The goal and challenge of any company is order fulfillment. This process plays a significant role in the success of your business. It also affects your company’s operational effectiveness and customer experience. The more orders your company can process, the faster you can ship to your customers. This efficiency gives your business a competitive edge against your competitors. Here are several Sherpack: order fulfillment solutions you can follow to improve your order fulfillment process.
Understand Your Cycle Time
The first thing you ought to do when improving your order fulfillment process is to understand your cycle time. It will help give you valuable insight into your order fulfillment effectiveness. This information will also help you track how fast your process is and its effect on customer satisfaction. Once you clearly understand your cycle time, you can start identifying the areas that require significant improvement.
Some ways you can calculate your cycle time is through:
- Promised customer order cycle time
- Cash to cash cycle time
- Actual customer order cycle time
- Supply chain cycle time
Increase Your Customer Accessibility
Your customers place the orders, so it’s essential to help make the process more accessible, faster, and easier for you to get more orders. The order forms must be easy to understand and short, readily available, and require as minimal information as possible. If a process is difficult to find, lengthy, or hard to understand, customers tend not to bother. By increasing customer accessibility, you can vastly improve your order fulfillment process.
The purpose of technology in any business is to help reduce errors and make your process more efficient. By automating your order fulfillment process, you get the best of both worlds. Therefore, take advantage of the technology tools available in today’s world.
With automation, you get to cut out the manual steps that may be part of the order fulfillment process. It also saves you valuable time and enables you to track information more accurately and transparently.
Consolidate and Communicate
Thanks to technology, customers can order a product through multiple channels like mobile, online forms, and call centers. Despite the medium they use, customers expect the timely delivery of their orders. However, this may not be possible if your communication isn’t properly organized. By consolidating each process into a single point of access, you get to improve your order fulfillment process. The more access points of communication, the more your chance for errors.
Also, make sure you keep your communication channel open. Communication builds trust, and by consolidating all your communication channels, you get to deliver your customer’s orders quickly.
Update Your Inventory
Customers tend to find it annoying whenever they have to wait for items that are out of stock. However, since such situations are sometimes unavoidable, it helps if you offer customers items that aren’t out of stock. Updating your inventory consistently ensures that you give your customers all the right information.
Have an Attractive Return Policy
Another essential part of order fulfillment is to have an attractive return policy. Simply put, your order fulfillment process doesn’t stop once the customer receives their order. The entire process ends once your customer is content with his or her order. Having an attractive return policy can help whenever your customer wishes to return the product. What’s more, your return policy will also have a significant impact on whether a customer completes purchasing an order.
Choose the Right Shipper
While you may have all the above steps in place, the shipper you choose can make or break your order fulfillment process. They determine if your back-end operations run smoothly. The shipper you choose can also cause massive delays with your customers’ orders. These delays can eventually cause your customers to become dissatisfied with your entire process.
And, with constant complaints comes a ruined company reputation. By choosing the proper shipper, you get to have customer orders delivered on time. Therefore, make sure your shipper offers accurate real-time tracking. Also, check if they have a recent uptick in delayed shipments, late shipments, lost, forgotten, or damaged shipments.
Smart Warehouse Locations
Make sure that your warehouse locations are convenient. Ensure that your store product location is near your delivery area and close to your target customers. This helps to reduce the delivery time of their products significantly. It also improves your optimal shipping method, ensuring you do not overspend and under-deliver.
With the above tips, you not only improve your order fulfillment; you also get to make your customers happy.