Order fulfillment software automates inventory management, generating, picking lists, picking items, packing, shipping, and tracking processes.
What Is Order Fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is a type of logistics centered around satisfying customer orders. The process starts when a customer places an order, but it doesn’t always end when they receive it. If a buyer wants to return the product, that’s part of order fulfillment too.
What is order fulfillment in supply chain management? It is the process of receiving goods, then processing and delivering orders to customers. The process starts with a customer placing an order and ends once they receive it. However, if the buyer wants to return a product, order fulfillment manages the return transaction as well.
How Does Order Fulfillment Software Work?
Fulfillment software solutions (also known as order fulfillment systems) are incredibly valuable to online merchants, whether they self-fulfill orders or use a third-party logistics provider.
Fulfillment software should integrate with your existing tech stack, such as ecommerce platforms, to increase efficiency and automate the fulfillment process. Integrated software can offer real-time updates, tracking information, and inventory management in an interactive, helpful manner that simplifies the ecommerce shipping process.
Fulfillment software can include any or all of the following:
Overall order processing;
Warehouse management systems;
Supply chain optimizationor management software
How to Choose a Fulfillment Software?
To start choosing the best order fulfillment software for your business, you first need to define how your business relates to your products and orders. The goal is to make it easier for potential vendors to let you know if their solutions can work for you.
Next, you need to see which of your orders you want to be managed with the software. If you decide to outsource everything, you should look for a fulfillment tool that can do that.
After this, you need to see if your existing software works with preferred vendors.
Finally, you also need to see if the software can support your partners and the platforms they use and if the reports the software produces are good for you.
Improve Order Fulfillment with Order Management Software
When building your order fulfillment process, don’t discount the value of high-quality order management and fulfillment software. When you use the right ERP, these systems seamlessly work together, enabling the most efficient and enjoyable sales process possible.
When you shop online, you may not realize that you’re interacting with a series of interconnected systems to handle ordering, shipping estimates, payments, warehouse fulfillment, and delivery. Some companies choose a hodgepodge approach where they use different tools for each other these functions while others choose an order management software that fits into a larger ERP strategy.
The Order Management module enables ordering, fulfillment, and returns from anywhere in the world with a single data set and automated order management process. That’s a big help for any business involved with order fulfillment.
Evaluating Order Fulfillment Software
Obviously, the type of product(s) and degree of customization required will be the biggest deciding factor in evaluating order fulfillment software. A close second will be quoting billing needs, since quote accuracy and billing cycle requirements are such a key component of order fulfillment.
Consider the following when selecting an order fulfillment software vendor:
Do you need time-based billing?
Are price quotes a major part of your ordering/fulfillment needs?
Do you mass-produce products in anticipation of future demand?
To what degree are products manufactured and/or customized to order?
Top 9 Order Fulfillment Software Providers
Affordable and high quality supply chain and order fulfillment software. Easy to use and intuitive.
Comprehensive ERP solution with a wide array of features, including order, inventory, and shipping management tools.
Very functional and affordable inventory and order management software with multiple shipping integrations. Easy to use.
POS platform with advanced shipping, advanced warehouse management and accounting tools. Has good reporting tools.
Easy and efficient order and inventory management solution. Offers advance features and multiple integrations.
Business automation and inventory management software with a comprehensive set of core features and great integration capabilities.
Comprehensive ERP system. Offers order, inventory, warehouse, and fulfillment management solutions.
Scalable order fulfillment software easily integrated with a wide range of e-commerce solutions.
Offers automated shipping management and order fulfillment solutions, as well as CRM, POS, and workflow automation tools.
Order Fulfillment Software for Ecommerce
There are some common requirements for ecommerce fulfillment software:
Integrate with ecommerce platforms
When choosing an ecommerce fulfillment software; you need to be sure that it integrates with popular ecommerce platforms. This will help you centralize all your orders and quickly update your prices across the board.
Automatically import new orders
Instead of importing each new order to a different marketplace, look for a solution that will allow you to automate the process. It will both save loads of time and ensure nothing gets missed.
View and manage inventory
Managing your inventory from the fulfillment software is a great way to improve your manufacturing processes, reduce wasted stock, and potentially sell more.
Verify and process returns
Usually, customers returning an item are not satisfied with the experience. Having a way to verify and process returns right inside your fulfillment software helps you keep the same levels of satisfaction without further ruing them.
Key Features to Consider
It’s important to know which features make a particular software solution useful when it comes to order fulfillment. Here are a few of the features to look for when shopping for an order fulfillment service solution:
A crucial feature of order fulfillment software is its ability to alert you to any abnormal changes in inventory. The sooner you know about a shortage or an issue with capacity, the sooner you can address it. These can be configured to suit the user’s preference and can be accessed on any mobile device if your business is utilizing a cloud-based product.
While some businesses still prefer on-premise software solutions, the possibilities of real-time tracking and analytics that come with cloud-based solutions have massive potential for making your order processing more efficient. Businesses find that the benefits of cloud-based inventory management solutions are just impossible to ignore.
Whether you’re the exciting beginning stages of a startup or have decades of order fulfillment experience, it’s never too late to look at your order fulfillment and management systems with fresh eyes. You could find opportunities to cut costs while offering an improved customer experience. That’s a win-win for any business, and its valued customers.