Order fulfillment is an important task for many e-commerce businesses. An efficient order fulfillment operation requires coordination, effective inventory management, high-quality control, and a capable customer support system. Third-party logistics providers are perfect for e-commerce order fulfillment. An order fulfillment company has various duties and responsibilities, including:
An order fulfillment company manages the inventory and also handles the shipment details such as product quantities and determining whether they are new or restocked. They ensure that all the products have an SKU barcode. An order fulfillment company also ensures that there is a lack of inventory shrinkage and one hundred percent inventory accuracy.
Sorting and Storage
An order fulfillment company uses the shipment details for sorting and checking the stock. They input the stocks into the inventory tracking system using scanners or barcodes. The order fulfillment companies also determine the damages or the missing inventory. After that, they make a list and notify the manufacturer and move the remaining stock to a warehouse.
Process Customer Orders
The fulfillment companies have smart software systems that connect them to the manufacturers’ online stores. This assimilation routes orders and provides the information required for order shipment. The order fulfillment companies also demand CSV files from the manufacturers if they are unable to integrate with the manufacturers’ system. They ask manufacturers to upload the file.
Picking, Packing, and Shipping
The order fulfillment companies pick ordered items after receiving orders from the customers. After picking the order, the staff scans the product against the order received, and then the fulfillment company designates packing materials for delivery. The fulfillment company completes the process by adding order receipts and after that, the boxes are sealed and prepared for shipping.
Processing Customer Returns
Order fulfillment companies handle returns either by considering it is a part of basic service or by charging an extra fee. Manufacturers include the address of the fulfillment company on their websites, and as a result, when products are returned, the fulfillment company examines the goods and handles them based on the manufacturers’ guidelines.
The order fulfillment companies provide various value-added services; however, they charge an additional cost. Some of such specialty and premium services include warehouse kitting, customized labeling, processing orders in batches, inserting customized personal notes or special offers in packing, customized packaging, temperature-controlled storage, and special care for valuable products.
Simplification of a Fulfillment Strategy
The order fulfillment companies simplify the fulfillment strategy of a manufacturer. Order fulfillment is a time-consuming process but it is also critical to the success of an e-commerce business. It also improves users’ experience and increases sales. If the sales are high, it can put a burden on the staff therefore, using the services of third-party logistic providers results in improving services.
Third-party logistics providers enable e-commerce businesses to focus on other tasks critical to the success of their business such as marketing, sourcing, or development. A Third-party logistics provider lifts the burden of the businesses and provides them multiple benefits that range from inventory management to simplification of their fulfillment strategy.