Order Fulfillment and Business Strategy

Order fulfillment is one of the most important aspects of any online store. If your customers cannot receive their orders in a timely manner, they’re going to seek out a competitor who will provide the shipping options and dependability they want. If your order fulfillment process seems too slow or is not as efficient as you would like it to be, there are a few different ways to improve it and boost your business. By implementing a few of these tips, you can ensure that your order fulfillment services are only positively affecting your bottom line

Collect and Use Data

Most order fulfillment companies collect data about their customers, their orders, and their overall shopping habits. However, few companies actually leverage that data effectively. Looking at order history and other information can help you determine when you are likely to have a large number of orders to ship and even what types of products are likely to be purchased. This ties into your inventory control, too, allowing you to see in real time what you have on hand, how quickly products are picked and packaged, and your overall shipping time.

Automate As Much As Possible

Many product fulfillment services have turned to automation to improve their fulfillment process. Automation can do everything from processing orders to managing inventory. Fully automated warehouses can even send robots to pick products and prepare orders. Automation can also control reordering inventory and handling returns. While human workers will still want to do a final check of an order to make certain it is correct, that’s all they have to do. Everything else can be automated.

Consider Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a good option for a number of different processes, including order fulfillment. There are many order fulfillment companies out there that do nothing but house products and ship orders on behalf of other companies. If your business has reached the point that you have to invest in large warehouse space and the employees to operate it, you may want to look into outsourcing instead. It many cases, working with one of these product fulfillment services is actually more cost-effective than fulfilling orders yourself. This is especially true when you look at the time involved. Companies that specialize in order fulfillment have created processes that are incredibly efficient. They can often fulfill orders in a fraction of the time it would take you, which improves your overall shipping time and customer satisfaction.

These three tips will help you boost your order fulfillment services and your bottom line. While they may not all be right for you at this time, implementing even one of these tips can have a significant impact on your business.

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