What Is Order Fulfillment?Defination&Process

Whether you are a startup or an experienced retailer, you must fulfill orders correctly because order fulfilment greatly affects the customer experience. In this article, we’ll cover what order fulfillment is, the process of order fulfillment, and the factors that influence your order fulfillment strategy. If you’re interested, read on!

What’s the Definition of Order Fulfillment?

Order fulfilment is the process of receiving, packing, and shipping customer orders. The entire process includes processing orders, warehousing, packaging, and shipping products, with the ultimate goal of order fulfilment being the accurate and timely delivery of products to consumers.

What Are the Six Steps in the Order Fulfillment Process?

Order fulfilment follows the following steps

Receiving

The first step in order fulfilment is to receive inventory. In any case, after the goods sent by the supplier arrive at the warehouse, the goods to be stored must be checked and inventoried to ensure the proper quantity and quality of the products received.

Warehousing

After receiving the inventory, SKUs and barcodes are generated for each product, and the goods are stored in the warehouse in an orderly manner. You can also assign products according to their popularity, and put the best-selling products closest to the packing table, which will improve packing efficiency.

Picking

Warehouse packers or automated warehouse robots pick items from the warehouse based on the order content, which contains specific information such as product SKU name, product colour, size, unit quantity, and location in the distribution center warehouse.

Packaging

The warehouse packers are also responsible for packaging the products, helping you to reduce the cost of shipping per order by reducing the lowest possible actual size weight with the products well packaged. And because of the limited space in the truck, optimizing the dimensional weight of each product can also improve shipping efficiency. If you are using a fulfilment service, you can also specify the requirements on the packing slip.

Shipping

Once everything is ready and the package is shipped by the carrier, the seller can send the product’s waybill number to the customer and let them track the product’s shipping status themselves.

Return Processing

For online buyers, the ease of returning or exchanging a product also largely influences whether a customer wants to buy that product or not. To ensure that returns are received, exchanged, and refunded as efficiently as possible, you need to design a clear return policy that is easy to use for both your buyers and your staff. Return processing includes quality checks and sorting of returned products, re-stocking of returned products, and automation can help you avoid unnecessary confusion and errors.

What Are the Models of Order Fulfillment?

There are four order fulfillment models to choose from in-house, outsourced, reseller, and hybrid. Each model can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific business.

In-house Fulfillment

In-house fulfillment is the process by which a company fulfills orders with its own employees, who perform all the processes involved in the order. To reduce costs, some startups choose in-house fulfillment, and as the volume of orders gradually increases, many companies shift to outsourced or hybrid fulfillment models.

Outsourced Order Fulfillment

Outsourced order fulfillment means that a third-party logistics company (3PL) or order fulfillment company handles the entire fulfillment process – from receiving the manufacturer’s inventory to delivering the order to the customer, in which case the 3PL’s employees handle the shipping, storage, and return of the merchandise. Inventory is stored in the 3PL’s warehouse, which means that companies using outsourced fulfillment do not need to rent a warehouse and can use this method if they do not have enough storage space or do not have enough staff.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail implementation in which the store does not keep an inventory of the products it sells. Instead, when a store sells a product using the drop ship model, it purchases the item from a third party and sends it directly to the customer. As a result, the seller does not have to handle the product directly.

The biggest difference between Dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the merchant does not stock or have inventory. Instead, the seller purchases inventory from a third party as needed, and the order is usually fulfilled by a wholesaler or manufacturer.

Hybrid Fulfillment

Hybrid mode. A hybrid model is simply a combination of two or more of the three models described above. For example, a company may choose to handle all or only popular product order fulfillment in-house, but also choose to outsource order fulfillment during peak periods (e.g., holidays).

How To Choose the Right Order Fulfillment Service?

When looking for a fulfillment service provider, considering the following factors can help you quickly find the right fulfillment service provider for your company.

Experience

Finding a third-party fulfillment company that has experience working with e-commerce brands can minimize errors in order fulfillment.

Price

You’ll want to consider the cost of storing inventory, picking and packing orders, and shipping. Honest Fulphilment offers you a transparent pricing model with no complicated pricing structure, and we only charge a fee for sourcing and packing products.

Technology

Choose a fulfillment service company that has the ability to grow with your business. Honest Fulphilment offers automated fulfillment and can also interface with your orders on Shopify and woo-commerce and can do real-time updates.

Location

Honest Fulphilment has multiple warehouses around the world and you can store your inventory in the warehouse you work with Honest Fulphilment. When a new order is placed, the system automatically transfers the new order to the nearest warehouse for fulfillment, reducing customer waiting time and enhancing the customer experience.

Customer Service

Fulfilment errors are inevitable and HF has dedicated customer service online to answer all your questions about your order.

Ethics

As our name implies, our company is honest and punctual in fulfilling your orders.

Honest Fulphilment meets all of these criteria, so if you’re looking for a dropshipping or third-party fulfillment provider, then contact us!

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