When it comes to eCommerce, customer satisfaction is everything. If your customers are happy with their purchases, they’ll be more likely to come back and buy from you again. But if they’re unhappy with their orders, they’ll take their business elsewhere. That’s why optimizing your order fulfilment process as much as possible is essential.
But how can you ensure that your eCommerce business optimizes its order fulfilment process? Here are some best practices you should know:
1. Conduct Regular Audits
Regular audits are critical if multiple warehouses or distribution points handle orders differently. You want to ensure that all locations use the same standards when taking customer orders so that there are no surprises when an item gets shipped out or returned to the warehouse for any reason.
Do to fulfillment audit during regular business hours so all employees can participate in the process and provide feedback about their experiences throughout the year. If you have an international team working from home offices, consider offering them compensation for attending these meetings through video conference software.
Also, you can ask employees to write down any problems they encounter while fulfilling orders during their shifts or after they leave work for the day. They’ll be able to provide you with a complete picture of what’s going on in your warehouse and how you can improve it.
2. Visualize Your Workflow
One of the most important things to do when optimizing your order fulfilment process is to visualize it. It’ll help you understand how the process works from beginning to end. You can then use this information to make changes and identify bottlenecks to streamline it.
Visualizing your workflow is easy but not always straightforward, especially if you have multiple warehouses or distribution centres across the country. Here are some tips for creating an effective visual representation of your order fulfilment process:
- Use software explicitly designed for visualising workflows.
- Create a map outlining each step in the process, including its name and description, who performs it, and where they perform it (if applicable).
- Ensure all steps are accounted for—even ones that may seem minor or obvious.
- Add a legend to your map and make it easy to read.
- Include any critical data that may be relevant or necessary for understanding the process.
- Use colours, shapes, or other visual cues to show how steps relate to or help each further progress through the workflow.
The more detail you include in this stage, the easier it’ll be for others involved with improving order fulfilment processes so they can get up to speed quickly and make changes accordingly.
3. Manage Your Inventory Carefully
Inventory management is a process that involves buying products when they’re less expensive and selling them later when they’re more valuable. It also refers to keeping records on all items in stock so that you know how much you have, where it is located, how long it has been there, and how much it costs.
Inventory control aims to reduce the cost of carrying inventory while ensuring that customers receive products promptly. Inventory control can be complex because it requires detailed record keeping and analysis of sales trends over time.
Effective inventory management is knowing how much stock you have on hand at any given time and accurately knowing how many products need to be reordered before they run out. To do this, you need good record keeping and data collection methods that allow you to track all your sales accurately.
4. Invest In Your Workforce
When looking for ways to optimize your order fulfilment process, one of the first steps is ensuring that all of your employees know what they’re doing. You want them to be familiar with how everything works from start to finish so that if anything goes wrong, they know how to fix it themselves or get help from someone else who knows what they’re doing.
It’ll save you time and money because fewer mistakes will occur during each process step, and fewer workers will be needed at any given time. Another way that investing in your workforce can help you optimize your order fulfilment process is by ensuring everyone has all the information they need to do their job.
When you hire new workers, make sure they know what their duties are and how all of the steps fit together. If a worker doesn’t know what’s expected of them in any given situation, it’ll be harder for them to do their job effectively, leading to mistakes or delays.
5. Automate Your Shipping Process
Automating your shipping process is a great way to save time and money and ensure that your customers get their orders promptly. One way to do this is to use barcode scanning software to scan packages automatically as they come into the warehouse. This will save you time by eliminating employees needing to scan each package manually. It also ensures that packages aren’t lost or misplaced between receiving and picking operations.
You can also use an ERP system to track orders and inventory levels better. An ERP system will allow you to track every step of an order from when it’s placed until it reaches its destination, which helps ensure that no one forgets about a shipment along the way.
A seamless order fulfilment process is one of the most vital elements of an eCommerce business. When customers find the information they need and get their orders fulfilled quickly, they’re more likely to return to your site and tell others about it. With the five practices above, you can ensure that your customers remain satisfied with your services.