Order processing is a seemingly simple, common business practice that wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and importers deal with every single day. If you’re using QuickBooks, you’ve likely learned very quickly where the issues in your ordering process are, and you’ve also probably realized that QuickBooks alone isn’t going to be the solution to those issues.
I want to start with some basics about fulfillment strategy and then dig into the details a little bit — this is something that a lot of B2B companies struggle with, but getting it right can be the difference between blowing customers out of the water…
It’s one thing to attract new business to your website, but it’s another matter entirely for you to retain that new business. All customers want a streamlined, easy ordering process, but the customers in the B2B segment are often relatively neglected compared to those in B2C.
It’s never a bad thing when you get new orders. After all, orders are what keep your business running.
Having an order management system that accelerates shipping of your products is imperative if you want to keep a loyal business customer base. In today's fast-paced world, B2B customers expect to get products as fast as possible to keep up with their own customer demands. They also want to be able to order easily, when they want, and be able to access their accounts to see when something ships or when an items in stock.
This can't work well without having proper communication with your fulfillment center. The warehouse you work with can easily have crossed wires without having recurring communication to catch mistakes.
A great order processing software system builds accuracy for your business in many ways. Data management and entry, customer communication and service, and inventory integration all increase in accuracy with a good order processing system.
Since order processing includes customer information, inventory management, and accounting systems, it is imperative that your order processing software integrate with your current business systems including accounting software.
Now that the holiday season is behind us, you can sit back and assess how well your order process worked. Was everything as smooth as it could be? Did shipments get to your customers on time and with limited errors? Was your fulfillment center able to get orders from you quickly and out the door with not too much effort? Could there have been better communication between your company and your third party fulfillment center (3PL)?
Customer order management and fulfillment is an ongoing process for any e-commerce company. If you are a manufacturer or distributor, shipping B2B, you most likely have larger orders to ship out compared to a B2C retailer. Using order management software that allows you to keep track of orders, and automatically transmit them to a 3PL (third party logistics provider) can be the key to getting orders out the door faster and with minimal effort on your part. Using a high quality service provider that can help you fulfill your orders, will help ensure that you reduce mistakes in the fulfillment process, reduce shipping costs and gain access to higher levels of technology that you would otherwise be unable to invest in.
There are few tools that can empower an e-commerce business like order management software. When it comes to running an online business, you will often hear that the hardest part of the process is attracting an audience and driving traffic to your website. While this may be true, digital marketing provides many avenues for traffic generation including content marketing, PPC, SEO, social media, media buys and more. What more businesses struggle with is their order management process and dealing with order volume increases.
Finding decent B2B order management software is already challenging enough, let alone ones that give you superior warehouse integration. When dealing with your third-party fulfillment centers, you need to have as much clear communication as possible to avoid errors and get your shipments out the door. Unfortunately, far too many companies still rely on outdated methods of communication to relay order information. And as your business starts to grow, more orders can result in chaos if not handled properly.