Signed, Sealed, Undelivered? Overcoming Order Fulfilment Challenges

Regardless of the size and sector of your business, getting your product to its final destination once the order is confirmed is crucial for maintaining happy, satisfied customers time and time again.

Naturally, there can be unforeseen circumstances that can wreak havoc with delivery schedules, but in this post, we’ll be running through a number of actionable tips on how you can ensure your business is well-equipped to deliver goods on time and intact.

Products on shelves in warehouse

Implement a clear order fulfilment process

The logistics of supply chain management form the backbone of modern retail, ensuring goods are picked, packed and shipped in a timely and efficient manner - so, it’s essential to have a clear outline of order fulfilment processes in place to deliver smooth operations. This is particularly important during peak times of the years where spikes in sales can put added pressure on the supply chain.

The principles of an effective supply chain order process don’t have to be complex either - a simple flowchart identifying each stage of the fulfilment process should suffice. Be sure to communicate this clearly to staff members, so everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities and what needs to happen before they can complete their role.

For example, once an order has been confirmed, the stockroom operatives should be notified and given a deadline for sourcing the items, within another time frame these should be processed and passed to packaging, then forwarded to shipping for delivery to the end user.

Of course, the above is a simplified version - depending on the software and systems you use, more details will be required to ensure tasks are carried out properly.

Keep customers in the loop

Good customer service is key to order fulfilment if you want to grow your business and gain loyal shoppers, so it definitely pays to keep them in the loop throughout the buying process.

You don’t have to go to the lengths of e-commerce giants like Amazon, but a courteous email or text to notify their order is being processed and updates on its dispatch will give peace of mind that everything is in hand and they know when their product will arrive. This also helps to build the trust element between retailers and consumers with more personalised service - particularly if you have a system that allows them to track their order online as well.

The other added benefit of keeping up communication with customers, is the ability to swiftly notify them of any hold-ups in the shipping process and better manage their expectations. While delays are far from ideal, they do happen and if customers are informed of the reasons and a solution early they are likely to be more understanding of the situation.

Plump for premium packaging

There’s nothing worse than opening up a product you’ve ordered to find it’s been damaged or broken in transit. Not least, it’s inconvenient for the end user who has to return the item and wait for a replacement, but more importantly it can be damaging for your brand reputation.

To solidify complete customer satisfaction, we’d always recommend plumping for premium packaging solutions that better protect your products and guarantee they reach their final location in full working order - all while promoting a positive buying experience with your business.

From quality bubble wrap and robust shipping boxes to sturdy postal tubes and custom packaging solutions, choosing quality materials to safely and securing ship your products will mean everything reaches the customer intact - and gives you packaging equipment you know you can rely on.

Delivery man with cardboard boxes

Solidify your shipping logistics

Whether you use a third party shipping supplier or you have in-house transportation logistics, it’s key to ensure these operations run like clockwork. For the former, always use a reputable and reliable company - even if it means paying a little more. It’s much easier to justify a slightly higher shipping cost for customers if you can guarantee goods will arrive on time and in mint condition.

In terms of in-house logistics, be sure to keep delivery vehicles regularly serviced and well-maintained to prevent needless delays from vehicles breaking down or being out of action for repairs. You should also consider investing in supply chain software to streamline logistics from packing and loading to calculating the most cost-effective and fastest delivery routes for drivers.

With a winning combination of robust order fulfilment processes, customer service and the right packaging products readily to hand, we hope you’ll find plenty of actionable advice to make every order fulfilment simple, straightforward and smooth-running.

Signed, Sealed, Undelivered? Overcoming Order Fulfilment Challenges