So what is order fulfilment? By definition, it’s the method in which a company processes a sales order to the customer’s specifications – but it’s important to note that this understates its importance. Customers hold more power as they have grown increasingly informed and have higher expectations when it comes to what they want.

That’s why an efficient order fulfilment service is key to your brand reputation, company profits and client retention. Without sales, there would be no business, and without order fulfilment, there would be no sales.

What Does Order Fulfilment Mean?

Order fulfilment covers the entire process from when a sale takes place all the way through to delivery to your customer. But that also means fulfilling the order to the customer’s specifications – that is, delivering goods as promised at the time of sale. The main steps in this process are receiving, processing, picking, packing and shipping.






Receiving Inventory

Receiving refers to the acceptance and storage of incoming inventory at the fulfilment centre. In any case, the inventory must be counted, inspected and inventoried to ensure the proper amount was received and the quality is acceptable. Stock keeping units (SKUs) or bar codes on arriving products are used in the receiving and storage process, helping to retrieve goods efficiently when needed.

And at The Storage Place (TSP), once we receive your goods, we have them checked and put away within 16 business hours.

Order Processing

This stage consists of the product picking and packing activities per each newly received customer order. In the online marketplace, order management software can be integrated with the shopping cart on an eCommerce website to automatically initiate order processing.


A picking team or automated warehouse robots select items from the warehouse according to the packing slip instructions. This can include specific information such as product colours, a list of item SKUs, sizes or the number of units and location in the distribution warehouse.


Once all items in an order have been picked, it’s time to get them securely packed up. In the UK, all fulfilment companies charge for packing but at TSP, we allow you to choose – meaning you can pay and use our packaging or bring in your own branded boxes. The optimal packing materials are chosen to both protect your products and add up to the lowest dimensional weight.

These materials can include boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, air-fill or even poly bags. If you are looking to keep your brand front and centre, some 3PLs allow you to stock your own custom boxes or otherwise use plain brown boxes.


Now that the orders are packed, the items are ready to be shipped. Whilst some fulfilment providers prefer carriers with whom they partner, others compare shipping costs between carriers. The latter ensures the most affordable pricing possible for any given shipping option.

This is one of the big benefits of outsourcing fulfilment as major carriers pick up orders directly from the fulfilment centres to ship.



Why is Order Fulfilment Important?

Now that we have explained “what is order fulfilment”, we need to discover why it is important. Let’s see how you can benefit from a refined strategy on order fulfilment.


Lower Costs

Working with a fulfilment service provider to pick, pack and ship orders can often reduce your shipping and operational costs. In some cases, some carriers offer discounted shipping rates – a deal passed onto eCommerce stores using the service.

The Ability to Scale

Having a streamlined process saves you time whilst allowing you to put your focus on business growth and expansion, especially if you outsource order fulfilment.


Improved Customer Service

Today, consumers are more comfortable with online shopping, but that means there is more competition, and the expectation that goods will arrive immediately has shot up. Outsourcing means your customers’ orders are fulfilled on time, the way specified.



Order Fulfilment You Can Trust

Now that you understand the process better, choosing a capable provider is just as important. At The Storage Place, we are order fulfilment specialists that can help you get your products out to customers safely, securely and on time.

Have we got your attention? Get a quote with us today so we can create a win-win situation. Alternatively, you can call us at +44 (0) 191 438 1616, and a member of our friendly team will be waiting for you.



How can outsourcing improve the fulfilment process?
Outsourcing order fulfilment allows business owners to focus on other areas of the business (such as sales, marketing & product development) while we take care of the rest.

As well as this, it can help reduce costs and improve commercial terms through carriers’ access to the latest technology, capacity to scale your business and customer satisfaction, to name a few. If you’re after more on this, you can find out if it’s time for you to outsource your order fulfilment.

Why is perfect order fulfilment so critical to successful operations?
Perfect order rate has become a crucial indicator in measuring supply chain performance. Companies that have the highest perfect order rates carry less inventory, experience shorter cash-to-cash cycle times, and have significantly fewer stock-outs than competitors.


Can I see my inventory and order status in real-time?
You can log in to our system and view live information, including stock reports, sales reports and an overview of your order. Reports can be scheduled and emailed so you can access important information when you require it. You can even be notified of backorders, input your own orders, and track orders at any time, simple.


Which e-commerce platforms do you integrate with?
We integrate with over 45 leading e-fulfilment platforms from household names such as Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce and Shopify to name a few, and the number of integrations we have continues to grow.

Which couriers do you integrate with?
We work alongside all fast and reliable major couriers, including Royal Mail, DPD, Palletline, Evri, Amazon logistics and many more.