Order Fulfilment Outsourcing
With e-commerce growing as a huge business opportunity, order fulfilment and related logistics are becoming a key function when running an online business. With the increase in competition, there are multiple channels and sellers available to customers, and constantly matching their expectations is complex and pressure inducing.
Order fulfilment is essentially integrated with the sales function and it is an important factor in successful management of an e-commerce store. It is a defined process that is made up of three important steps including order receipt, processing and order delivery.
It is a manageable task in-house when the scale of operations is limited but as the company expands it becomes vital to outsource the order fulfilment process to focus more on core business activities
Implementing the correct order fulfilment process can be tricky and it may take some experiences before you get it right. There are issues owing to fluctuation in demand, inventory handling and planning of logistics.
Let’s discuss the most common challenges faced in order fulfilment:
Management of Inventory
Stock run-outs can be a huge obstacle when getting customers to shop with you. Hence, it is absolutely essential to maintain your stock by forecasting demand. Companies that have optimal stock units do not need to worry about running out of stock and losing prospective customers.
Talking about inventory management goes hand in hand with demand planning. If you are able to forecast and plan for future demand, you can grow your customer database. This planning is carried out based on market research and past sales trends, as well as the economic climate. Besides, you can also boost demand by investing in marketing and other promotional activities.
Planning the Logistics
An order is just placed when the sale is made, but shipping the product to the end-user is what completes the sale successfully. Your company needs to make sure that your shipping channels, speed and the care taken to deliver products in their proper condition are up to the mark. Late deliveries, damaged packages or wrong delivery of packages can risk your company reputation and bring down sales.
Implementation of Supply Chain
Sometimes, even after planning enough, stock run-outs may arise especially when there are unexpected fluctuations in demand. When these situations arise, there is a grave need for quick replenishment of inventory levels. Hence, you must make the right choice of manufacturers and suppliers so that your orders can be fulfilled quickly.
Let’s discuss some of the best practices when it comes to order fulfilment. Streamlining the order fulfilment process is essential to make the operations running seamlessly and the customer base increasing correspondingly. For the same, there are some helpful mantras which can help you optimize your order fulfilment service:
Right Fulfilment Model
You need to choose the correct fulfilment model that can fit into your business. The model should be adjustable enough to adapt to changing order volumes, geographical locations and your sales channels. For sellers who offer custom-made products, it is essential to ensure that your logistics model can accommodate those complexities without creating further lags in delivery.
Data Analysis for Decision Making
Integrating technology with your inventory management is essential, to ensure that you are able to predict demand levels considering real-time inventory levels. All decisions with respect to purchasing and producing stock should be data-driven and help maintain healthy inventory levels without least scope of overstocking.
Having discussed the above points, it is fitting to say that no single solution can work for all businesses. But the goal for every business must be to find the optimum order fulfilment process, get it streamlined and deliver customer satisfaction.
We at Your Retail Coach offer a one-stop solution for your order fulfilment needs and ensure that every single piece is dispatched with efficiency and care. The process is trackable, transparent and complete with well-documented logistics reports.
So what exactly happens when you outsource the order fulfilment process to us? You essentially hire us to handle a few or all steps in the order fulfilment chain which include storing inventory, packaging of orders, as well as shipping.
Outsourcing a service involves trust and conviction, and we, as a third party vendor, become a true partner to your business and not just a transactional vendor. Our excellence can be proven through our timeliness, consistency, strong client-base and transparent communication.
Let’s discuss the order fulfilment process in detail and how we guide you through each of these steps:
An essential function for most medium to large companies is storing their inventory. Managing a warehouse property, maintaining it, maintaining stock records, etc can be difficult when done in-house. When the same is outsourced, warehousing becomes a smooth job.
Picking refers to retrieving stock units from their location in the warehouse whenever an order is placed by the end customers.
Packaging is a crucial step as it ensures that the product is safe from breakage, damage, spillage and hence, the appropriate kind of materials must be used to pack different kinds of products based on their physical properties. It involves covering the product in a box or poly mailers and other packing materials, after which the shipping label is added to the package.
With the increase in inter-state, inter-city and international trade, shipping has become an indispensable function that needs to be met by companies. Outsourcing your shipping function to us is a good choice as it becomes more streamlined, and the costs are reduced. We help you in scheduling shipping carriers to retrieve packages from the warehouse and send it to the customer’s location along with sharing the electronic tracking details.
Managing Product Returns
Now that online shopping has become highly sought after, naturally, the volume of product returns has also increased. Our team can help you facilitate the returns procedure and ensure that the unused goods are put back properly in the inventory.
Your Retail Coach is a team of experts who can help you with all your business process outsourcing needs. Get in touch with them for business support or guidance as they have experience across diverse sectors, and they help optimize all business functions to improve your brand and boost revenue.