Fulfillment Processes

Improving the flow of your fulfillment processes can speed up delivery and improve customer satisfaction.

There are basic stages of the fulfillment most businesses employ between order receipt and its final destination, varying by industry:

  1. Sales Order Receipt – Whether you receive orders by phone, through ecommerce platforms or in person, all order information must be processed to initiate production, generate a purchase order, or notify the fulfillment department to fill the order. If your team logs into multiple platforms to receive and then update order status, API integration can save time required for repetitive administrative tasks. Manual processing can also lead to duplication of inventory items, which impacts inventory counts and costs across your business.
  2. Storage – If your products are non-perishable, they could be held in storage until such time as they are required to fulfill orders. If your business uses a just-in-time inventory method, the order may go instead to the production floor. If your business works with a drop shipper, that information will alternatively be directed there for fulfillment.
  3. Pick – Retrieve products from your shelves to fill customer orders.
  4. Pack – Place products and shipping materials in envelopes or boxes and seal to prepare for shipping.
  5. Shipping – Generate shipping labels to affix to packages and send out UPS, FedEx, DHL, or local shipping carriers. SOS Inventory lets you generate labels with your choice of carrier through UPS or ShipStation.
  6. Delivery – Movement of product from your facility to the customer.
  7. Returns – Processing of returned items. High ticket items may include warranties for service within a designated time frame.

How you execute the above fulfillment processes may change over time as your business grows. You may need to hire more staff, secure additional storage space or work with sophisticated software like SOS Inventory which offers extensive order fulfillment software features.

When holiday demand drives up orders, and delivery times slow down, updating your company policy to reflect the current circumstances can help mitigate customer dissatisfaction. Naturally, good customer communication is important to earning loyalty.

Why is order fulfillment important?

Offering products at a competitive often closes the sale, but on-time delivery and good customer service build customer loyalty. It costs far more to obtain new customers than to sell to existing ones, making the fulfillment process a very important and valuable piece of your business management.

Growth is scalable when you have the right workflows and tools in place to accommodate more transactions, products, and workflows. If your current order fulfillment system has become insufficient for handling your processes, one vital step to solving the problem is upgrading your software. SOS Inventory offers a sound order fulfillment solution with valuable features at a reasonable price.

SOS Inventory can streamline workflow processes, save time, and labor costs.

fulfillment processes

  1. Integrate ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc., with SOS Inventory’s API integrations.
  2. Connect your inventory information directly to UPS or ShipStation for quicker processing and notification of shipping.
  3. Keep your order management processes in synchronization with other departments ensuring inventory data remains consistent company wide.
  4. Shave time off fulfillment processing to improve order fulfillment rate.

Other Actions to Ameliorate Fulfillment Processes Include:

  1. Renegotiating your shipping carrier contract to lower fees.
  2. Working with a drop shipper to take advantage of lower shipping costs available due to their shipping volume.
  3. Classify inventory to match inventory organization in your warehouse.
  4. Organize inventory to speed up fulfillment process.

When an order is in fulfillment, it can be anywhere between sales order receipt and the shipper. But can you quickly track an order when you receive a customer inquiry? Can you locate it in the event of a recall?

If you’re using SOS Inventory, the answer is yes. SOS Inventory provides both lot tracking, for forward and backward traceability, and serial number tracking to track individual items after the sale that may require service.

Take advantage of the competitive edge SOS Inventory can provide to your order fulfillment processes. Facilitate greater customer satisfaction while saving money on labor for a more profitable road ahead.

Thousands of companies use SOS Inventory to manage their businesses.    Free trial