What is Inbound and Outbound?

What is Inbound and Outbound?

You may be wondering, “What do inbound and outbound mean?” Well, these are nouns that come up from time to time. More importantly, they are used in some places for emails, packages, phone calls and other platforms used by businesses to share important correspondence. This means that these words can be applied in many different fields. However, no matter in which area they are applied, they have the same meaning.

Definition of Inbound

In an organization, inbound is used to refer to all the messages, emails, packages, raw materials and other related items that enter the organization. It is also used in the field of basketball. In that space, the term means to send the ball to the court as it has gone out of the bounds. In addition, it is also used to describe the flow of traffic. As the name implies, traffic is said to inbound when it is supposed to enter a particular area.

Indeed, the term has countless number of applications, but these depends on the area in which it is applied. But no matter how it is used, it refers to items that are coming in. In the next paragraph, the example of mastodons of cardboard and soap manufacturing gives more insight into the subject. Are you still wondering what the inbound and outbound meaning is? We have been able to explain the meaning of the former word in detail. Now, we will explain the meaning of the other word.

Definition of Outbound

Unlike the previous word, in the organizational context, outbound refers to packages, items and goods that are meant to leave the enterprise. This could be email, parcels, finished goods and other things that are packaged for shipment to a location or another firm. Note that an organization receives things in the form of raw materials, which an important component of production.

However, this may not be the case for the organization that shipped them. For instance, a factory that manufactures cardboard may consider a large number of raw materials as inbound shipments. These may include paint and wood. Nevertheless, their clients, which could be soap-making factories, have nothing to do with those items. Their clients are only interested in the finished products, which are cardboard boxes.

So, when the production is complete, the finished goods are now ready to leave the factory. When the cardboard factory then ships them to their soap-making customers, they are outgoing goods to the cardboard manufacturer. On the other hand, they are raw materials (or inbound shipments) to the soap-manufacturing company. So, the cycle keeps going.  

Inbound vs Outbound Comparison Table

Basis of ComparisonInbound Outbound
Emails Coming into the firm Leaving an organization
Calls  These are calls that an organization receives in the course of doing business These are calls that a company makes to other establishments or individuals working outside the firm
Goods These are goods coming into the organization. They also referred to raw materials.   These are goods leaving the company. Goods leaving the company are packaged and shipped to enterprises (for sales or further processing) or markets where they are sold. These goods are called finished products
Traffic This term is applied in the transport industry to describe the volume of vehicles coming into a particular place It is used to describe the volume of vehicles that are leaving a place
Marketing Using Internet-enabled media to promote the goods and services of a company. This type of marketing is becoming relatively more popular because the feedbacks are measurable, unlike traditional marketing Using the traditional ways of posters, handbills and billboards to promote the goods and services of an organization

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound

From the above, it is obvious that the two words always go together. However, whenever they appear together, they are words and opposites of each other. From the office environment to the transportation industry, those two words are commonly applied as one word and its antonym. Indeed, the table above explains the disparity between the two terms and how they can be applied in sentences.

Obviously, the way it is explained allows us to see the contrast between both of them. Therefore, when you hear someone ask, “What is inbound and outbound?” Well, you should simply reply that because we have taken some time to explain the main disparities that exist between them.