Rather than completing orders for consumers, B2B fulfillment focuses on fulfilling orders for other businesses or retailers. For smaller transactions, B2B orders are frequently bulk orders that are sent through freight or parcel.
B2B fulfillment enables other companies to stock up on merchandise and resell it to their consumers through one or more channels.
Definition: What’s B2B Fulfillment?
Companies and merchants (specialists, wholesalers, and retailers) refill their supplies using so-called Multi-Unit orders in B2B (Business-to-Business) fulfillment. The logistical activities of the movement of products between suppliers and business partners along the full value chain are referred to as B2B logistics.
At least two parties are involved in B2B fulfillment – logistical transactions can occur between a manufacturer and a merchant, as well as between a components manufacturer and a product maker. In the B2B sector, deliveries were usually predictable and sent in big numbers to a few distributors.
However, B2B fulfillment is becoming more transparent, adaptable, and small-scale these days. The logistics activities take conducted without the need of central middlemen, resulting in new logistical demands.
The order amounts for B2B fulfillment are significantly greater than for B2C fulfillment. B2B orders typically include a large number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and product units. Pallets (single SKU pallets or mixed pallets) are transported instead of packages in most B2B logistics operations. With big shipments, shipping in the B2B sector is generally handled by a freight forwarder or, for smaller orders, by a traditional last-mile service CEP provider (Courier, Express, and Parcel).
Furthermore, in B2B fulfillment, Just-in-Time delivery is critical. When products are dispatched and arrive at the client at the precise moment of need, it is referred to as Just-in-Time delivery in logistics. Just-in-Time Delivery is especially important in the supply chain between the supplier and the manufacturer. Only the parts required for the planned production quantity of items are given to the manufacturer.
Due to the coordinated material flow, this form of demand-oriented manufacturing results in lower material costs since overproduction is prevented, as well as lower inventory storage costs. Food merchants in both the fresh and non-fresh food sectors must adhere to the best-before date (BBD) as well as the timely distribution and consumption of their products, which necessitates prompt delivery.
Due to the strong interconnections within the value chain and the focus on cost- and time-efficiency, Just-in-Time delivery plays a considerably greater role in B2B fulfillment than it does in B2C. In B2B fulfillment, conventional delivery timeframes are at least 48 hours. Short delivery periods of fewer than 24 hours are the norm in B2C fulfillment (Logistik-Heute, 2011).
The nature of B2B logistics – that is, firms in the B2B sector prepare extremely precisely and proactively to prevent delivery bottlenecks and production pauses – might be blamed for the extended delivery times. As a result, faster deliveries were not always a priority, as opposed to B2C fulfillment, when clients want their purchased product now, not tomorrow.
However, as the complexity of B2B fulfillment grows, we are increasingly witnessing a trend toward a growing need for quicker delivery timeframes, sometimes as little as 24 hours. Shorter production planning periods, along with large order volumes and Just-in-Time delivery, account for this.