What Is Flow-Through Distribution in Order Fulfillment?

E-commerce has become a staple in how people shop for and purchase goods. They increasingly turn to online vendors to buy commodities and essentials. Therefore, online business owners and suppliers implement flow-through distribution to meet their rising order fulfillment needs.

Since fitness and wellness enthusiasts consistently purchase specific products online, nutraceutical fulfillment with Streamline Fulfillment often puts this type of distribution front and center. Let’s explore what it is and how it works below.  

What Flow-Through Distribution Means

Many businesses implement storage methods to retain products or materials until they need them. These business models might have retail stores or warehouses that can only house a specific amount of inventory at a given time. Therefore, the goods might remain stagnant after production. 

Conversely, sellers who offer products online constantly move their goods through the shipping process with few stops. They use flow-through distribution methods to keep up with consistent customer demands. Rather than storing products, the suppliers or sellers will ship them out directly. 

You might wonder whether cross docking and flow through are one and the same. While both share characteristics, cross-docked goods head outbound immediately. Meanwhile, you must process flow-through goods before shipping them out.  

How Flow-Through Distribution Works

You likely know how warehouses work. A warehouse stocks products for long periods until a wholesaler or customer places an order. Then, workers pick products to fulfill the orders before processing and shipping them out. 

A flow-through warehouse or distribution center applies flow-through distribution instead. Once the establishment receives a shipment, its faculty will:

  1. Separate the items received into categories according to requests and order needs.
  2. Repackage the items based on where they will go.
  3. Process the repackaged shipments for transit.
  4. Ship them once outbound transportation arrives to pick up the orders.

If you want to increase warehouse efficiency for your e-commerce business, you’ll implement this fulfillment method into your preferred shipping practices. 

Why You Should Integrate Flow-Through Distribution in Order Fulfillment

Successful business management involves using fewer resources for high-quality output. You can use flow-through methods to achieve this goal by:

  • Using less space for inventory holding. Storage costs money to build, maintain, and fill. When you quickly move products out, you need less storage area. 
  • Staying adaptable. Modern businesses online and at physical locations must adapt to customer demands. This means implementing scalable fulfillment approaches through logistics optimization. 
  • Increased precision despite minimized handling processes. Too many cooks spoil the broth. When numerous people manage, oversee, and handle shipments, they can make mistakes you won’t notice until much later. 
  • Refreshing your inventory. Some products, like vitamins and nutritional powders, have expiration dates. You must rotate them to prevent product waste. 

You might reap additional benefits if you ship combination products like gift baskets, subscription boxes, or bundles to niche customers.

Discover More Commerce Solutions With Streamline Fulfillment

Reduce shipping costs through flow-through distribution options and other commerce solutions from Streamline Fulfillment. Use our resources, services, and integration to craft the perfect fulfillment strategy for your business. Call 509-888-2880 to schedule a consultation with a business-to-business specialist today.

Schedule Your Consultation Today to Save Time and Money

While Shopify offers an excellent way for small business owners to get into the digital market and expand their networks, focusing on packing and shipping alongside increasing your customer base can be stressful.

Running a business takes a lot of time and money, and whether you want to streamline the process so you can focus on other crucial business components or save a drive to the post office, our team is ready to assist.

To schedule a consultation and discover how Streamline Fulfillment can help, give us a call today!