Now that an increasing number of consumers prefer the convenience of online shopping and are demanding faster and faster delivery times for their online orders, efficient, streamlined online order fulfillment is essential to keep orders moving through the supply chain. This race to get orders delivered faster was driven by two-day delivery, next day delivery, and same-day delivery services offered to Amazon Prime subscribers. The online order fulfillment process begins when a customer orders products from online retailers or traditional retailers with an online presence. From the online vendors’ shopping carts, orders are finalized, then the orders go to a warehouse where businesses store their inventory. Once an order reaches the warehouse, the order is processed by experienced logistics personnel who:
- Pick orders from dedicated areas in the warehouse system
- Package items, according to brand specifications
- Ship orders to intended destinations, sourcing the best shipping rates
- Maintain a staff of knowledgeable customer care representatives who can answer and direct customer’s questions regarding their orders.
- Handle returns and exchanges of merchandise from beginning to end
Scalable and data-driven technology provides essential components to order and inventory management throughout the fulfillment process. The programs used by fulfillment and logistics firms should include real-time inventory updates and the ability to set up low inventory alerts so you can restock your inventory in time to prevent backorders and out-of-stock messaging, as well as allowing businesses to create, edit, and view orders from a user-friendly dashboard.