Do you know you are spending more because of the hidden costs in the order fulfillment process? Many businesses continue to work with complex, fragmented order management processes with multiple order capture and fulfillment systems. And this increases the chances of facing challenging situations throughout the order fulfillment process. For a successful fulfillment process, you need to make sure to get the right products to the right customers at the right time especially when it’s almost time for seasonal sales! Let us give you a roundabout of the frequent obstacles that come up in the order management process.
The Adversities In Order Management Process
Order management is a difficult task for retailers. And during the last quarter of the year, the retailers go haywire if there is any hindrance in the fulfillment process. For it requires an immense amount of record-keeping, ensuring warehouses are always adequately stocked, etc. Some common issues that come up are:
Manual updates are subject to duplication or erroneous data. With so many orders from multiple channels, it gets difficult for you to keep track of all of them.
Executing Bulk Orders
When you have to handle orders in bulk it gets complex. Because it involves making many updates in internal systems, marketplaces, creating invoices, label printing, and shipping arrangements.
Order fulfillment is all about meeting customer expectations. It is not possible to do that if you often remain ‘out of stock’. To know your stock levels you need to have real-time visibility for your inventory.
Managing System Integration
You will often feel hiccups in a standalone or a manually fed Order management system, as their functions are not sufficient to handle multi-channel sales orders.
Maintaining Customer Experience
Today, customers want a consistent experience each time they shop for any product. According to the State of Ecommerce Delivery Consumer Research Report:
“87% were more likely to shop again with an online retailer if they had a positive delivery experience.”
“43% will not return to the retailer within a month if they had a negative delivery experience.”
“38% said they are likely to never shop with that retailer ever again”
These situations can grow complex if not rectified at the right time. The question is how will you solve them?
How To Quick Fix The Prevailing Challenges In Order Management
Ecommerce businesses are rapidly responding to the challenges and pressures by optimizing their supply chain management system. Here is what you need to do:
The Arrival of Seasonal Sales: Optimize the Inventory for Rapid Handling
Maintaining a delicate balance of stock and stock reordering is quite business-critical. Extra stock in the warehouse than required increases your storage and carrying costs. And if you have less stock in the warehouse than required, you will lose orders, credibility, and revenue. You should know when to replenish the stock to utilize the warehouse space optimally.
The categorization of inventory depends on factors like the types of products and picking sizes. You can classify inventory based on picking size and by frequency of picking/velocity of movement (fast, medium, slow or very slow).
And as the time for seasonal sales is approaching you many plan your inventory replenishment accordingly. For instance, look out for the sales opportunities on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc. The shopping season is very near so prepare yourself to set a good benchmark.
The Quarter of Festivity: Strategize Order Manifestation for Easy Processing
The most important part of your business is the process of actually getting your products to your customers. If you own a brick and mortar store, this isn’t much of an issue as your customers can simply grab what they need right off of the shelf. But if you ship your products, it is a lot trickier.
The accurate and on-time delivery of your products is essential for your business growth. And the eCommerce sector is preparing for the golden opportunities as the world is about to approach its last quarter of 2019. Yes! It’s time for festivity and shopping. And no customer tolerates late orders or wrong products during that time. This is why streamlining your order fulfillment strategy is so important.
For that you have to maintain five touchpoints:
- Inventory accuracy
- Optimizing your picking strategy
- Logistics management and integration with suppliers
- An advanced warehouse management system
- Real-time visibility of your entire supply chain
Customers Don’t Want to Wait: Automate to Speed up the Operations
Automated storage and retrieval technologies support the optimization of the order fulfillment process. Most companies focus the majority of their equipment investments on handling their fast movers. But that leaves 80% of their remaining inventory (including medium and slow movers) unoptimized and costs you more labor and time.
You need to make sure that everything is done automatically. For instance, deciding where to route the order, selecting appropriate shipping partners and replenishing inventory. This not only speeds up order fulfillment but also provides more accurate data for future orders. Especially when it’s the end of the year with ample sales opportunities. So buck up and speed up your supply chain operations!
Get on with the occasional bliss: Integrate systems for enhanced visibility
Adopting a cloud-based inventory management system is the easiest way to increase the visibility of inventory across all channels. You need to ensure cloud systems provide a flexible and secure environment to integrate and manage all stock levels, across all sales channels under a single interface.
Your order management system should be pre-integrated with your ERPs. With one click, you will be able to unify information on sales, payments, returns or other accounting details.
This Holiday Season: Track it All for Instant Updates
Allocate shipping providers based on the priority defined. Shipment of fragile items or inflammable items needs to be shipped separately. Keep a count of items in stock and out of stock of the same order that has to be shipped. The peak time of sales is very near, therefore, no customer would like to wait long for their orders to be delivered. So, instead of managing everything on your own, enable your seller to ship the product directly to the consumers through drop shipping. It ensures:
- Strong vendor relationship
- High product assortments
- Low inventory carrying cost
- Low stock-outs
- Faster delivery time
Maintain an end to end tracking of shipment statuses. It improves the end customer experience. The real-time insight from smart labels such as barcode enables efficient tracking. It processes items that are in, through and out of the warehouse.
Unicommerce’s order management system is a value-add to the structure of your retail operation. Run your order fulfillment process smoothly. Request a free demo with us today!