What is order fulfillment?
Order fulfillment is the process of receiving, processing, and delivering customer orders. It encompasses all the activities involved in ensuring that a customer's order is fulfilled accurately and efficiently, from the point of sale to the final delivery of the product.
The order fulfillment process can be done manually with the use of spreadsheets, although it can be time-consuming and prone to human errors. Alternatively, it can be done with an Order Management System (OMS) to automate many of the processes, like delivery tracking and stock confirmation.
How is order fulfillment done?
The order fulfillment process typically involves the following steps:
- Receiving and processing the order: The order is received from the customer and processed in the system. Payment verification and stock confirmation are then done.
- Picking and packing the order: Ordered items are located in the warehouse, picked up, and then packed securely for shipment.
- Shipping and tracking the order: The invoice is printed, shipping labels are applied to the packaging, and the package is sent out for delivery by the carrier. Depending on the shipping method, the order's progress can be tracked until it arrives at the customer's destination.
- Handling returns and exchanges: If the customer needs to return or exchange the product, the customer support team will have to coordinate with the customer to handle their request and process refunds or replacements. The returned items will then be prepared for sale again.