Here’s a fact that many retail companies already know or will soon figure out: the success of your order management and fulfillment process is a key to determining the success of your company. A bit bold? Not when you consider the complexity of omnichannel delivery paired with the expectations of customers in markets which are largely global.
Getting an order from point A to point B seems as straightforward as you can get, but with outdated systems, a lack of transparency throughout the process, and an overall delivery operation that doesn’t utilize the tools and technology available to effectively track and record deliveries in an accurate manner, getting from point A to point B just became a lot more difficult.
Get Your System in Order
The reality for many retailers is that they are dealing with multiple suppliers, distribution centers, and/or inventory locations. When speaking of having an optimized operations management system, the goal is to standardize the process so that all of these channels are properly tracked and recorded to ensure effective delivery through the most efficient means and cost.
Put simply, what systems are in place to make sure that you are carrying out your fulfillment service as best you can to meet the demands of your customers? Is your reporting giving you the information you need to help better manage your operations and continue to grow your business? Not having a sound system in place, or a system that is overly complex leads to higher supply chain costs, inaccurate delivery dates, and an overload of inventory.
What Can Be Done
Each company has its own set of goals and challenges. That said, there are enough similarities to be able to discuss broad changes which are applicable in multiple industries.
1.Focus On Demand/Order Capture: What has happened in the world of omnichannel customer demand is businesses struggling to find a true demand/order figure. When the fulfillment process is not streamlined, transparent, and providing the correct information, then determining true demand is difficult. Focus on creating a structure that accounts for detailed reporting through all channels and you will determine an accurate customer demand number.
2.Get a Team to Tackle Reports: Assemble a team to locate all reports generated and identify the analyses your management team will need to make informed decisions. The number of reports may be a lot greater than you anticipate.
3.Technology Matters: Determine what software will best be applicable in helping to manage your fulfillment operations. Think beyond simply exporting data to an Excel file to maybe dashboards and BI tools.
4.Deliver On Your Promise: A top concern in inventory management is false delivery dates. If you hope to keep customers satisfied, your on-time deliveries need to be increased and commitments to key customers need to be better managed. This can only be done if the first three steps are met.
For many retail businesses, keeping up with the complexity of structuring this kind of operation can be overwhelming, especially considering the important role it plays in determining customer satisfaction and the success of your company. APS Fulfillment, Inc. understands this process thoroughly and can remove the strain of businesses trying to do this on their own. We have the experience, the technology, and the know-how when it comes to all aspects of order fulfillment. For more information, contact APS Fulfillment, Inc. today.