What Exactly is Order Fulfilment?
Order fulfilment refers to the entire process that begins with a transaction and ends with delivery to your customer. Order fulfilment for an e-commerce online company relies on a third party to complete the stages from receiving, processing, packing, selecting, and shipping an online order to clients.
To stay competitive and maintain consumer loyalty, e-commerce businesses need a successful retail order fulfillment plan.
What is the procedure for order fulfilment?
You might be considering outsourcing ecommerce order fulfilment to a 3PL at this point, but what does it entail? It may appear that what happens in a fulfillment center is a secret, but it doesn’t have to be.
When a customer places an order on your online store, the fulfilment center of a 3PL handles it.
Step 1: Receiving
In order to begin fulfilling orders, your 3PL requires inventory. Receiving refers to the acceptance and storage of incoming merchandise at the fulfilment center.
Each 3PL has its own procedures for receiving and keeping goods, which frequently involve the merchant’s submission of documents. This keeps things organized and on schedule, allowing your orders to arrive sooner.
The items are subsequently placed in specific warehousing storage areas, such as shelves, bins, or pallets, once the 3PL gets your inventory.
Step 2: Picking
Fulfilment warehouse picking is the first step in the order fulfillment process.
Once your order is pushed to your 3PL’s order fulfilment system, that order will be assigned to the picking crew. To collect the ordered products from their different locations, a picker receives a packing slip containing the items, quantities, and storage locations at the fulfilment center.
Step 3: Packing
Once all of the items in an order have been selected, it’s time to pack them safely.
Packing materials are charged by certain 3PLs, while others include them as part of their fulfilment services. Your 3PL will select packing materials that will protect your products while also resulting in the smallest possible dimensional weight.
Boxes, bubble mailers or poly bags, packing tape, bubble wrap, air-fill, and other dunnage are examples of these materials.
Some 3PLs allow you to stock your own bespoke boxes or utilize plain brown boxes if you like to keep your brand front and center.
Step 4: Shipping
On behalf of the merchant, most 3PLs will acquire shipping labels from shipping carriers.
Some fulfilment center work with preferred carriers, while others compare shipping prices from a number of carriers. The latter ensures that each shipping option is priced as affordably as possible.
One of the biggest advantages of outsourcing fulfillment is that major carriers pick up orders and send them directly from 3PL fulfillment facilities.
You will receive order tracking information once your order has shipped. You can communicate this information with customers either automatically or manually, depending on the 3PL’s technology.
Order fulfilment: 3 pointers for success
Your receiving procedures are critical.
You want to make sure that the receiving component of your order fulfillment operations is optimized so that you can act quickly. Any shipment should be processed as soon as feasible so that your customers can receive their orders immediately.
Prepare a contingency plan.
There are several external circumstances that you will have no control over when transporting merchandise. Goods may be damaged, carriers may decide to raise their prices, extreme weather may delay your delivery, and so on. Having a robust order fulfillment backup strategy will help you avoid late delivery.
Make every effort to predict demand.
To keep up with demand, you’ll need a sufficient amount of supplies in your inventory. Whether this isn’t your first year in business, you could start by looking at your past year’s data (orders, inventories, etc.) to see if your market has any seasonality.
Fulfill Your Products With Fulfillmen
If you need fulfillment services, Fulfillmen can help you with your business! If you are selling on Shopify, Fulfillmen offers Shopify integration so that Shopify merchants can directly integrate their fulfillment process with Fulfillmen!