Keeping track of a growing inventory is one of the significant challenges a seller faces. The growing inventory can reach a point where the seller requires more space to store the products. The options are quite limited in these circumstances. Fortunately, the Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) model brings the most efficient solution to this problem. They give you the space to store your products, hire fulfillment experts to keep track of the massive inventory and fulfill the sales orders.
Who is a Fulfillment Expert
Fulfillment experts or specialists form the core of warehouse operations. Let’s say, you are a seller and you need a space to store your inventory. Taking fulfillment services from popular and efficient models like the Amazon FBA will allow you to keep selling without having to worry about space, management or fulfillment of sales orders. Send your inventory to the Amazon fulfillment centers and let Amazon handle the entire fulfillment process.
This is where the fulfillment experts come into the picture. They have to take care of the storage, picking, packaging, shipping and returns management. So essentially, fulfillment experts are fulfilling the sales orders of the sellers. Amazon Seller Forums can be helpful to gain an insight into how these fulfillment services work in Amazon.
To break it down even further, a fulfillment expert is someone who is responsible for finding the right products in the warehouse after receiving order information and shipping them out to the right customers without any damage to the products or delays in the shipments. They also have to answer phone calls, notify superiors of any potential damage to the products and use delivery software. The proper execution of these duties can lead to an increase in sales on Amazon.
Responsibilities of a Fulfillment Expert
Fulfillment experts carry out the entire eCommerce fulfillment process starting from receiving the orders to delivering them without any error and damage. To paint a clearer picture of what responsibilities a fulfillment expert has to fulfill, let’s look at the following important duties of a fulfillment expert.
Fulfillment experts follow a systematic approach to source, store and sell the products. They handle the management of the stock including resolving any technical problems concerned with it. The addition of new products to the warehouse also falls in this category.
They have to corroborate the billing system and provide training to departmental procedures to avoid any errors in the process.
EDI orders need to be checked and processed thoroughly. This is the first step of the whole fulfillment process.
Fulfillment experts are also expected to help clients obtain benefits through Google optimization.
They need to process orders and use WMS (Warehouse Management System) to verify the accuracy of the received orders.
They have to have knowledge of SOX audits and how they can comply with its terms. Fulfillment experts also gather information for both internal and external SOX audits.
Shipping and arranging BOL’s for freight and logistic shipments fall in this category.
Fulfillment experts keep track of the sales by entering purchase in POS (Point of Sale). The processing of debit/credit and cash payments is another important duty of fulfillment experts that fall under transaction management.
After ensuring the accuracy of the received orders and sourcing the product, the next step is shipment. Fulfillment experts pull and process orders for shipment via FedEx, DHL or other independent carriers.
Creative Problem Solving
Finally, fulfillment experts should have the ability to use critical problem solving skills to enhance the performance of fulfillment so that it ensures the success of the fulfillment center.
General Qualifications of a Fulfillment Expert
To fulfill the aforementioned responsibilities, an employer looks for certain qualifications in the candidates. These qualifications may vary slightly from company to company. But overall, these are some of the most significant qualifications required to become a fulfillment expert.
A fulfillment expert is expected to be comfortable working on project management for HR and other operational initiatives. Implementation and management of online ordering intranet sites for HR materials are also part of HR management.
Fulfillment experts have to be skilled in the process of offering assistance to the customers. This includes answering questions, fixing problems, and providing helpful service. The purpose of customer service is to form a strong bond with the customers so that they become loyal customers of the business.
Warehouse environment refers to the overall condition of the warehouse that people work in. Not everyone finds it easy to adapt to this environment as it can be fast-paced, loud, and noisy. The chaotic energy of the warehouse environment is generated by hundreds of people working there, trucks coming in and out to load and unload and operational tools running at the same time. Employers will usually pick someone with prior experience working in such an environment.
Operation of Warehouse Tools
Employers tend to look for trained and experienced candidates who can handle different types of warehouse equipment. Forklifts, pallet jacks, and other power tools are generally found in all warehouses. Receiving, transporting, and moving boxes with the help of these tools require experienced hands.
Track of Customer Orders
This qualification includes the collection of customer orders, ensuring the accuracy of orders, picking orders, labeling for shipment, monitoring and updating data tracking systems like fulfillment reports of the orders, and so on. Basically, anything to do with proper management of the customer orders.
Fulfillment experts are employed on the basis of their expertise on periodical product management and the use of computerized inventory control systems. Someone who has already had some experience in managing a wide range of duties from receiving, controlling inventory, processing daily orders and controlling inventory.
Candidates with experience in performing general office duties, administrative tasks, pulling and refiling charts from the warehouse, and daily record keeping are usually given preference for a fulfillment expert position.
Fulfillment experts with experience in various inventory management systems, Microsoft Excel, Outlook, etc are given more preference when it comes to job offers.
Educational Requirements to become a Fulfillment Expert
While there is no exact educational requirement for fulfillment experts, having a college degree will definitely expedite the process of getting selected. According to a report by Zippia, 46% fulfillment experts have a Bachelor’s Degree, 21 % are graduates with an Associate Degree. However, this experience-based job does prioritize experiences over educational qualification. Hence, the percentage of fulfillment experts with a high school diploma is close to 20%.
Another observation in the scale of salary is that salary might vary according to the educational qualifications. It has been determined that fulfillment specialists with a Masters Degree can earn more than a person with a Bachelor’s Degree. The former stands at $30,682 annually on an average whereas the latter earns around $29,860 annually. Nevertheless, it is quite interesting how the difference in salary is quite negligible on an overall scale.
Salary of Fulfillment Experts
According to a report by Zippia, the average salary of a fulfillment expert is around $27,898 annually in the United States. This makes the average hourly pay around $13.41. The entry-level salary for a fulfillment expert may start at around $21,000 on an annual basis. This is the lowest paid salary for fresh faces starting out in the industry. Whereas, the highest-paid salary can go up to earning $35,000. But only the top 10% of fulfillment experts manage to reach this scale of salary in this industry. This trend of paying high salaries is more noticeable in states like Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, and Nevada. And the industries that tend to provide salaries on the higher end of the spectrum are generally finance, internet, and technology.
Demographics of Fulfillment Experts
It is imperative to have knowledge of the demographics of an industry before getting into it. The fulfillment experts chosen over the years show a demographic pattern as revealed by Zippia.
According to their report, 52.7% of the fulfillment experts are women. This marginal majority in the number of fulfillment experts surprisingly contradicts the income gap between the male and female fulfillment experts. The male fulfillment specialists are reportedly paid around $28,079, whereas the female specialists are paid somewhere around $27, 442.
The statistical data on the age of the fulfillment experts reveals an average age of 39.4 years. This shows that people with time to have gathered some experience in this field are given more preference in choosing fulfillment experts for a company. The study report on the race of the fulfillment experts portrays that the majority of these experts are white (61.8%), with 17.4% people of Hispanic background and around 10% people of African American background.
A competent fulfillment expert needs to have basic qualities like excellent human relations skills and exceptional customer service. Employers will most likely look for proficiency, rather than educational qualifications. This is because an efficient fulfillment expert can exponentially contribute to the growth of a business and aid in achieving success.