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Abstract

Background: The logistics service of e-commerce is usually limited in the literature to the issue of product delivery to customers. However, before goods are sent to the customer, the vendor has to order them from the supplier. Next, they are taken into the warehouse and stored, and after the order has been placed, they are packaged and sent to the customer. These processes are defined in e-commerce as fulfillment. Due to their complexity and time and cost pressure of e-customers, they are more and more often conducted by external operators. Despite the dynamic development of the fulfillment service in e-commerce practice, this still remains a relatively unknown issue in management theory. The aim of this paper is to present and analyze the fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. The author has made an attempt to indicate and define the main models of logistics processes connected with the fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics, their strengths and weaknesses. An additional aim of this paper was to recognize development directions of the market of fulfillment services. Methods: For the needs of the paper research was conducted using the methods of direct observation and analysis of primary and secondary sources. The primary materials included data obtained from companies providing fulfillment services in Poland and abroad, and the secondary ones - reports, studies and Internet sources. In addition, in-depth interviews were performed with representatives of companies that offer fulfillment services or those which are potential bidders. Results: The article characterizes the details of the fulfillment service, whose importance has been increasing in e-commerce logistics. The author has described the division and characteristics of the fulfillment service models and discussed the potential trends in the fulfillment service market. Conclusions: The presented review and characteristics of various implementations of fulfillment services allows to evaluate to what extent logistic processes should and could be delegated to specialized companies in order to focus on the core competencies only. The usage of fulfillment service is useful especially at the phase of the rapid growth of the e-company. It involves, however, also some disadvantages, such as relatively high fees, a lack of physical contact with the goods, a partial loss of control over the process.
Copyright: Wyższa Szkoła Logistyki, Poznań, Polska
Citation: Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438,
http://dx.doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2017.4.4
Received: 20.05.2017, Accepted: 31.07.2017, on-line: 29.09.2017.
LogForum
> Scientific Journal of Logistics <
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p-ISSN 1895-2038
2017, 13 (4), 429-438
http://dx.doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2017.4.4
e-ISSN 1734-
459X
ORIGINAL PAPER
FULFILLMENT SERVICE IN E-COMMERCE LOGISTICS
Arkadiusz Kawa
Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poznań, Poland
ABSTRACT
. Background: The logistics service of e-commerce is usually limited in the literature to the issue of
product delivery to customers. However, before goods are sent to the customer, the vendor has to order them from the
supplier. Next, they are taken into the warehouse and stored, and after the order has been placed, they are packaged and
sent to the customer. These processes are defined in e-commerce as fulfillment. Due to their complexity and time and
cost pressure of e-customers, they are more and more often conducted by external operators. Despite the dynamic
development of the fulfillment service in e-commerce practice, this still remains a relatively unknown issue in
management theory.
The aim of this paper is to present and analyze the fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. The author has made an
attempt to indicate and define the main models of logistics processes connected with the fulfillment service in e-
commerce logistics, their strengths and weaknesses. An additional aim of this paper was to recognize development
directions of the market of fulfillment services.
Methods: For the needs of the paper research was conducted using the methods of direct observation and analysis of
primary and secondary sources. The primary materials included data obtained from companies providing fulfillment
services in Poland and abroad, and the secondary ones - reports, studies and Internet sources. In addition, in-depth
interviews were performed with representatives of companies that offer fulfillment services or those which are potential
bidders.
Results: The article characterizes the details of the fulfillment service, whose importance has been increasing in e-
commerce logistics. The author has described the division and characteristics of the fulfillment service models and
discussed the potential trends in the fulfillment service market.
Conclusions: The presented review and characteristics of various implementations of fulfillment services allows to
evaluate to what extent logistic processes should and could be delegated to specialized companies in order to focus on the
core competencies only. The usage of fulfillment service is useful especially at the phase of the rapid growth of the e-
company. It involves, however, also some disadvantages, such as relatively high fees, a lack of physical contact with the
goods, a partial loss of control over the process.
Key words:
e-commerce, fulfillment, logistics services.
INTRODUCTION
Undoubtedly, e-commerce is now one of
the most important megatrends in economy
[Kawa, Zdrenka 2016]. It affects not only
traders, but also the entire logistics industry
[Żurek 2015]. According to eMarketer, global
e-commerce sales in 2016 will grow by
approx. 22% compared with 2015 and will
amount to approx. $2 trillion. By 2020,
the global sale via the Internet is even expected
to reach $4 trillion [eMarketer 2015].
This dynamic growth requires management
tools suitably adapted to e-commerce. Internet
sales is different from traditional channel sales
in that a certain kind of promise to fulfill the
order in the right place, time and cost is sold,
apart from the products themselves. One of the
key tools of online trade, then, is logistics
[Colla, Lapoule 2012, Bask, Lipponen, Tinnilä
2012]. It allows not only to attract new
,
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
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430
customers (by availability of goods, different
forms of delivery and a low shipping cost), but
also to retain those who have already placed an
order (by timeliness, compliance of the goods
with the order, no damages). A few years ago,
efficient logistics in e-commerce was a source
of competitive advantage, today it is
a prerequisite. Those who win, in turn, are
companies that implement new logistics
solutions tailored to the needs of the market
[Ramanathan, George, Ramanathan 2014].
One of these solutions is the fulfillment service
related to the processes run in warehouses by
external operators.
Despite the dynamic development of the
fulfillment service in e-commerce practice, this
is still a relatively unknown issue in
management theory. For this reason, the aim of
this paper is to present and analyze the
fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics.
The author has made an attempt to indicate and
define the main models of logistics processes
connected with the fulfillment service in e-
commerce logistics, their strengths and
weaknesses. An additional aim of this paper
was to recognize development directions of the
market of fulfillment services.
LOGISTICS ORGANIZATION
FORMS IN E-COMMERCE
In e-commerce, there are four forms of
organization of logistics, which indicate the
scope of the processes performed by the e-
retailer [Kawa 2014]:
1. Insourcing logistics.
2. Dropshipping.
3. Fulfillment service.
4. One stop e-commerce.
Insourcing logistics in e-commerce is most
popular, especially on the Polish market. In
this model, stores conduct most of the logistics
processes on their own. This proves effective
for micro and small enterprises, whose scale of
activity is still too small for the use of external
logistics companies to be profitable. This
approach allows for better control of their
business and independence from
subcontractors. In this model, it is crucial to
prepare for sudden development of the
company. As the number of orders increases,
one needs to consider hiring more people and
buying or renting warehouse space. Handling
the so-called seasonal peaks becomes
a problem [Żuchowski 2016]. The only
logistics process outsourced to external
companies is the delivery of the product to the
end customer. For this purpose, courier,
express and postal services operators (CEP) are
engaged [Dabidian, Clausen, Denecke 2016].
In turn, dropshipping involves shipment of
goods directly from the warehouse of an
external entity (the manufacturer, the
distributor) to the client without the need to use
the vendor’s warehouse [Zając, 2014]. This
service consists in storage of products, taking
orders and completing them, issuing sales
documents and shipping packages to
customers. Medium-sized companies that do
not want to take the risk of freezing their assets
in inventory, particularly when they increase
the number of their product items, are usually
interested in this type of services. This model
allows stores to focus on acquiring customers.
In e-commerce, there are two approaches
adopted by e-retailers in the field of
dropshipping [Ayanso et al. 2006]:
pure dropshipping, in which the online
store does not have a warehouse and is
based on external firms implementing
order fulfillment processes.
partial dropshipping, in which only
selected products are stored in an outside
company’s warehouse.
Pure dropshipping works well if the offered
products come from a single supplier that has
a wide range of them. The problem, however,
lies in the realization of orders in which the
goods originate from multiple suppliers. This
results in higher costs and can cause
communication problems. Product returns by
customers are also troublesome. The use of
dropshipping, therefore, requires developing
appropriate procedures for the flow of
information, packaging, payments, returns
[Khouja 2011].
In turn, the fulfillment service involves
delegating part of the logistic processes to an
external provider. Due to the fact that the main
focus of this article is fulfillment, it is
described in detail in the following chapters.
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
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In contrast, one-stop e-commerce is an
extension of fulfillment by additional services.
This concept implies support not only in the
field of logistics (as fulfillment does), but also
in the area of customer service, marketing, IT
solutions and finance and accounting by one
company [Ciechomski 2014]. For example,
call centers, which deal with inquiries,
complaints, etc., may be run on behalf of the
client in many languages. Cooperation with
one partner in accordance with the principle of
one-stop e-commerce allows for better task
coordination and communication between the
parties thanks to integrating processes in one
place. In this model financial settlement is
simpler, too. However, there is a risk that all
processes are entrusted to one partner. For
now, such services are mainly used by the
largest companies, for which e-commerce is an
additional sales channel [Agatz, Fleischmann,
Van Nunen 2008].
CHARACTERISTICS OF
FULFILLMENT SERVICE
Generally, the fulfillment service consists in
taking over part of the seller’s logistics
processes, such as: reception, storage, picking,
packaging, sending the products by an external
operator.
Goods ordered by the online shop from
suppliers are sent to such an operator’s
warehouse, and are then unloaded, inspected,
stored, picked and shipped [Isac, 2014]. On
behalf of the client, the operators manage the
warehouse, check the inventory, take orders
from final customers, package shipments,
prepare sales documents (e.g. invoices,
receipts) and shipping ones (e.g. waybills),
attach manuals, help in customs clearance,
handle returned goods, co-operate with
transport companies. This solution is very
flexible because a specialist fulfillment
operator is able to adapt to the variability of
the demand of their client depending on his/her
needs, e.g. by increasing or decreasing the
storage area or the number of employees. The
operator prepares reports on their activities for
the client regarding the sales volume, number
of returns, complaints. Some companies even
undertake repairs, refreshing and disposal of
returned products. The needs in e-commerce
and the specifics of individual stores vary
significantly. This solution will not suit the
requirements of every e-retailer. In a small
scale business the owner’s knowledge about
where the product is located, in particular if it
is not marked with a bar code, may often prove
to be important.
The entities of e-commerce are quite
a specific group of customers for fulfillment
operators. As a rule, these are small companies
that offer a fairly wide range of products but in
very small quantities. Their customers order
single items, and their geographical location is
very diverse. For this reason, the fulfillment
operators do not perform the distribution
services themselves, but use the services of
CEP operators and, to some extent, logistics
companies (in particular with deliveries of
goods on pallets). E-customers want to be
offered a wide range of delivery services
from the more economical and slower postal
service through more reliable courier services
to the transitional forms, that is the possibility
to collect shipments from parcel lockers or
PUDO (pick up drop off) points [Del Ser,
Bilbao, Perfecto, Salcedo-Sanz 2016].
The key activity of the fulfillment operators
are services related to storage. Despite the
large potential for automation of warehouse
processes, there are still many companies
(even the largest ones) which mostly rely on
the work of people in their activities. This is
mainly due to economic calculations and high
flexibility of this approach. During peak
seasons additional staff is simply employed. It
is, therefore, important to have appropriate and
scalable infrastructure that adapts to the
increasing needs of customers.
The basic method of storage of goods in
a warehouse by fulfillment operators is placing
them in "the first free position", in the so-
called chaotic system. The goods are not
arranged by any logical rules, i.e. by type,
value, rotation, etc. After the goods are
received from the sender, they are located in
the place that offers enough space. Each
location (pallet place, shelf) is described, so
the stored goods are assigned to their places.
Such a method of inventory management
would not be possible but for an effective IT
system, which is integrated with the mobile
,
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devices in the warehouse. This makes it
possible to quickly find the product and use the
warehouse labor and storage space better. In
addition, the system should support additional
services, such as document, payment and debt
management. The ability to integrate the
system with other tools of suppliers is also
necessary.
Working with customers, the fulfillment
operator must be prepared for many
contingencies that may arise at any stage of the
service realization. For instance, the company
should be able to serve customers from many
industries that differ in their specifics, e.g.
electronic products are often high market value
commodities that require additional safety
procedures for their logistic handling.
FULFILLMENT MODELS
The aforementioned processes related to
fulfillment are quite similar to each other at
most of the operators. The character of the
products handled and the customer
expectations may vary. Special conditions and
know-how of the organization and
coordination of processes, adequate storage
space, technologies and people operating them
are required to provide such services.
Differentiation of companies that provide
the fulfillment services is relatively large. On
the basis of an analysis of their activity they
can be classified as follows:
Fulfillment offered as a key service.
Fulfillment offered by sales platforms.
Fulfillment offered by logistics service
providers.
Fulfillment offered by other market
players.
Fulfillment offered as a key service
The fulfillment services are mainly
provided by companies for which the key
activity is the logistics service of e-commerce.
Several major operators and many small ones
can be distinguished. For example, in Poland,
the most popular ones are: DocData, Traffic,
Point of View, Customeritum, Logistics
Distribution Partners, Cloudpack, Logistiko,
Shoplo.
The fulfillment services provided by
smaller companies are intended for shops that
realize from tens to hundreds of orders
a month. In the case of medium-sized
companies, it is approx. 1,000 orders.
Companies in this model are characterized by
high flexibility and an ability to adapt to the
specific store, its products and the industry in
which they operate. The operators provide
fulfillment services including: reception,
storage, picking and packing, as well as
a number of additional tasks, i.e. support in
inventory management, legal advice, tax and
customs services. All the services are mostly
available both at a national and international
(mainly EU countries) level. Many of the
businesses also offer a possibility to view the
inventory and prepare customer orders. Some
companies in this group of operators do not
have their own warehouses and rent them from
larger suppliers of storage space. An example
is the Cloudpack company.
Fulfillment offered by sales platforms
The second group of fulfillment service
providers are sales platforms. One of the
leading sales platforms and, at the same time,
the largest company that provides fulfillment
services in the world is Amazon. Although the
main activity of the company is selling
products over the Internet, in recent years it
has dynamically been developing the
fulfillment services, e.g. by the Fulfillment by
Amazon (FBA) program [FBA 2017]. It is
headquartered in the US, and branches and
distribution centers are located in, among
others, Canada, the UK, Germany, France,
China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Poland.
For example, Amazon has 29 logistics centers
in 7 countries in Europe. With the FBA service
sellers can deliver their products to any of
these centers, and Amazon does the rest of the
logistics processes. Moreover, when sellers use
the FBA service, their products can be made
available under the Prime service.
For many retailers the Amazon platform is
a key place to sell products. A given seller is
not obliged to transfer their goods to the
warehouse of Amazon, but they must then be
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
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aware of worse time positioning of their offer
in the search engine. As part of the fulfillment
services, the biggest sellers using the services
of Amazon, however, receive support from
a consultant who does a number of activities,
e.g. translation of descriptions into other
languages.
The Amazon's model, and consequently
FBA, consists of several elements [FBA 2017]:
Create great customer experience
a customer dissatisfied with a purchase at
a given online store is not going to return
to it. It is therefore necessary to offer the
best possible service, delivery,
information standards, not to be limited to
the minimum services.
FreeShipping for the customer, a cheap
and convenient form of delivery is the
basis. Sending parcels by sellers on their
own is not beneficial for the client.
Amazon Delivery Promise with its
reputation and organization of all
warehouse processes Amazon guarantees
that if an item is shown on the website as
available, it will be sent in the guaranteed
time and will definitely be of good
quality.
Many companies in Poland, but also in the
world, copy the proven business model of
Amazon and are based on it. An example is
Allegro, which is changing from the auction
platform into a shopping gallery. It offers
brokerage services (sendit.pl) in the field of
courier services. With time, it will probably
also begin to provide fulfillment services to its
customers.
Fulfillment offered by logistics service
providers
A few years ago e-commerce in Poland was
treated marginally by representatives of the
logistics industry. Service of e-retailers (but
only in the field of distribution) was dealt with
by the CEP operators, but their adaptation to
the specifics of e-commerce took a long time.
Large logistics operators were not at all
interested in handling online stores because of
fragmentation, small amounts of inventory to
be stored and distribution that could be
prepared only by the CEP operators. Therefore,
only a few logistics operators can now be
indicated that followed trends and enriched
their offer with solutions dedicated to online
merchants. In most cases this experience was
gathered at projects completed for a lot of
customers, often as a complement to other
services already rendered to the given
company. Accordingly, logistics providers are
unlikely to support small and medium-sized e-
retailers.
It is worth noting that the fulfillment for
logistics companies is synergistic with the
existing logistics (e.g. the same storage system,
use of space in the lower racking composition).
Specific instrumentation is only required (e.g.
handheld scanners, mezzanines), as well as
training for employees on knowledge of
customer goods.
In the first place, logistics service providers
are responsible for receipt of goods from
suppliers usually from manufacturers or
intermediary distributors. Then, processes are
implemented which include control of the
delivery, introduction of all collected products
to the system and their placement at the storage
location. The next process is acceptance of an
order for a particular product in the online
store. Then the employees of the logistics
service operator obtain information about the
order, receive a complete package, pack it and
ship it (in Poland mainly via couriers, parcel
lockers of InPost and services of the Polish
Post Office). After-sales service is equally
important in online stores primarily
associated with the service of returns, taking
complaints. More and more operators offer
additional services, including: completing sets,
gift packaging, refreshing products,
maintenance, management of the e-shop
archive, sending sales reports, sales and
inventory planning.
Among the major logistics service
providers in e-commerce the following can be
distinguished: Rhenus Logistics, Raben and
Fiege. There are also CEP operators, such as:
DHL, GLS, DPD and the Polish Post Office.
However, interviews with representatives of
these companies show that they do not provide
this type of services. It seems, though, that it is
only a matter of time and these companies will
start to offer fulfillment services in Poland.
,
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
.
http://dx.doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2017.4.4
434
It will be a natural supplement to the
distribution services which are used by all
fulfillment companies anyway. The CEP
operators will gain even more, because the
broker that imposes a margin on their services
will be eliminated.
Fulfillment offered by other market players
The fulfillment services are also provided
by companies which were initially preoccupied
with activities other than logistics for e-
commerce. As a result of development,
emergence of new Internet projects, increasing
customer needs, etc., these companies have
begun to expand their services with fulfillment.
In Poland, two largest operators can be
distinguished: Azymut and Arvato.
Arvato [2017] has approx. 20 years of
experience in operational processes and
expertise on B2C and B2B shipping. In terms
of fulfillment the company provides
a comprehensive service in the field of one-
stop e-commerce, within which it offers
logistics services, customer service, IT
solutions and financial services. The company
owns three logistics centers (in Plewiska,
Błonie and Żerniki). Its e-commerce offer is
directed to the textile, cosmetics and toy
industries, and its clients mainly include the
largest companies, such as 5-10-15, Douglas,
Microsoft, Gerry Weber, Weltbild. Currently,
the company serves hundreds of thousands of
orders per month. Arvato also has a courier
broker - www.portalkurierski.pl [Arvato 2017].
Another example is OSDW Azymut, which
is owned by a leading Polish publishing house
- the PWN Group. The company is
a wholesaler of books, but also provides
distribution and logistics services, with
headquarters in Stryków in Poland. Thanks to
an extended distribution network and
experience in online sales through B2B and
B2C channels as well as modification of the
warehouse equipment, Azymut has started to
co-operate with companies that offer a variety
of products. As part of fulfillment, Azymut
provides such services as delivery service,
storage of goods, preparing them, picking and
shipping, as well as after-sales service of
returns. In addition, Azymut also offers the
following: distribution under the agreements
which it entered into with courier companies,
the Polish Post Office, InPost, monitoring of
the incoming COD (cash on delivery) and
quick returns of cash on delivery. An added
value is also the fact that it is possible to
include a ready base of goods being in OSDW
Azymut’s distribution in the offer of a given
online store [Azymut 2017].
DIRECTIONS OF FULFILLMENT
MARKET DEVELOPMENT
The fulfillment service is a relatively new
area of activity of logistics service providers,
and therefore it is constantly subjected to
change. New concepts and trends keep
appearing.
A certain direction of development of
fulfillment operators is expanding services for
their customers, e.g. repairing or renewing
returned products, financial and accounting
services, contact centers, loyalty programs,
coupons, so transition to the previously
described strategy of one-stop e-commerce. An
additional range of activity may also be
adjusting the products offered to the
preferences of specific customers in local
markets; an example here is attaching
instruction manuals, leaflets in a selected
language.
Industry experts also draw attention to
advice on choosing the right business model,
and in particular on pointing to the areas of
activity that can be optimized. This is possible
thanks to great experience of fulfillment
operators, their suitable resources and know-
how backed by long activity in shaping trends
in e-commerce.
A trend developing in e-commerce, and
thus also in fulfillment, is cross border [Cho,
Lee 2017]. Buying goods abroad or selling
products to foreign contractors over the
Internet is becoming increasingly popular.
According to Accenture and AliResearch
[2016], cross-border trade will reach up to $1
trillion in 2020 from $0.5 trillion in 2017.
However, one of the biggest barriers to foreign
trade conducted via the Internet is the cost of
shipping, which, depending on the country,
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
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is even several times greater than within
Poland. Often, the high cost of shipping
exceeds the savings from lower product prices.
However, as indicated by the European
Commission [2015], cross-border services are
future-oriented services in e-commerce and
should be more and more common. Online
stores, CEP and fulfillment operators should
consider preparing offers for those customers.
If availability of goods, fast shipping and
a relatively low price are ensured, everyone
can benefit from it [European Commission
2015]. Some steps in this direction have
already been made by InPost that introduced
the cross border service through which goods
are delivered to a specified address or a parcel
locker in 4 European countries [InPost 2017].
This may encourage e-shops and fulfillment
operators to offer shipping goods abroad.
Another trend is the same day delivery
service. If purchases via mobile devices
develop, the need for delivery on the same day
may increase. For now, these services are quite
expensive because they involve direct delivery
from the source to the destination without any
intermediate stops. Dedicated transport by the
fulfillment operator that serves the given
region is used here most frequently. In the
offer of fulfillment operators, however, same
day services offered by CEP companies appear
more and more often. They are available only
in selected cities, though. For full coverage of
the country with the same day services local
warehouses or a very large scale of operations
are needed [Kawa 2014].
It is also worth to remember about intensive
development of the omnichannel strategy,
which consists in adding possibilities to sell
via the Internet with the use of various devices,
i.e. a computer, tablet or smartphone, to the
traditional sales channel. This leads to product
sale based on several distribution channels and
thus to a number of logistic models.
Traditional retailers do not always want to
offer logistics services of the Internet channel
and outsource them to the fulfillment
operators.
SUMMARY
The fulfillment service is a very forward-
looking and promising trend in e-commerce.
An online store using the fulfillment service
usually minimizes the costs associated with the
entire logistics and can dedicate more time to
marketing, branding, etc. Nevertheless, this is
not a solution free of defects. A company
which uses fulfillment transfers all logistics
processes to the outside, and thus loses control
over them. It does not have a direct influence
on outgoing orders or good contact with
customers, suppliers, etc. In addition, there is
no contact with the goods, either, and some
prefer to know in what state the products are
sold, how they are packaged, stored. For this
reason, self-logistics may be the best solution
for some e-retailers. One should be aware of
that and properly educate customers. An
external operator usually brings in their know-
how, including modern technologies for
warehouse management, which, especially at
a larger scale, give benefits in each area:
quality, time, cost.
Fulfillment services should be constantly
developed according to the needs of the
market. A decisive factor building
a competitive advantage in the near future will
be value-added services such as the delivery of
parcels on the same day, cheap and fast
shipping to foreign countries etc.
The geographical location of Poland and
easy access to distribution centers of courier
operators makes Poland a very interesting
place to locate big e-commerce projects
spanning markets in Western Europe. In the
last years a tendency to transfer the logistics of
large online stores to Poland has been
observed, from where efficient distribution to
individual customers in Europe is run. Both the
location of a distribution center and the
technologies applied in it should be closely
adjusted to the needs and nature of the sales
activity of the online store. In the near future
increased competition should be expected from
Amazon, Allegro Group, Alibaba and
a number of other entities specializing in
fulfillment, as well as logistics service
providers.
,
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2017.4.4
436
Expansion of logistics companies, in
particular CEP operators, should also be
expected in this market. Until now, these
companies have not provided this type of
service. It seems, however, that it is a matter of
time and they will start to offer fulfillment
services. For example, two years ago the
Polish Post Office announced that it will
launch a full warehouse - logistics service for
e-retailers. It will be a natural supplement to
the distribution services which are used by all
fulfillment companies anyway. The CEP
operators will gain even more, because
a broker that adds a margin for their services
will be eliminated.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This paper has been written with financial
support of the National Center of Science
[Narodowe Centrum Nauki] – grant number
DEC-2015/19/B/HS4/02287.
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USŁUGA FULFILLMENT W LOGISTYCE E-HANDLU
STRESZCZENIE
. Wstęp: Opisywana w literaturze logistyczna obsługa handlu elektronicznego sprowadza się
najczęściej do problematyki dostaw produktów do klientów. Zanim jednak towar trafi do klienta, to wcześniej
sprzedawca musi go zamówić u swojego dostawcy. Następnie jest on przyjmowany do magazynu i składowany, a po
złożeniu zamówienia – kompletowany, pakowany i wysyłany do klienta. Te procesy określa się w e-handlu jako
fulfillment. Z uwagi na ich złożoność i presję czasową oraz kosztową e-klientów są one coraz częściej wykonywane
przez zewnętrznych operatorów. Mimo dynamicznego rozwoju usługi fulfillment w praktyce e-handlu jest to jeszcze
stosunkowo mało rozpoznane zagadnienie w teorii zarządzania.
Celem pracy było zaprezentowanie oraz przeanalizowanie usługi fulfillment w obszarze e-logistyki. Autor podjął próbę
wskazania i zdefiniowania głównych modeli procesów logistycznych związanych z usługa fulfillment w tym obszarze,
ich słabe i mocne strony. Dodatkowych celem pracy było określenie kierunków rozwojowych rynku usług typu
fulfillment.
Metody: Na potrzeby opracowania przeprowadzono badania metodami obserwacji bezpośredniej i analizy źródeł
pierwotnych oraz wtórnych. Do materiałów pierwotnych należały dane uzyskane od firm zajmujących się usługami
fulfillment w Polsce i zagranicą, a do wtórnych - raporty, opracowania i źródła internetowe. Dodatkowo wykonano
pogłębione wywiady z przedstawicielami firm, które oferują usługi fulfillment lub, które są potencjalnymi oferentami.
Wyniki: W artykule szczegółowo opisano usługę fulfillment, która ma coraz większe znaczenie w logistyce e-handlu.
Przedstawiono autorski podział i charakterystykę modeli usług fulfillment oraz omówiono potencjalne trendy na rynku
usług fulfillment.
Wnioski: Przedstawiona prezentacja oraz charakterystyka modeli usług typu fulfillment umożliwia ocenę zakresu
oddelegowania procesów logistycznych do specjalistycznych firm zewnętrznych w celu większego skupienia się na
działalności podstawowej e-przedsiębiorstwa. Takie podejście, związane z oddelegowaniem części procesów
logistycznych na zewnątrz jest szczególnie korzystne w przypadku dynamicznego rozwoju e-przedsiębiorstwa. Wiąże się
to jednak z pewnymi wadami, takimi jak: stosunkowo duże opłaty, brak fizycznego kontaktu z towarem, częściowa utrata
kontroli na realizowanym procesem.
Słowa kluczowe:
e-handel, fulfilment, usługi logistyczne
,
Kawa A., 2017. Fulfillment service in e-commerce logistics. LogForum 13 (4), 429-438
.
http://dx.doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2017.4.4
438
DIE FULFILLMENT-DIENSTLEISTUNG IN DER LOGISTIK DES
E-HANDELS
ZUSAMMENFASSUNG. Einleitung: Der in der Fachliteratur beschriebene Logistik-Service des E-Handels geht am
meisten auf die Problematik der Belieferung von Kunden zurück. Bevor aber die Ware den Kunden erreicht, muss der
Verkäufer sie früher bei seinem Lieferanten bestellen. Dann wird sie eingelagert und im Lager aufbewahrt, um nach
deren Bestellung kommissioniert, verpackt und zum Kunden geschickt zu werden. Solche Prozesse werden im E-Handel
als Fulfillment bezeichnet. Angesichts deren Komplexität und des Zeitdrucks seitens von E-Kunden werden sie öfters
von Fremd-Dienstleistern übernommen und ausgeführt. Trotz der dynamischen Entwicklung der Fulfillment-
Dienstleistungen in der Praxis des E-Handels ist diese Problematik innerhalb der Management-Theorie relativ wenig
erkundet.
Das Ziel der Arbeit war es, die Fulfillment-Dienstleistung im Bereich der E-Logistik zu projizieren und zu analysieren.
Der Autor hat versucht, die Hauptmodelle der mit der Fulfillment-Dienstleistung verbundenen Logistikprozesse und
deren schwache und starke Seiten zu erfassen und zu definieren. Ein zusätzliches Ziel stellte die Feststellung von
Entwicklungsrichtungen im Bereich der Fulfillment-Dienstleistungen dar.
Methoden: Zum Zwecke der betreffenden Ausarbeitung wurden Forschungen anhand von Methoden der direkten
Prozess-Verfolgung und der Analyse von Primär- und Sekundärquellen durchgeführt. Zu den Primärmaterialien gehörten
die Daten, die von den Firmen, die sich mit Fulfillment-Dienstleistungen in Polen und im Ausland beschäftigen,
gewonnen wurden, zu den Sekundärquellen dagegen Berichterstattungen, Sachbearbeitungen und Internet-Quellen.
Zusätzlich wurden vertiefte Interviews mit Vertretern der Firmen, die die Fulfillment-Services anbieten oder die
potenzielle Anbieter sind, durchgeführt.
Ergebnisse: Im Artikel stellte man detailliert den Fulfillment-Service, der immer wieder in der Logistik des E-Handels
an Bedeutung gewinnt, dar. Ferner wurde seitens des Autors seine eigene Aufteilung und Charakteristik von Modellen
der Fulfillment-Dienstleistungen projiziert und die potenziellen Trends auf dem Markt der betreffenden Services
besprochen.
Fazit: Die betreffende Darstellung und die Charakteristik der Modelle von Fulfillment-Services ermöglichen die
Beurteilung des Ausmaßes der Ausführung von Logistikprozessen aus den Ursprungsfirmen und deren Platzierung in
darauf spezialisierten Fremdfirmen zwecks einer besseren Fokussierung auf die grundlegende Betätigung durch ein E-
Unternehmen. Solch eine mit der Delegierung eines Teiles von Logistikprozessen nach draußen verbundene
Vorgehensweise ist besonders im Falle einer dynamischen Entwicklung des E-Unternehmens nützlich. Das ist jedoch mit
folgenden Nachteilen wie: relativ hohe Gebühren, Mangel an physischem Kontakt mit der Ware, teilweiser Verlust der
Kontrolle über den realisierten Prozess, verbunden.
Codewörter: E-Handel, Fulfillment, Logistik-Dienstleistungen
Arkadiusz Kawa
Poznan University of Economics and Business,
Al.Niepodległości 10
61-875 Poznań, Poland
e-mail: Arkadiusz.Kawa@ue.poznan.pl
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E-commerce has attracted increasing interest at the beginning of the 21st century, in both academia and practice. Today, the Internet is commonly used by both consumers and businesses as a means of purchasing goods. The authors’ study focuses on e-commerce logistics, focusing on the physical delivery of goods sold over the Internet. Based on a systematic review of articles, the authors will summarize and analyze the main findings of academic literature and highlight certain research issues recognized on this topic. The main objective is to study the state-of-the-art of e-commerce logistics research and future research needs. The reviewed articles have been formed into seven categories, and each category is discussed in the paper. The largest categories discuss e-commerce logistics in relation to retail strategies, logistics strategies and structures, and buyer preferences. Although logistics is a critical part of e-commerce, it seems based on the review that not many e-commerce logistics solutions have been developed or studied in current research, and logistics has often been treated as only a minor issue among other issues in e-commerce.
Article
In this paper, we study a threshold level inventory rationing policy that is of interest to e-tailers, operating in a business to consumer (B2C) environment and selling non-perishable, made-to-stock items such as books, CDs, consumer electronics, and body and bath products. A Monte Carlo simulation model is developed to examine this policy when the demand process is stochastic, lead-time is stochastic, and the e-tailer uses ‘drop-shipping’ as an order fulfillment option. The methodology presented, which includes computer simulation and a full factorial experimental design, permits understanding of the complexity of the decision-making environment and implications of different sources of uncertainty (e.g. demand variability and lead-time variability) on a profit-maximizing threshold level of inventory, a stock level below which low margin orders are drop-shipped directly from the e-tailer’s supplier rather than fulfilled from internal stock.
E-fulfillment and multi-channel distribution -A review
  • N A Agatz
  • M Fleischmann
  • J A Van Nunen
Agatz N.A., Fleischmann M., Van Nunen J.A., 2008. E-fulfillment and multi-channel distribution -A review, European journal of operational research, 187(2), 339-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2016.08.0
E-shops as a condition for the evolution of the trade
  • W Ciechomski
Ciechomski W., 2014. E-shops as a condition for the evolution of the trade, LogForum 10 (1), 109-115.