Order fulfilment can be described as the steps or services involved in the receiving, processing as well as delivering orders to the end customers. The order fulfilment services can be described as a third-party company that offers the order fulfilment steps specifically on behalf of another party, like an online seller. These basic definitions can ideally apply to the many kinds of orders, individual direct-to-consumer (D2C) orders to big business-to-business (B2B) orders.
This article particularly focuses on the order fulfilment services and eCommerce order fulfilment, which is more specifically defined as the procedure involved in the receiving, processing and the delivering of online orders to the end consumers at the residential addresses.
The involved steps include:
Receiving stock from your suppliers is the initial step towards getting orders to your customers. Whether outsourcing your order fulfilment to a given company choosing to internally do it receiving will always be the first step.
After receiving inventory Counting each item so as to ensure that the actual quantity of items exactly matches the quantity of items that you ordered from your supplier(s). Inspect the stock to confirm if there are damaged items. You can add bar code labels in case the items are not labelled.
Once the inventory has already been received, inspected, counted, labelled, and stored in your warehouse monitoring software, it needs to be properly shelved. Excellent inventory storage is basically one of the most critical aspects of speed and accuracy maximisation in your order fulfilment processes.
Ideally only a portion of stock should be placed in the bins, with overflow storage particularly residing in a different side of the warehouse. Different software’s can be put in place to manage inventory storage operations.
Order generation, Processing,
printing and packaging.
The very first step in an order processing is first receiving that order. After the order has been placed online by a customer, a number of ways for eCommerce sellers can be applied so as to get that specific order to their respective fulfilment warehouse. The ideal way actually is through the integration fulfilment software especially with your shopping cart. This is to allow orders be received automatically by your fulfilment warehouse.
A variety of technologies and methods involved with the picking and packing of orders can be used. It is also important to note that what works for a certain seller may not fail to work for another. Hence, this is one of the primary reasons why eCommerce merchants choose to outsource order fulfilment since they basically don’t have the internal or in-house know how, expertise, experience or technology for maximising order processing inefficiencies.
Many fulfilment companies allow customers to include their own custom logo particularly to the packing slips. They also allow you to get the insert of other necessary materials, such as promotional discounts, invoices, and other discounts.
It is the sole responsibility of the shipping company to determine the most favourable ship method and weigh the order package. Shipping may become much more complex due the increase in the development of sellers whose sizes
and shapes have specific requirements. It is the role of the ship station to always update the current status of an order. This is done to make the sellers aware about the time the orders have been shipped. It is also made for order tracking purposes. Through this way the customer is able to track the order all the way to the delivery point.
The ability to return purchased items especially for online buyers is a crucial part in the buying decision. For the online sellers, the capability to effectively manage those returns is important to their fulfilment processes and operations, and to specifically to their overall businesses.
Online sellers however should establish both an external and internal returns policy. The external policy ought to be listed on the seller’s website. It is also important to make clear to the customers where and how to send item returns. If the fulfilment centre handles your returns, basically you’ll want to be certain that their technological systems can properly manage receipt of a return notification.
In conclusion, it is equally important to note that all fulfilment centres actually do not specialise in the e-commerce fulfilment. For instance, some of the companies specialise in the general product fulfilment. Other companies specialise in the retail and business-to-business fulfilment. However, it is important to make sure that you properly check the specialisation of any vendor that you’re basically considering. This is because eCommerce requires a specific set of skills.
An important factor to look at when selecting an eCommerce centre for shipping your products specifically to your online customers relate to the exact volume of your shipments as well as the type and nature of the products that you sell.
Fulfilment firms that generally engulf on the e-commerce fulfilment have amazingly gained a very high level of knowledge particularly about the entire online marketing process. They can therefore assist you with various other aspects of your business so as to help you increase your sales.