Order fulfillment plays a crucial role in today’s global supply chain. Maximizing the accuracy, speed, and throughput of this critical and intensive component is vital to the success of operations. The past several years have seen a steep rise in e-commerce sales. In 2012, U.S. e-commerce sales totaled $225.5 billion, up 15.8% from $194.7 billion in 2011. It is also estimated to reach $262.3 billion in sales in 2013. For many multi-channel retailers, the web is the fastest growing segment of their business and offers the most potential. With customers purchasing more products online today, customer expectations have also increased. It is more important than ever to work toward achieving impeccable e-commerce order fulfillment by accurately, efficiently, and cost-effectively fulfilling orders and surpassing customer expectations.
What is Order fulfillment?
Order fulfillment involves the process of receiving an order and shipping it to the buyer, which in turn completes a transaction. With every business being different, the process of order fulfillment varies, from a few simple steps, to a more complex system of procuring the item through a manufacturer’s supply chain system and shipping it to locations worldwide. As a crucial part of any business, order fulfillment is the last link in the supply chain for the customers. Any errors in this area would have a lasting effect on the customer’s perception of the business’ reliability.
Automated order fulfillment is the way ahead
Many businesses still manually transcribe order information between the e-commerce and ERP systems, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. Others have realized they can improve upon efficiency and productivity by integrating these systems so that information in one system is automatically reflected in the other. They know that to be competitive in today’s online market it is essential for businesses to be quick, responsive and accurate when a customer visits a web store. Moreover, the entire online shopping experience needs to be seamless from the front to the back-end so that, for example, a customer can easily track an order through the fulfillment process. i95Dev’s integration provides this seamless efficiency and customer-centric functionality, allowing businesses to manage more orders in less time with fewer service issues.
i95Dev’s integration – along with additional Add-Ons – enables employees to access customer information in either system, thereby making pricing, quotes, fulfillment, returns and back-order processing easy. Additionally, our connector ensures an accurate reflection of your physical inventory for your customers in your online Magento store and other virtual sales channels. No longer will the online inventory be out of sync with the actual availability, greatly reducing the likelihood of stock-outs and back orders. Moreover, this integration streamlines the business by linking order processing with shipping, billing and invoicing, inventory and many more, and enhances visibility by linking tracking numbers to sales orders, invoices and customer records.
So, once you implement the i95Dev connector, with two add-ons – namely Auto Payment Capture and Auto Shipment, you boost efficiency in the system for orders, inventory levels, payments, shipments, pipeline and more.
Auto Payment Capture helps in streamlining your order fulfillment process by automating invoice generation on shipment creation, whereas Auto Shipment streamlines your order fulfillment by automating the shipment process (generating shipping labels and updating tracking numbers) for pending orders.
The benefits of implementing a real-time automated order fulfillment system are huge. It empowers businesses of all sizes to be informed of the entire process from beginning to end and offers up-to-the-minute information and answers to customer questions, should they require additional information. It allows you to keep track of orders in bulk, rather than requiring micro-management of each order. Removing manual involvement and inaccuracies, thus saving time, helps to have a swift and efficient order fulfillment process. The bottom line is that integrated order fulfillment empowers you to please your customers and build your brand’s reputation, thus increasing customer loyalty and building market share.