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Posts tagged “Order Fulfillment

Order Fulfillment From Start To Finish

Managing Fulfillment Orders Efficiently

Many components go into the physical process of order fulfillment.  It is essential that the process is a regimented program that has all of the working parts functioning as a whole.  Each element is an entity unto itself but must mesh with the others to create balance and flow throughout the fulfillment procedure.  An adjustment within any single component will have a ripple effect on the others.

From the time that the shipments arrive at the warehouse, the recording of quantities, staging and location of goods is performed and is visible to the warehouse and the customer.  Once that is achieved, the order fulfillment process begins and entails:

  • Managing the release of orders to the warehouse floor.
  • Ensuring accurate and expedient pick and pack functions.
  • Scheduling orders for delivery.

While the above may seem routine, there are many issues to consider to carrying them out with efficiency.  Issues such as:

  • Grouping orders by product assortment.
  • Arranging the mode of transportation with appropriate service levels that meet customer expectations.
  • Method of floor processing which could be pick and pack, pick to packing station and shipping schedules.

All of these functions can be performed manually or with software automation as long as the procedures are in place and leave room for flexibility and adjustment.  Once these are established, the fulfillment process will benefit from balance and flow.

Fulfillment Order Processing

The goal is to execute the specific requirements that the customer has set out.  This enhances the customer service experience and having an efficient processing system will save money or avoid unnecessary costs in other areas such as inventory control and transportation.

Managing and Controlling Inventory

As an integral part of the fulfillment process, inventory control systems are implemented to accommodate different product requirements.  For instance, products that do not have a shelf-life are easily monitored with the quantity available.  Conversely, products that require rotation to preserve their integrity may call for a FIFO (First in-First out) inventory control strategy.

Shipping Schedules

While the fulfillment function is in process, shipment schedules need to be arranged in accordance with the customer’s preference.  Different service levels that affect shipping costs, transit times and the nature of the packaged cargo are determined in order to meet the customer’s desired delivery date.  Modes of transportation could include airfreight, courier, local cartage, highway or parcel post.

Overview

Failure to efficiently execute the fulfillment process can be costly both from an economical and customer perception point of view.  Statistics show that the cost of distribution including order fulfillment is nearly half of the marketing budget of the product.  With this reality in mind, the distribution process is front and centre with supply chain managers and business owners.  Cost saving opportunities and constant operational improvement are at the forefront of many companies in order to maintain the flow and balance of the order processing that meets the customer’s demands.

Order Fulfillment

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