For any company selling a physical item over the Internet, order fulfillment is something that can never get too much attention. The more efficiently you handle order fulfillment, the better your company will do; it’s as easy as that. So consider implementing the following tips to get more from this essential component.

Consider Your Suppliers

This is a central issue in order fulfillment that every company must consider. Even if you make your own products, you MOST® likely have some type of supplier involved in the process. As such, you rely on their service to keep your customers happy.
Obviously, you need suppliers that deliver on time. However, you also want them providing you with products that are organized and clearly labeled. The more time you have to spend figuring out what is in each box, the longer it’s taking you to add to your inventory and eventually process and ship out to customers.
Lastly, never accept poor service. It’s easier to follow this advice if you’re constantly prepared with the names of other suppliers that can meet your needs. By keeping your options open, your order fulfillment won’t suffer because you have a lackluster supplier.

Refine Your Inventory Management

One area just about every company could improve in is managing their inventory. First, if you’re not already using some kind of back office software for this purpose, start there. This software is a necessity for keeping you up-to-date on what your inventory consists of.
Next, managing your inventory means not having more products that you need at any one time as this adds unnecessary overhead. With back office software, you’ll have an easy time tracking your flow of inventory and finding out how much you actually need at any one time. Obviously, having too little inventory would also cause issues with order fulfillment.
Refining your inventory management will MOST® likely entail speaking with your suppliers to ensure products show up on time or even that they accommodate a schedule that entails more frequent deliveries of fewer products.

Consider Kitting

Another area your company can leverage back office software is called kitting. The idea behind the practice is that you probably end up shipping out certain combinations of products more often than not. For example, if you sell flashlights and batteries, chances are that a certain model of flashlight is often ordered with the type of battery it needs. Instead of waiting, then, for customers to place this order, preempt it by having those packages ready. That way, all you need to do is add a shipping label to it and your order is fulfilled.
Again, this is where back office software is useful. It will make it easy to find which products should be bundled together and in what quantity. In the above example, if you were to get your flashlights and batteries from the same supplier, it would also be worth asking if they could bundle them for you prior to delivery. This would save a lot on your per unit costs.

Assess Packaging Practices

Another area you may be spending too much money or wasting too much time is with packaging. Obviously, it’s a big part of order fulfillment. So at least once a year, take the time to assess how you’re packaging things, whether it’s individual products, items you’re kitting, or kitting you’re having suppliers handle.
You might find that one method is making for too much empty space, meaning you’re paying for packaging that isn’t getting used. Materials you’re using could be adding excess weight. Don’t forget about your packaging suppliers either. They could be a major source of unnecessary overhead.
Whether it means saving time or money, it’s worth considering the above advice where your order fulfillment is concerned. This is a crucial part of any business that ships their products, so it’s worth some extra attention.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *