A company’s supply chain starts with raw material acquisition. It ends when the customer receives the final product. It also comprises all of the suppliers participating in the sourcing, manufacturing, kitting, assembly, warehousing, fulfillment and distribution processes.

Companies are constantly under pressure to reduce costs while maintaining excellent quality.

To achieve these objectives, manufacturers are turning to outsourcing to integrate along the supply chain strategically. This offers them broader control and reduces their risk level. This approach streamlines the entire supply chain, resulting in a more cost-effective solution.

Strategic integration is when your contract manufacturer is responsible for additional supply chain stages. For example, a contract manufacturer broadens its solutions to include more pieces of the manufacturing and fulfillment process. They may offer assembly, kitting, fulfillment and distribution responsibilities instead of solely manufacturing products.

The key concept is that integrated contract manufacturers control and are responsible for more steps in the supply chain.

As noted below, there is tremendous value in partnering with a contract manufacturer, like Riverside Integrated Solutions (RIS). We offer integrated manufacturing solutions on top of our manufacturing and assembly. Our team also performs fulfillment & distribution and warehousing services for a complete manufacturing solution.


Over time, manufacturing continues shifting towards an increasingly specialized environment, especially as technology evolves and develops. OEMs may ask, “Should I perform this portion of my supply chain in-house or outsource it?”

To answer this question, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must decide what core competencies they wish to keep in-house. Outsourcing frees OEMs to focus on their core business competencies and strategic vision.

A distribution assembly line at RIS.

These are often different than services such as fulfillment and distribution. For this reason, many companies outsource these responsibilities to their contract manufacturer.

Additionally, OEMs are already outsourcing portions of their supply chain to multiple contract manufacturers. In that case, it is crucial to understand the value of reducing the number of suppliers they work with.

Working with a single strategic partner, like RIS, can prove highly advantageous.

Below are some key traits for your fulfillment and distribution partner. Watch our short video for more information about the fulfillment and distribution solutions at RIS.


Fulfillment and distribution are great services to add to existing contract manufacturing responsibilities. One of the most significant benefits of RIS as your contract manufacturer is the complete start-to-finish support we provide. From procuring materials to building or kitting your product to the final outbound shipment, you gain access to our comprehensive distribution capabilities.

We are your fulfillment and distribution partner with comprehensive expertise. We excel in everything from e-commerce, shipments direct to production facilities and distribution to dealer networks worldwide. RIS is truly a one-stop shop.


Having your fulfillment and distribution partner in a central location poses many benefits. It provides easy access to key logistics channels and makes good business sense.

At RIS, our centralized location means we can ship to either coast in just a few days. We then delivery this savings on to our customers. Our worldwide logistics solutions can accommodate your international orders anywhere they need to go.

A production worker for RIS packs individual products for distribution.


At RIS, we make shipping easy. There is no need to worry about shipping your product to us in consumer-ready packaging. We accept bulk-pallet shipments and re-pack as needed. This is a more efficient way for our customers to operate.


Partnering with an integrated contract manufacturer makes for much simpler

system integration.

At RIS, we can set up our order processing systems to automatically download your orders and process them. You will see what orders have shipped, and your customer will receive tracking notifications.


At RIS, robust inventory management is essential to a healthy supply chain. Our inventory management system will provide you with your current stock levels of products. These custom inventory reports are updated daily to provide real-time access to your stock.


Consumers today can shop with their fingertips across multiple outlets – and often do so frequently. For this reason, your fulfillment and distribution partner must have eCommerce expertise.

The professionals at RIS have proven experience with eCommerce, including major dot-com retailers like Amazon. We connect you with your customers, no matter where they are.


As markets become increasingly competitive, integration becomes more of a necessity for manufacturers. By integrating additional steps, OEMs reap the benefits of lower risk, higher efficiency and lower costs. All of these things provide a critical competitive edge.

Below are some areas where OEMs gain value from an integrated contract manufacturer, like RIS.


Decreased expenses are one of the main advantages of integration. The cost benefits are typically lower labor, operating, equipment and overhead expenses. This is because in-house personnel and facilities are no longer needed to perform the given services.

Working with a single strategic partner can also save costs through higher efficiency. Some OEMs also experience decreased inventory and warehousing costs due to a more optimized supply chain.

Additionally, there may be raw material, logistics, storage and packaging savings when working with a contract manufacturer like RIS. We have well-established networks which enable us to procure, store and transport materials more quickly and economically than OEMs.


Simply put, the fewer suppliers participating in the supply chain, the fewer hand-offs occur. This means fewer opportunities for disruptions and delays. Integrated contract manufacturers control more of the supply chain, have fewer surprises, and can more effectively manage any problems.

Additionally, the supply chain process flows more smoothly for integrated manufacturers. This allows them to get products to customers more rapidly and reduce time to market.


A logistics worker at RIS helps streamline fulfillment & distribution services for our OEM customers.

Partnering with a contract manufacturer with experience and expertise in these services often results in higher productivity and quality. OEMs can leverage the contract manufacturer’s established and vetted best practices, processes and expertise for the service.


Working with RIS makes OEMs more nimble and responsive to market fluctuations and changing customer demands. Their distribution networks are in place to seamlessly move goods as necessary.

Integration also provides an economy of scale is often not feasible for OEMs and non-integrated manufacturers.


Instead of relying on multiple suppliers, integrated manufacturers can directly influence the customer experience throughout the supply chain.

Also, integration allows manufacturers to track and control quality as the product progresses through the supply chain. This results in fewer quality and fulfillment issues and a better overall customer experience.

About RiverSide Integrated Solutions

RIS is an advanced contract manufacturer providing robust solutions in circuit board assembly and product assembly. We employ more than 350 people and provide services to OEMs worldwide. We operate two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities within the US.

With all of the choices in contract manufacturers out there, we know it can be challenging to find someone who understands your business model and has your best intentions in mind. RIS has always proven to be a win-win-focused relationship.

As your one-stop shop, we have the capabilities, capacity, quality assurance standards and resources to support all of your manufacturing needs. We understand that supply chain management is complex and very time-consuming, so we urge our customers to utilize us in the fullest capacity.

Our total-package solutions include:

Contact us today at (507) 523-3220 to see how we can help with your manufacturing project, or click contact us for a quote.

What to Look for in a Fulfillment and Distribution Partner
Article Name
What to Look for in a Fulfillment and Distribution Partner
What to look for in a fulfillment and distribution partner: complete manufacturing solutions, central location, eCommerce experience and more!
Publisher Name
RiverSide Integrated Solutions
Publisher Logo