, and shipping products
Services OfferedCustom and Branded Packaging Protective Packaging Picking and Packing Storing Packing Custom and Branded Packaging Protective Packaging Storing PackingInventory Management Supply Chain Management Picking and Packing Shipping and Delivery Logistics Returns Handling 
Benefits Improving the brand’s reputation and customer experience through packaging.Improving the brand’s reputation through packaging, streamlining the shipping process, improving efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
Ideal for eCommerce businesses that…Need help with their picking and packing and want customised, branded packaging to upgrade product appeal.Need help with their picking and packing, with customised branded packaging AND an all-inclusive solution for inventory, shipping, and returns.

What are Professional Packing Services?

Professional packing services are all about picking, packing, and making sure your items are snug and safe for their journey. They are only one part of the logistics chain, focusing on quickly getting orders out the door.

Choosing professional packing services means using their expertise with packing materials and know-how, making sure everything looks great when it lands on your customer’s doorstep. This can dodge the need for an in-house packing team and minimise product returns because of damage. These services can handle peak seasons or sudden business growth by adapting order volumes but can only manage just one aspect of the fulfilment process. 

Professional packaging services typically include: 

  • Picking and Packing: Selecting the correct items from inventory to fulfil each order and safely securing products for transit using appropriate materials to prevent damage.
  • Quality Control: Checking orders for accuracy and ensuring items are in perfect condition before shipment.
  • Kitting and Order Consolidation: Combining multiple items into a single package when orders include several components or products.
  • Inventory Management: Keeping track of stock levels and reordering supplies as necessary to prevent delays in order processing.
  • Custom Packaging Solutions: Offering branded or custom packaging options to enhance the customer experience.
  • Shipping Coordination: Arranging shipping methods from their warehouse. 

What are Order Fulfilment Services? 

Unlike packing companies, order fulfilment services, usually run by third-party logistics providers (3PLs) cover every aspect of the fulfilment process, from taking in orders, processing them, packing, and shipping to handling returns. They go beyond just packing and provide a complete solution for managing orders, including keeping track of inventory, storing products in fulfilment centres, and shipping them directly to customers. When eCommerce businesses hand over order fulfilment to 3PLs, they tap into these providers’ logistics networks, using their expertise and setup to make operations smoother.

Choosing a 3PL for order fulfilment comes from wanting to get better and bigger without the hassle. These centres can adjust to changing order sizes, helping businesses keep up with market changes without spending a lot on storage space or hiring more people. This adaptability is key for companies looking to keep customers happy as they grow during busy seasons.

Order fulfilment services include: 

  • Inventory Management: Keeping track of stock levels, managing reorders, and ensuring products are readily available for shipment.
  • Warehousing: Storing products in secure and organised centres, allowing for efficient handling and processing of orders.
  • Branded Packaging
  • Order Processing: Receiving orders from the eCommerce platform and preparing them for shipment, including picking the correct items and packing them securely.
  • Shipping: Coordinating the delivery of orders to customers’ doors by selecting the most efficient and cost-effective shipping methods.
  • Handling Returns: Returns management, including receiving returned items, assessing their condition, restocking them if applicable, and processing refunds or exchanges.
  • Customer Service: Providing support for shipping-related inquiries and helping resolve issues that arise during the order fulfilment process.
  • Quality Control: Assuring that all orders meet the business’s product quality and packaging standards before they are shipped to the customer.

Similarities

Professional packing and order fulfilment services have clear roles in eCommerce, both aiming to get products to customers efficiently and safely. They’re all about improving the shopping experience, focusing on every detail, from how an item is packed to how it’s shipped. This attention helps businesses keep up their quality and keep customers happy from the moment they order to when their package arrives.

At their heart, these services are about making eCommerce smoother. When businesses choose to work with a packing or fulfilment service, they get to concentrate on growing their brand while the logistics experts handle the nitty-gritty of shipping and handling. This approach saves time, cuts costs, and brings in expert knowledge and tools, ensuring orders are done right.

Both services are built to grow with a business’s needs, scaling up operations when things get busy, like during holiday rushes or big sales. This adaptability means companies can keep up great service without pausing, even when demand spikes. This flexibility is a big deal for any eCommerce business looking to stand out and grow in a crowded market.

Differences 

Choosing the right partner for your business is a big decision. Though professional packing and order fulfilment services aim to improve the eCommerce logistics flow, they serve different needs. Professional packing services zero in on the packing part, making sure products are ready and safe for shipping. This is great for businesses that want their packages to stand out with custom packaging and branding but they might need more help with the rest of their logistics planning from elsewhere.

On the flip side, order fulfilment services offer a full package. They take care of everything from packing to managing inventory, storing products, shipping them out, and handling returns. This broad approach lets businesses hand over all their logistics tasks to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, making things a lot simpler. For eCommerce companies looking to grow fast or those with sales patterns that go up and down, the full support from order fulfilment services is super useful. They provide the know-how and infrastructure to scale up without investing more in storage or staff.

A big plus of working with an order fulfilment service is the strategic edge it gives. With their wide networks and access to shipping discounts, businesses can often ship faster and cheaper, boosting customer happiness and market competitiveness. 

Bringing an order fulfilment service into your business not only smooths out operations but also offers key advantages for expanding your reach, improving efficiency, and growing without adding to your workload. This range of services and perks makes order fulfilment a solid choice for businesses looking for a thorough logistics solution that backs their growth and customer service ambitions.

Professional packing services are all about tackling one specific part of the process, helping you get your items ready to ship out. But if you’re looking for the full package, a fulfilment expert who can help you with the whole management process, then order fulfilment is definitely the way to go. 

Choose Order Fulfilment with Delta Fulfilment 

Choosing Delta Fulfilment means entrusting your eCommerce logistics to a top fulfilment company in the UK. With our team of professionals by your side, you’ll have a fulfilment partner who understands the importance of every detail in your supply chain, including packing. As a third-party logistics provider, we’re here to streamline your operations, from storage to shipping. Reach out to us today to boost your business with our order fulfilment services.

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