How does fulfillment work? The process

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Fulfillment is a very multifaceted matter. Almost no fulfillment customer - whether a stationary retailer or shop operator on the Internet - is the same with its requirements and needs as any other. Self-explanatory, this requires a lot of flexibility, know-how and empathy from the fulfillment service provider. Without clear communication between the customer and the service provider, it is therefore impossible to ensure that every single process that the customer outsources wants to sit 100%. Therefore, the fulfillment provider must ask the right questions right from the start.

If you consider the wide variety of services, that one fulfillment service provider can take over - from order processing to logistics - the customer could assume that it must be very complicated and time-consuming to outsource all these processes. This is not the case, however, because the most important points for both sides regarding Outsourcing are clarified in just a few steps - provided there is a clear procedure.

Customized fulfillment in five steps

From contact to agreement
In the first step the customer contacts the fulfillment service provider. This can be done either by phone, e-mail or contact form on the website. Of course, not all details have to be listed now, a short explanation is sufficient, how and where support is needed. The fulfillment service then asks the customer for all further key data and details.

These can be questions, for example:

  • Which goods are involved?
  • How many goods are there?
  • What is the weight of the products?
  • Is shipping abroad desired or limited to Germany?
  • In what form are the products delivered?
  • What and how much should be stored?

Answering these questions should usually not take too long, because they can easily be answered with yes/no or in numbers. Further details and additional picture material provide the fulfillment provider with even more information. With more accurate answers, they can get an even more accurate picture of how they can provide support.

All this information now forms the basis for Step 2: The first non-binding offer from the fulfillment service. If the interested party agrees to this in all conditions, it goes seamlessly into step 3** and thus into detail. Now all processes and desired fulfillment services - at best at a personal meeting - are discussed in detail, coordinated and documented. A competent and experienced fulfillment service provider can also provide the customer with further measures to optimize the fulfillment processes or the Shipping-processing and make the processes even rounder.

Interfaces and storage

In the fourth step the order process as well as the product and product stock are coordinated with each other. In close coordination with the customer's IT department, the fulfillment service provider creates ready-to-use interfaces for data exchange. This is the prerequisite for a functioning E-Commerce- and Omni-Channel-Fulfillment. After all, the goods and products should reach the customer quickly and without problems after the order has been placed.

Once the interfaces have been set up, step 5 is followed by the delivery and storage of the goods in the fulfillment provider's warehouse. From now on, the fulfillment customer can rely on every step - from ordering in the online shop to shipping on time - running smoothly and can devote himself entirely to his core competencies.


Those shop operators who would like to be relieved in their everyday business can rely on the fact that a competent fulfillment provider asks the right questions and in this way can fully respond to their needs and requirements. At best, they will receive additional information from the provider on how to manage their processes with the right fulfillment services or Logistics-Outsourcing.

Mike Schubert und Raimund Bergler

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