Customer satisfaction is the key for any business. Creating an efficient order fulfillment checklist is a way to meet and hopefully exceed your customer expectations. Happy customers buy more and refer others to you.
You can either do the fulfillment yourself or outsource to a company like Neyenesch. Either way, understanding the fulfillment process and having a checklist is important. Let’s look at the general steps involved in order fulfillment.
- Receiving an order and confirmation on the payment
- Check if the products are in stock
- Retrieve products from the inventory
- Perform quality inspections
- Package products and conduct a pre-ship overview
- Combine orders for delivery or shipment
- Arrange for delivery or pick up
- Send email confirmation to the customer
- Arrange to pick up for return or exchange if needed
Order Fulfillment Versions
Once you have a thorough understanding of the order fulfillment process, it’s time to choose the right fulfillment version that best fits your business.
- In-House: The in-house version is when you handle the entire order fulfillment process on your own. This requires you to take care of warehousing, checking the stock, performing quality checks, packaging the products, and arranging for delivery. Though this may seem like the most economical way for handling order fulfillment, the process will take up a lot of your time. The advantage is that you have complete control of your inventory, and saves money. The biggest disadvantage is that you have a lot on your plate.
- Outsourcing: This version involves outsourcing your order fulfillment process to a third-party like Neyenesch. Third-party fulfillment partners are professionals who are experts with the fulfillment process. These fulfillment centers have expert warehouse staff who will handle everything for you. This allows you to focus on other important business tasks that need your attention and expertise. The most significant advantage of this model is that the order fulfillment process will be taken care of by pros, and you don’t have to invest in warehouse storage space.
Your customers expect quality products for a good price and delivered quickly. One way to help eliminate errors is to have an automated warehouse and inventory system. You should also have a hassle-free return policy. This will lead to repeat purchases, and a good reputation for your company.
No matter who is doing the order fulfillment you need to make sure that:
- The right products are delivered to your customers
- Only good quality products are delivered to your customers
- Delivery is timely
- The packages arrive undamaged
In order to achieve customer satisfaction, you need to be tracking your metrics. Tracking these metrics will help you improve your processes and continue to have satisfied customers. The most important ones are:
- Order error rates
- Product return rates
- Average delivery time
- Percentage of shipments delivered on-time
- Customer retention rate
- Fulfillment cost per order
Order Fulfillment Checklist
Here at Neyenesch we have come up with an order fulfillment check list that works really well for us to be sure we fulfill order correctly and timely to keep your customers happy.
- Type of Product: Check to see what type of product is being ordered. This will determine if special wrapping or packaging is needed.
- Number of items ordered: The quantity will help determine the package size as well as how long it will take to fill the order.
- Ship To Location: Special processing needs to happen for foreign shipments. Separate them out from the US ones. Also identifying packages that are farthest away by being tagged to ship first.
- Shipment method: What type of ship method was selected at the time of order? Based on that, what date must the package ship by, in order to meet the deadline?
- Pack: Pick and pack the order based on the information already reviewed above in 1-4.
- QC: A person other than the one who packed the shipment will review items 1-5 to make sure each step was done properly. If all is ok, the box ships. If there is a problem, the box is moved back to fulfillment to fix it and a QC will be repeated when it is complete.
This order fulfillment checklist can keep your errors to a minimum and your people on track. Properly packaged products not only protect them from damage but also provide a good presentation to your customer when they open the package. Best practices are to include a packing slip as well as information on how to return the item if needed.
In most cases it is also a good idea to include information on other products they might be interested in based on this purchase. These can be anything from accessories to an entirely new product. Adding these marketing materials to a package where the customer is happy is a great way to lead to additional sales.