Warehouse Management System
Both the terms may seem similar and often used interchangeably but they are quite different. So does their purpose in the logistics and supply chain management industry. At the basic level, the fulfilmentcentre and warehouse both are huge buildings that can store inventory for all types of business. Although, despite this similarity, the service provided by them and the way they are utilized are different. Take a look at the detailed information about these, their functions, purposes, that might help you to understand which is the right option for your business needs.
What is the Fulfilment Centre?
It is a physical location from where a third-party logistics (3PL) provider or fulfilment provider fulfils customer orders fulfilment for e-commerce retailers. The fulfilmentcentre is also referred to as the distribution centre. It is a perfect voice for e-commerce businesses and/or business-to-retail fulfilment services where sellers provide wholesale orders to big retailers. The fulfilmentcentres or distribution centres are larger in size as compared to warehouses. The main function is to ship orders to customers and assist sellers in the management of the entire process.
Their role is not limited up to receiving or starring inventory. However, they have to receive, process, and ship the customers’ orders. These business-to-consumer (B2C) orders are fulfilled by 3PL and often shipped directly to homes. Although, in the case of B2B, often large orders are delivered to big retailers. When a seller outsources their fulfilment to 3PL, then it can be easier to handle the inventory and it also saves time, which allows the seller to focus on these priority tasks.
What is Warehouse?
It is a place where inventory is stored for a longer period of time. This large storage centre stores inventory in bulk in equipment like containers, shelves, pellets, or forklifts with each product can be identified on its own with its unique stock keeping unit. Anything can be stored in the warehouse without any hassle including finished goods, merchandise, and raw materials.
The inventory can be stored in the warehouse for months till it will be transported to the retailers, wholesaler, or distribution centre. The day-to-day activity at the warehouse is static such as new products come in, few products shifted within the warehouse, and some products might ship out. There is no hustle and bustle. There is a wide variety of warehouses to suit different storage needs.
What is the main difference between the Fulfilment Centre and Warehouses?
A warehouse is a place where sellers can store their inventory or products, however, a fulfilmentcentre is well-designed inventory storage that can enhance the customer experience around the process of ordering, packaging, and delivery.
Inventory cannot be stored in a fulfilmentcentre for more than 30 days and in case, if someone wishes to store their products for more than 30 days then it might be considered as long-term storage and for that, the customer has to pay a higher warehousing fee.
Warehouses are perfect for those customers who wish to store their inventory for a longer period of time. They are the more cost-effective solutions for small to mid-sized sellers. These inventory management storages are less expensive for small sellers or those who are just starting up. They can keep their products here for the long-term.