What Is the Order Fulfillment Process?
Order fulfillment is in the most general sense the complete process from point of sales inquiry to delivery of a product to the customer. Order fulfillment is a series of steps from receiving an order from a customer, right through to delivery of the product. The process involves receiving inventory, warehousing, picking, packing, shipping an item, and even handling returns.
8 Secrets To Improve Your eCommerce Order Fulfillment Process
Choose the appropriate logistics
If your shipper is less than stellar or often underperforms, your customers will take it out on the company, which can have a bad effect on the company’s reputation. Do they provide real-time, accurate order tracking? Do they deliver customers’ packages to their designated locations on time? Are packages often lost or delayed in delivery? If this happens frequently, look for a more responsible shipper to meet your order fulfillment in a timely manner.
Automate order processes
The order fulfillment process is a critical part of your business, and automating the order process can save you a lot of time and effort. In the long run, it can also save money. A good warehouse management system can control and automate your e-commerce order fulfillment process. It can help you take orders, generate pick lists, track orders, keep track of checking inventory and stock levels, generate accurate inventory forecasts, streamline your multi-channel order fulfillment, and more.
Once you connect your items to the warehouse management system, you can leave all the worries of fulfilling e-commerce orders behind.
Keep sufficient inventory
One of the biggest and most important parts of improving the e-commerce order fulfillment process is maintaining adequate inventory. You need to have the right amount of additional inventory to ensure that orders are fulfilled on time. A general rule of thumb is to have the amount of inventory in your storage facility that you would have sold in the last 30 days. For example, if you would have sold 6,000 items in the last 30 days, you need to have at least 6,000 items in your warehouse.
Safety stock is a controlled inventory buffer to prevent stock-outs. This inventory is placed in the warehouse to prevent delays in delivering products to customers due to out-of-stocks.
French chefs have the term.” mise en place”, which translates to “everything in its place”. Those who are well versed in the art of cooking firmly believe that for a meal to be successful, all the necessary tools for cooking should be in their proper place, as should the warehouse and other entities involved in order fulfillment.
If the warehouse is very disorganized, employees will not be able to find what they need in a timely manner and productivity will suffer. This inefficiency means that the fulfillment of orders can be delayed. It is important to spend extra time organizing the warehouse shelves and showing employees where they can find everything.
Understand order fulfillment cycle time
It is also important to understand your order fulfillment cycle time, which can provide valuable information to enhance your order fulfillment. Fulfillment cycle time affects customer satisfaction, and it is not uncommon in the e-commerce industry for order fulfillment cycles to take days or even weeks, and too long a fulfillment cycle can affect the customer’s perception of the experience, so it is important to keep the cycle time as low as possible.
There are many different ways to calculate this, such as promised customer order cycle time, actual customer order cycle time, cash to cash cycle time, and supply chain cycle time.
You were on vacation last week, and now that you’re back to work, you’re trying to process the orders that have accumulated over the past few days. In the business of e-commerce, no matter how much you prepare and plan, you can’t predict how many orders you will receive.
As you know, the success of your online business depends on how well you manage your eCommerce order fulfillment process, and metrics are one of the most important parts of your online business. Improving metrics is a difficult task that we cannot ignore. Setting goals for the next month is a good way to start improving your metrics. You need to understand your sales statistics for the past month.
If you notice that up to two-thirds of your sales come from a specific product, you are going to need to order more inventory to keep your orders fulfilled smoothly, and products with low sales can be appropriately reduced in stock.
Here are some of the metrics that can be used to measure：
- On-time shipments percentage
- Cost of fulfillment per order
- Average delivery time
- Supply chain scalability
- Inventory turnover
- Rate of order errors
- Customer satisfaction level
- Customer retention rates
- Returns rate
Communicate with customers on time
Throughout the process, you should maintain close communication with your customers. Throughout the process, you should provide any service or assistance after the customer has paid for the product and received it.
Establish a suitable returns policy
A key step in the order fulfillment process is the delivery of the product to the customer. Order fulfillment does not end when the product is delivered. It is critical for e-commerce companies to have an appropriate and generous return policy to build trust with customers and retain them.
Make Your Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Process More Efficient With Honest Fulphilment
Order fulfillment is an important part of any business, as it directly affects customer satisfaction and sales. Some of the ways to optimize the order fulfillment process are discussed above.
Do you want to know how to improve the order fulfillment process in your business? Honest Fulphilment can help you reduce order fulfillment cycle time and we can help unlock the potential of your business.
With our help, you can spend your valuable time developing better sales and marketing strategies for your business, while we complete all the critical steps of the order fulfillment process for your business.
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