Part of providing good customer service is being able to process orders with as little delay as possible. This is especially important as your business is growing, since even the slightest inefficiencies in the fulfillment process can cause small delays in each order, and those can quickly add up. This is also why many companies turn to outsourced order fulfillment services to meet their increasing volume of orders.
An efficient fulfillment process doesn’t just help build customer trust by delivering on time, but also enhances your company’s potential to expand in the long run. It’s a simple concept: the more efficient your company is at processing orders, the more orders you can take.
Here are a few tips on improving your company’s order fulfillment process:
1. Speed up the Process
Improving the speed of how your company handles orders should be top priority. At the most basic level, speeding up the process involves implementing batch pickups and grouping together similar orders. This helps by reducing the amount of return trips to one area, which cuts down travel time by a huge margin.
2. Focus on Productivity over Quantity
Many people will make the mistake of assigning too much people or equipment in charge of the order fulfillment process. Instead of improving things, overstaffing tends to cause congestion and increases the chances of mistakes caused by human error. Instead, focus on keeping the most efficient workers and using more efficient equipment around. Only add if you think the load is already too much even with your most efficient workforce at full capacity. If you want to streamline your fulfillment services even further, consider outsourcing work to a service provider. These third-party logistics firms have the manpower, facilities, and tools necessary to handle all your fulfillment needs so you don’t have to worry about establishing an in-house unit yourself.
3. Be as Accurate as Possible
Even a single misprinted label can cause chaos on the entire order fulfillment process. 3 out of 10 businesses have at least a 1% chance of experiencing error. This may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly once the orders pile up. Using automated storage and retrieval systems that reduce the risk of human error would be the ideal approach, but if you think your company’s still too early or small for automation, having a more accurate labeling and sorting system should be the minimum.
4. Get More Space
Not having enough space can spell disaster for a busy company handling a lot of orders. Without enough space, mobility inside a warehouse is limited and it’s more difficult to see labels properly if everything is blocking the way. Furthermore, people or machines can accidentally bump into stacks of products causing irreparable damage. Simply having extra shelves to maximize floor space can do wonders in improving the entire process.
5. Plan Ahead
Many businesses experience on and off-peak seasons, causing a significant difference in the volume of orders to be processed. Using the same workforce and equipment on different scales can either result in creating backlogs or using unnecessary resources for little productivity output. By planning ahead, you can make the right adjustments so that your company keeps a balance between capacity and resource spending.
Taking the opportunity to improve in all aspects can be the difference between a profitable business and a stagnant one. Considering these improvement tips early on is a great first step in setting your company on the path to success.