The Best Order Fulfillment Strategies to Save You Time & Money

shutterstock_129636221If you are like most business owners today, you know that the effort it takes to fulfill orders can be challenging and time consumingy. By employing the proper order fulfillment strategies, however, you can meet these challenges head on, saving yourself an abundance of both time and money.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Business with These Order Fulfillment Strategies

While some small businesses choose to hire third party order fulfillment companies to manage and fill their orders, many are choosing to do it themselves. If you have chosen to manage your own order fulfillment, there are some strategies that you should likely be aware of.

  • Possessing the right order management software is essential. When researching, it is a good idea to evaluate the features that are offered and compare them with the unique needs of both your customers and your business. Whenever possible, choose software that streamlines the entire ordering process in order to increase efficiency. Since the ordering process actually begins with your customers selecting the products that they wish to purchase, and ends with them receiving their shipment and you getting paid, software that integrates orders that are placed by your customers or sales staff with your QuickBooks software and your warehouse inventory software can reduce the risk of time consuming, costly errors.

  • Automation is key when fulfilling orders. Since errors and miscommunication often occur when human input is involved, not to mention the fact that manual data entry is much more time consuming, the more your order fulfillment process is automated, the more accurate and efficient your system will be. Consider selecting an online platform that enables seamless automation and allows your sales team and management personnel to have complete interaction as well.

  • Warehouse integration can likely be one of the most important factors in satisfactory order fulfillment. It is often essential for customers and sales professionals to be able to view real time inventory and product availability in order to place orders effectively, and for those orders to be filled accurately as well. When your order fulfillment process uses order management software that integrates with your back-end system, your information in each will be much more accurrate.

  • Regardless of the type of business you are involved in, you likely know that fulfillment timing and accuracy can be extremely important in a company's success. Select order management software that enables your customers, your sales team, and your management personnel to view order details, the status of orders and track their shipments in order to prevent costly errors or delays.

  • Part of the order fulfillment process is physically "picking" the orders from the warehouse. When you consider the extra time it takes for warehouse personnel to search for products throughout an entire warehouse, you will most likely understand how important the organization of your products can be. Imagine how much more simple it would be if you knew which products were commonly purchased together, and you could place them strategically in your warehouse. Consider a strategy for grouping your items in the warehouse more efficiently by empowering your warehouse workers to organize the products the way they see fit, based on their experience.  

  • One of the most crucial (and time consuming) aspects of order fulfillment is billing. Since payment and cash flow is so important, an accurate invoicing process is vital. While it is certainly possible for you to hire individuals to manually process your invoices, the practice of doing so is not recommended. Consider purchasing software that integrates with your QuickBooks database and reduces data entry. Doing so will not only enable your staff to spend their valuable time on more important tasks (like recruiting new customers or building upon existing customer relationships), but it will improve accuracy as well.

Improvement of your company’s order fulfillment process takes time.  Utilizing strategies laid out above can help both your team and your customers, freeing up more time on both ends.  If you’d like a deeper understanding on how to integrate your order processing with QuickBooks, contact Now Commerce for a demo today.

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