With the speed that retail moves these days, it’s understandable that the order fulfilment process can bring on some difficult challenges for businesses. Customers have demands to be met around the clock. It’s essentially a requirement for businesses to have an online presence and a highly functional eCommerce platform. However, this means that orders can potentially come from all around the country and the world. The scope of fulfilment systems is changing and it’s trickier than ever to create an efficient process that can fulfil orders in a streamlined fashion.
There are ways to enhance the order fulfilment process, but not until you identify the challenges causing difficulties within the business. There are a variety of common challenges companies face as they are evolving with their order fulfilment journey. Take note of the challenges other companies are facing and embark on better solutions to create a smarter, more efficient workflow.
Challenge 1: Seasonal peaks
Getting your order fulfilment process set up to cope with everyday business is a big challenge within itself. The seasonal peak periods such as holidays and seasons raise the stakes even more. The normal challenges and difficulties brought on by order fulfilment are enhanced during busy times. Predictive ordering software and analytics around these peak times can help businesses prepare for these busy times. Building strong working relationships with suppliers and delivery services can help during these peaks. If you need to ask for more help, it’s easier to do it when your business relationship is strong. If you’re happy to help them out when they need it, they will also be happy to help you.
Challenge 2: Transportation
We have all felt the gas prices at the pump. The cost of fueling your own personal vehicle is undoubtedly rising. With fuel costs significantly increasing, these prices can impact your order fulfilment delivery process. Goods can be delivered through a variety of transport modes. In the global commerce atmosphere, goods can be sent by boat, plane and truck. The cost of getting them from A to B is rising and those costs get passed on to the consumer. This can lead to decreased customer satisfaction and people not buying your goods if they think the price is too high.
Price isn’t the only challenge with transport. It is increasingly difficult to find truck drivers and reliable courier services. If goods arrive broken or late because of your delivery service, this will reflect badly on the company.
Challenge 3: Inventory management
Each company has different inventory needs depending on their product and business model. It’s important to find the right online inventory management system for your business. As companies grow, inventory management often becomes reactive; it can lag and sometimes old systems can impact the order fulfilment process. Cloud-based inventory management software is adaptable and better than manual systems, but they are not all created equal. It’s critical to find one that will support your inventory needs, grow with you, and support your order fulfilment process.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.