Order fulfillment is basically all the steps followed from the time a customer makes an order to when the item is delivered at their doorstep. The selling company or manufacturer can decide to carry out all the steps in this process. However, that will need an additional set of employees. Not to mention the fact that it might be tough to carry out an in-depth performance analysis. As such, there are chances of messing with customer requests, which, in the end, could taint the company’s reputation.
Many organizations choose to hire a third-party contractor to carry out the order fulfillment process. The contracted company will then be in charge of all the inventory that’s due for delivery and may be responsible for all relevant follow-ups made by the customer.
Regardless of whether you decide to hire a third-party order fulfillment company, like redstagfulfillment.com, or take on the tasks yourself, the primary objective is to satisfy the needs of the customer. This article aims to discuss some of the key factors of a successful order fulfillment process.
Have you ever ordered something and the delivery was delayed but didn’t know who to contact? That was quite a frustrating experience, right? That’s exactly what consumers go through if the people involved in order fulfillment aren’t in sync with each other. Process alignment is a key factor in this industry, the lack of which can lead to frustrations. At the end of the day, the company’s reputation will be spoiled and no consumer would want to be associated with it.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that everything is done transparently. Both the merchant and the customer should be able to track the product and know its whereabouts until the delivery is done. Having an online product tracking portal is the best option in such situations. You can either design your independently or use a third-party who will constantly update the customer of the process.
Communication Is Key
Regardless of the industry, good communication skills and the system is important and should always be embraced by all the parties involved. In this case, the order fulfillment company should be the one working towards a smooth channel of exchanging information. The customer or retailer should be able to express their views or ask questions to the concerned parties at any time.
As stated earlier, the order fulfillment process is supposed to be transparent, and this is your company’s opportunity to exceed those limits.
Customers play a huge role in the success of any business, and the warehouse management industry isn’t any different. Being able to predict consumer demands and meet them breeds loyalty and trust, which are crucial for any company going forward. For instance, online shoppers would like to have an e-commerce set-up where they can order anything they want, from whichever device they have, and have it delivered at their location.
Yes, this can be tricky to achieve, but it’s upon you to meet the demands of your target audience. A huge percentage of online shoppers are willing to move to another alternative if the first order isn’t delivered within the promised timelines. Of course, sometimes, the delays may be experienced due to factors beyond anyone’s control. As such, it’s important to manage consumer expectations by mentioning this in the terms and conditions.
Also, it would be wise to give yourself an allowance of about 24 hours. For instance, if a product can be delivered within two days, let the customers know that they’ll receive their order within three days. This extra time will give you an opportunity to reorganize in case things don’t go as expected.
Do you want to increase the efficiency of your order fulfillment team and meet the customer’s timelines? There are many ways of strengthening your position in this area, but one of the main factors to consider is the organization of your warehouse. Where you store the inventory should be easily accessible and the products should be organized according to their time of order or expected delivery dates.
The idea of overhauling your warehouse can be daunting, but you don’t need to start from scratch. Optimizing business operations by reorganizing the floor layout is a good place to begin. Of course, this is dependent on the size of your warehouse and how busy your company can get. Therefore, it would be wise to consult the experts and let them come and assess the current design.
Another thing you could try is to have all the products labeled before they’re stored in the warehouse. Some of the information that should be added on the label include the time that the item first arrived in the warehouse, the content in the package, the name of the customer or retailer, the expected time of delivery, and the destination address. This data should also be recorded in the database for easier tracing in case the package gets lost along the way. The address and time of delivery, for instance, makes it easier for the company to plan its schedule and know which trucks or delivery vehicles will be suitable for various destinations.
An order fulfillment process can be very stressful if you’re not well organized or don’t have what it takes to deliver consumer demands. As such, one of the key factors to keep in mind is your capacity to make things happen and make sure you communicate the same to the clients. This way, you’ll be able to manage their expectations and avoid any miscommunication.
Talking about communication, this is another factor that has proven to be the pillar of any business. Having a functional communication system ensures transparency, which, in turn, strengthens customer’s trust and builds loyalty.
Another thing to keep in mind is the organization of your warehouse. For one, it should be accessible to the relevant teams and the products should be easy to retrieve. One way of achieving this is by reorganizing the warehouse floor to fit your needs. Also, make sure all products are labeled accordingly to enhance the performance of your employees at the warehouse.