Order Fulfillment refers to the process of receiving, processing and delivering the product to the end consumer. E-commerce is increasing every year and in this age of online shopping order fulfillment has become an important aspect. It has become a critical business function and it is the back bone of many e-commerce businesses. For instance Amazon has Amazon Prime which is entirely based on the fast, effective and hassle free delivery of the product. The supply chain is highly optimized and is one of the key strengths of Amazon and one of the reasons why it is such a giant.
The first step is the receiving of inventory. The inventory is received from the supplier. The delivery process could be in-house or outsourced. There are a few actions that must be taken in this first step of order fulfillment.
The item number is matched with the order number to ensure the correct package has arrived or else its sent back. The inventory is also checked to inspect for damage that might have occurred during delivery or have a manufacturing fault. Once the order has been confirmed to be correct and damage free SKU is added to the inventory management system so that the location and no of item sold has a record. In addition to this bar code labels are also added.
The next step is storage. This is an important and crucial step. Depending on where the inventory is stored the speed and efficiency of the delivery can be increased. Stock Keeping Units (SKU’s) have individual storage bins for faster operations. Those items that sell the most, the hottest items are often kept close to the packing and processing station.
Now that the inventory has been inspected, stored and can be seen the inventory management systems the next step is order processing. Customers place their orders online and expect smooth order fulfillment in New Zealand. This is an important part of the product supply chain, bad order processing can impact the image of your business.
Most big e-commerce firms such as Amazon integrate their the shopping cart on their website with the warehouse inventory systems. So once the order is place the warehouse is immediately notified and the processing begins. The order is picked off the shelves, inspected, scanned, sealed and packed along with the packing slips.
The package is then moved to the shipping station. It is the responsibility of the ones at the shipping station to determine the best way to ship the product.
In an unfortunate case when the wrong or damaged product is delivered this where the product is returned. Different e-commerce sites have their own returns policy with their own terms and conditions. It is best to have a lenient returns policy for maximum customer satisfaction. The order fulfillment system should be fully optimized at every step to minimize error and maximize customer satisfaction.