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Learning the Process of Order Fulfillment

Aug 17, 2007
The goal of most businesses is to profit and give out the best products and services that they can offer to customers. For companies who manufacture sellable items, producing the end product is not the final step. You already know that your products will sell. The next thing that you need to do is deliver the products either to the stores or straight to your customer's doorstep. This is where order fulfillment services come in. Companies, either big or small, usually obtain the services of a third-party order fulfillment company. This way, they can concentrate mainly on the manufacturing process and let the order fulfillment companies do their job. This would make for a more efficient running of your business organization. The key here is to get the orders right the first time. Choose a company which fits your company's order fulfillment needs.

1. You Can Focus On:

- customer service
- customer sales
- product development
- marketing

In addition to this, the rest of your employees will get to concentrate more on other matters so that you can put your time, money and energy to better use. You can consider the following important factors when choosing an order fulfillment service provider that would best suit your company's needs:

2. Location

Choosing the proper location should play a major part in your decision. Order fulfillment warehouses are scattered within the length and breadth of the country. Just imagine how high your shipping fees will rise if you choose an order fulfillment warehouse which is located far north when the bulk of your customers reside on the east.

A better and more viable option is to choose a location in the middle of the country so that products may be shipped on either locations at more or less similar prices.

3. Size

There are large-scale and small-scale order fulfillment warehouses. Choose one that would best suit your customer's needs. If you have a constant stream of orders year-round, it is easy to find a company that can keep up with a constant demand. On the other hand, if you receive a bulk of orders during a particular season, will they be able to handle it and still deliver in a timely and efficient manner?

4. Order Processing

Companies now look at third-party sales representatives as a viable option. You need to find an establishment that will be able to handle all of your order-processing needs. Check if they can easily turn estimates into a number of orders instantly. Some firms even have automatic order registries which makes an order easier to be fulfilled and processed. Thus, it would turn into a quicker profit for the company.

5. Real Time Order Status

You and your customers should be informed of when, where and how the orders are being shipped. Make sure that the order fulfillment service provider that you will get is able to track an order status, real-time. Also, everybody should have the same information about the status of an order to prevent finger-pointing should a problem arise.

6. Troubleshooting Skills

Check if they can deal with a bulk of shipments or orders. This would let you know how they handle things from their end. Should a problem arise, like an incorrect order was processed, will they be able to come up with a solution right away? See if they can make shipments faster than usual in case of misplaced orders which may result to customer dissatisfaction.

7. Communication

The problem that most companies deal with is that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. This is the result of a lack of communication. Everything should be coordinated with each other to avoid confusion. This will save time and effort, and make every aspect of the order fulfillment process run more smoothly.

8. Error rate

Mistakes, mishaps and confusions are normally dealt with by every company. There are times when an order will get shipped to the wrong address. When looking for an order fulfillment service provider, ask about their error rate and what they do to handle such difficulties. Also, ask about what they do or improve on in their shipping system for cases like these. Once you consider these factors and choose the right order fulfillment service provider that will suit your company's needs, you will get to concentrate more on the vital aspects of the company's operation that is sure to benefit you, your company and the people that you serve.
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