Who knows your business best? You do. That’s why you’re in the know with every step your enterprise makes. If it involves design, development, budgeting, consumer outreach or anything in between, it begins and ends with you. If your business happens to run an ecommerce operation, it’s not a matter of if in-house fulfillment becomes a full-time job, but when. Whether your business has arrived at that point or not, finding a partner to manage fulfillment is crucial.
There are many qualities which can make one fulfillment center more appealing than another: FDA certifications, a climate controlled environment or even something as simple as sheer size. These specific features can add to the total package of a fulfillment operation, but there is still one factor that a business looking to cover a nation-wide market needs to address—location.
The map below illustrates population density across America within the current decade. It shouldn’t take long to notice that there is a remarkable drop in population about halfway between coasts.
(Image courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau)
With logistics in mind, it also shouldn’t take long to conclude that an ideal fulfillment center should be based halfway between this population divide and the east coast. However, the issue of latitude now comes in to play.
For an ideal fulfillment center location, does it make sense to try and split this map in half again, this time from north to south? As we will soon argue no. Reference again the map below.
The point is to now illustrate that on a linear scale, fulfillment houses located within the northern half of this map closely intersect more densely populated regions. Even though shipping doesn’t work on an exactly linear scale, being within such close proximity gives a definite advantage to fulfillment centers located at or near the top line. This leads us to argue that perhaps the ideal location to quickly and easily reach some of the largest consumer markets, those being Chicago, Metro Detroit, Central Ohio, New York and the lower New England states, is in fact, Michigan.
Centralized fulfillment location = closer proximity to customers
Closer proximity to consumers = faster shipping and better rates. It’s that simple.
You may be asking if our argument is biased. Well, maybe. However, we consistently hear from our clients that the location of our operation directly impacts how quickly their customers receive a product. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that Michigan is centrally located to many of the largest consumer markets in North America.
To roundup this post, all we ask is for you to see how our line of fulfillment services can best benefit your business, regardless of where your markets may lie.