How do you optimize order management?
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Optimizing order management is a constant struggle when e-commerce businesses are managing their incoming orders, warehouse, packing, shipping, inventory, etc. while also trying to develop new product lines to grow the business. Many businesses have found that partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) company has helped them optimize order management. Partnering with an experienced 3PL service provider allows businesses to take advantage of the 3PL’s tech-driven warehouse management systems (WMS) to optimize their order fulfillment processes. A reliable WMS makes it possible to monitor your inventory, automate steps, streamline workflows, and more. These tools work to save your company money by reducing human error, improving accuracy ratings, and keeping your customers satisfied so they continue shopping with you, building brand loyalty. It’s important to optimize each step of your order management process.
- Customer places order
The order management process starts when customers click the “Buy Now” or “Place Order” button. The payment is sent to your secure, reliable, and easy-to-use payment system. It’s important to offer payment options that fit your audience, including Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options.
- Order is sent to the warehouse
Your e-commerce site will send the order with the customer's address and any special delivery instructions to the warehouse. If you outsource your order fulfillment process to a 3PL service provider, your order should be sent to the warehouse location nearest to your order’s delivery destination to save time and shipping costs[MR1] . Your OMS software should support barcode scanning to cut down significantly on human error and expedite your order processes. Your OMS tool should be able to merge all of your multichannel orders in one place so that you can get real-time inventory counts.
- Order is picked
Ideally, immediately after the order is received in the warehouse, a picker or team of pickers locate the items in your order and deliver them to a packing station. Organizing your warehouse to most efficiently find your popular items can speed up your picking process. Most small and growing e-commerce businesses cannot realistically invest in fulfillment equipment to automate their picking process. When you partner with a 3PL service provider for your fulfillment operations, your picking process can be expedited by using the best picking process for your orders, including batch, zone, and wave picking which speeds up the picking process.
- Order is Packed
Using the appropriate packaging containers and materials to protect your orders during shipping, your packaging personnel includes all inserts and branded materials when an order is packed. Carriers use the size of your packages to calculate dimensional weight (DIM). Shipping rates are calculated based on the higher value of either true weight or DIM weight. Using appropriately sized boxes can keep your shipping costs down. Unboxing is important to many customers in e-commerce, so some businesses pack orders to improve the unboxing experience. When companies partner with 3PL service providers, they can leverage the knowledgeable skills of packaging professionals, as well as reduce packaging supply costs, due to bulk sales. Automating the packing process, most packing stations can print shipping labels.
- Order is Shipped
When your package is ready to ship, you’ll need to choose a carrier and delivery options for your orders. Most likely, as a growing e-commerce company, you have negotiated with a dedicated carrier for lower rates. Automating sending tracking information when your order ships with your OMS tool will keep your customers in the loop and establish customer relationships towards building brand loyalty. Working with a 3PL service provider, such as Phase V Fulfillment, your shipping logistics team is always looking for ways to save you money on shipping costs, as well as expedite the shipping process.
- Order is delivered
Optimizing your order management system’s processes, your customer can track their order every step of the way until the order is delivered. Offering “delivered” texts or emails helps keep customers informed. Offering an easy return and exchange policy will help keep customers coming back to your business. Fulfillment partners, such as Phase V Fulfillment, have reverse logistics in place to accommodate your returns and exchanges in the same amount of time needed to process original orders.
- Following up
It’s important to ask if your customer is [MH2] satisfied with their product and the order process. Asking your customer to complete a customer satisfaction survey and thanking them for their business gives you the chance to see where you can improve your order management processes and can also result in customer reviews you can use on your website.
- Measuring and analyzing results
With today’s automated data analysis tools, your OMS software should be able to measure the entire e-commerce logistics process. Continuously review where your system needs some work and where you can continue to improve.
Optimizing order management involves taking a look at the entire process of a customer’s purchase with your e-commerce business – from when they add to cart to when they leave a review. If your business is looking for ways to optimize order management, Phase V Fulfillment can help. Call us for a free quote today!