Every company wants to reduce the time it takes to deliver an order to the customer from the procurement stage. Companies are trying different ways like installing an ERP system or software that can consolidate data and make it available in real-time to speed up the procure-to-delivery process. They employ methodologies like Lean Manufacturing, Theory of Constraints, and other scientific methods to ensure the end product is manufactured with desired quality and zero wastage. They are also implementing Automation solutions so that the predictive and conditional monitoring of the machines can be done in regular interims. Automation ensures that the machines work at full capacity with zero downtime.
They try every effort for delivering quality products on time to the customers i.e., they wish for ‘order fulfillment’ to take place with greater magnitude. So, let’s understand what order fulfillment is and the significant factors influencing it.
Order fulfillment is a complete process of order receiving, processing, packing, dispatching, and informing the customer about the order status. For every stage of order fulfillment cost, time, quality, and volume are predefined and followed diligently throughout the process.
To have a broader idea, let’s see how the order fulfillment process works.
Order Placing: The customer places the order, and the order is received through an email, phone call, or by a face-to-face meeting.
Order Recording: The order details must be stored in a centralized system like BPI or ERP so that the entire team involved can view the information anytime. In this, bookkeeping or intelligent inventory system is also helpful and makes the task easier.
Inventory Management: An inventory list is created concerning the needs of the end product. This also involves monitoring and tracking the status of each product cycle.
Warehouse Management: After the order reaches the end stage of production, the warehouse management arranges for storage, transportation, and labor. The final order is then stored in a predefined location until the sales order is released and required to be shipped.
Order Processing: The order is under process when it is purchased by a client and needs to be delivered at the desired location. Under this stage, the client receives correct and real-time information about the order status- whether it is at packaging or shipping stage.
Packing and Shipping: When the order is retrieved from the warehouse, it is packed and shipped to the client.
Accept or Reject: This stage is the most critical one as it ensures the process stability and product quality. The order is fulfilled in case the client accepts the order. If the product is returned or rejected by the client, the product needs to go through all stages again to discover the loophole and rectify the error.
Order fulfillment: When the client confirms that the product has received ‘on time and in full quality’, the order has now reached the fulfillment stage.
When it comes to speeding up the entire process, experts recommend doing incremental changes that can have a bigger impact on the balance sheet. Investigate your entire system and start looking for ‘small wins’ that does not require huge investments. In this case, seeking help from Business Process Management Consultants can bring quick results.
Next, make sure that Machines, Manpower, Materials, Money, and Methods you already have are in order and work effectively. Many companies have the best of these 5Ms but still, struggle to get the most from them. Finally, you can also invest in disruptive technology like Automation, IoT, and Robotics to quicken your order handling process.
Follow the steps below for speeding the order fulfillment process.
1. Reclassify Inventory: Categorize your inventory suiting random, static, and dynamic material needs. Group your items into ‘slow-moving’ and ‘fast-moving’ with respect to material delivery.
2. System Integration: Integrate your system using an ERP solution to gain more visibility and control of the process.
3. Automating process: Automate a significant part of your process for more accuracy and reliability.
Classifying the inventory can ensure there is no delay in material processing. This saves cost and labor as well. System Integration empowers you with better reporting, visibility, and control. Automation speeds up the process and makes it more reliable. You get helpful real-time data to make future decisions.
Therefore, one of the best ways to quicken the order fulfillment process is to ensure there is zero time lost between the client placing the order and the final shipping. so, get a customized ERP system developed for your business. Invest in automation and become more productive, efficient, and profitable.