What questions should you ask a fulfillment house?
Mailing and Fulfillment Definitions/Glossary
Active StockGoods in active pick locations and ready for order filling.
Activity Based CostingActivity-based costing (ABC) is a method of allocating costs to products and services. It is generally used as a tool for planning and control. It was developed as an approach to address problems associated with traditional cost management systems, that tend to have the inability to accurately determine actual production and service costs, or provide useful information for operating decisions.
Address List A digital list of addresses utilized for mailing. The list may be in a wide variety of formats such as those used in Spreadsheets, Databases, Word Processors, and Personal Information Managers.
Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO)Software systems that aid businesses in effective decision making. These systems cover demand planning, supply planning, and manufacturing planning and scheduling in order to aid overall planning for the business.
Advanced Shipment Notification (ASN)ASNs are used to notify a customer that a shipment has taken place. Most often, ASNs will include details about the shipment and has mostly moved from paper based to electronic notification.
Average CostUsually refers to average total cost, which is the total cost of production of a good or service (including the costs of fixed inputs and variable inputs) divided by the quantity produced.
Back OrderA system used by suppliers when stock is not available at the time of order to save a store from having to place another order.
Bar CodeA printed code consisting of a series of vertical bars that vary in width. Bar codes are capable of being “read” and decoded by bar code scanners. Bar codes are used to identify retail sales items, identification cards, library books and other products. They are also utilized to manage work in progress, to track documents and for many other automated identification applications.
Bar Code ScannerA barcode reader (or barcode scanner) is a computer peripheral for reading barcodes printed on various surfaces. Like a flatbed scanner, it generally consists of a light source, a lens and a photo conductor translating optical impulses into electrical ones. Additionally, nearly all barcode readers currently produced contain decoder circuitry analyzing the barcode’s image data provided by the photo conductor and sending the barcode’s content to the scanner’s output port.
DatabaseA database is a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way, such that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. The software used to manage and query a database is known as a database management system (DBMS). The properties of database systems are studied in information science.
Direct Impression AddressingPrinting directly on the mailing piece for a more professional look. The mailing piece will have no labels.
Drop ShippingThe shipping of a product directly from the manufacturer or distribution center. The merchant is not required to carry stock. This is popular with companies who don’t have the space or the employees necessary to pack and ship products. The best drop shippers will not brand the product with anything associated with their company – rather, the shipping package will look as if it came from the merchant.
Fulfillment HouseA third party company that performs order fulfillment including storage, picking, packing, shipping and tracking of all orders. Generally, a merchant would have all their products shipping directly to the fulfillment company where the products would be counted and stored until future use. Fulfillment companies will also build/assemble kits or products out of the product parts the merchant has shipping to them. There are numerous advantages to using a fulfillment house.
Fulfillment ProcessThe process that a fulfillment house will use to receive and ship customer products.
Mailing CenterA part of a fullfillment or shipping company where they have the skill, experience and technology to ship a high volume of packages quickly, effeciently and accurately.
Mailing ServiceA mailing service company will usually provide a one-stop shop for all your printing and mailing needs. Modern mailing servicesinclude bulk mail, digital printing, storage, order fulfillment and kit assembly – among other services.
Minimum Order StandardsThe minimum volume of orders that a fulfillment or mailing house requires to process the business request.
Order Processing FeesOrder processing fees reflect the cost of shipping items. Usually these are based on the number of orders filled, though adjustments may be made for the number of items in each package.
PackingTypically packing involves placing products into containers (boxes) for shipment based up a pick sheet or invoice. The packer ensures the order being shipped has been packed accurately and in a manner that will prevent damage in transit.
Shipping DocksA loading dock where large trucks (including semi-trailer trucks) can back into and unload product – often with the aid of a forklift. Many shippers charge less when shipping to a loading dock.
Storage CostsThe costs of storing products, parts, packaging and anything associated with the packaging and shipping of product.
WarehousingThe process of storing product before it is to be used. Generally, warehouse companies will have technology that tracks all product location and even keeps inventory control.