What is order fulfillment?
Order fulfillment refers to the process from POS inquiry to delivery products.
In general, the process includes 5 steps which are receiving, processing, packing, picking, and shipping online orders to particular customers.
Order fulfillment methods
- In house order fulfillment
Some retailers have their own fulfillment processes that are able to handle every step. This is a perfect idea for any retailer who wants to obtain end-to-end control over their entire operation. However, an in-house process is considered to best fit with businesses having small order volumes.
- Third-party fulfillment
Retailers can have an external partner outsourcing fulfillment processes as well as other supply chain-related tasks. These services help retailers in terms of inventory management, conducting and optimizing picking lists, delivering orders, etc.
Dropshipping is complete hands-off fulfillment for businesses since it enables retailers to deliver their products directly from the manufacturer to particular customers. Dropshipping is most commonly adopted by eCommerce or startup retailers.
- Hybrid fulfillment
The hybrid fulfillment model is the combination of all mentioned above methods. To illustrate, a particular retailer may choose to process certain orders in-house such as customer products, and adopt drop shipping services for non-custom items. Hybrid fulfillment is great for retailers that require flexibility in fulfillment processes.
Benefits of order fulfillment
By optimizing order fulfillment processes, retailers can gain various benefits. And the most significant one is that these processes support retailers to get their shipments delivered on time, which greatly improves customer satisfaction. Besides, offering a variety of mix and time-effective shipping methods enables customers to choose the best suitable for their needs.
Additionally, some extra advantages that retailers may obtain from optimized fulfillment processes could be:
- Reduce shipping and operational costs
- Globally expand your customer base
- Enhance customer service
- Better focus on selling