A distribution center for a set of products is a warehouse or other specialized building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products to be re-distributed to retailers, wholesalers or a fulfillment center, directly to consumers a bulk break center.
A distribution center is a principle part, the order processing element, of the entire order fulfillment process. Distribution centers are usually thought of as being demand driven. A Distribution center can also be called a warehouse, a DC, a cross-dock facility, and a package handling center.
The name by which the distribution center is known is commonly based on the purpose of the operation. For example a retail distribution center normally distributes goods to retail stores, a commonly distributes goods directly to consumers, or no product but distributes goods to other destinations.
Distribution centers are the foundation of a supply network as they allow a single location to stock a vast number of products. Some organizations operate both retail distribution and direct-to-consumer out of a single facility sharing space, equipment, labor resources and inventory as applicable.