On the surface, wholesale distribution may seem simple: Get an order, pack it and ship it.
But in reality the warehouse is a complex place with logistic intricacies tucked into every part of the order fulfillment process. Perfect order fulfillment means delivering an accurate product on time, with complete documentation and no damage.
Strong order fulfillment is critical to ensuring customer satisfaction. Learn how to use your ERP software and add-on tools to improve order fulfillment in the warehouse.
Many factors contribute to inaccuracies in the order fulfillment process, with human error perhaps being the greatest factor.
If your warehouse houses similar items, the threat of human error increases. For example, let’s say you have a stock of snow blowers, with two particular models having only slight differences. As a result, it’s easy to mistake one model for the other when picking the order.
By using a bar-coding tool that integrates with your ERP system, you eliminate the possibility of human error causing the wrong SKU to get chosen for an order. With a bar-coding system in place that checks the product against the customer order, you add a layer of error proofing to your order fulfillment process.
Inaccuracies in the order fulfillment process start in the warehouse, but they end with the customer. Unhappy customers often take to the Internet and social media to voice their dissatisfaction.
A customer publicly calling out your mistake is unpleasant, but the consequences could be more far-reaching. This information may breed distrust for your brand, or even cause current customers to question their loyalty.
Implementing tools designed to improve order fulfillment in your warehouse helps to mitigate issues that lead to unsatisfied customers.
Good ERP software can help improve order fulfillment by creating a system filled with more accurate and up-to-date information.
With transparency and no data trapped in silos, everyone in your association has access to the same information. For example, if a customer has a hold on their account and their order doesn’t leave the warehouse, the sales team can see this and alert the customer rather than assuming the order is being fulfilled.
Your ERP system could have world-class features, but if you never use them (or if you don’t know how to use them properly) none of that matters.
In organizations where the culture isn’t technologically inclined, you may need to consider a significant change management component when upgrading your warehouse with the latest technology.
When you’re ready to move forward, consider these ERP tools and features for better order fulfillment: