As a 3PL, you are responsible for improving your clients’ customer experience. Unfortunately, E-commerce competition is fierce, with finicky customers unwilling to bend when it comes to seamless, flawless experiences. As a result, you need to streamline your order-checking process. Here we share tips to leverage automation to simplify order checking. We also explain how technology reduces the risk of errors and improves efficiency while improving customer satisfaction and your reputation.
Using Technology to Streamline ECommerce Fulfillment
Technology allows you to introduce the following streamlined methods:
- Scanning and checks: Scans and order checks reduce the risk of mis-picks and errors, ensuring pick teams get the order right. Mobile bar scanners working with a warehouse management system automate the double-checking process and verify the correct goods before reaching the packing and shipping stage.
- Set order rules: You can eliminate manual tasks by setting rule criteria that stop the order process when steps are not followed. This ensures that each order is handled correctly.
- Improved replenishment: Shipping incomplete orders is a significant failure for order check processes. By improving replenishment, you reduce understocks so orders are always fulfilled. In addition, minimum thresholds trigger automated restock orders to eliminate incomplete orders.
Optimizing fulfillment should include the order process up front to help reduce confusion and streamline the process, such as:
- Multiple item order and shipping protocols: Some e-tailers have complicated delivery rules for different items. For example, some items qualify for free shipping, while others impact the number of delivery days. If a customer chooses an item with free delivery for the next day but includes an item with a weight that applies fees for example, this can cause confusion. An order system aligned with your warehouse management system sets rules that trigger customer warnings at the shopping cart stage when their orders impact delivery methods. It also triggers protocols at the pick and pack stage, so warehouse staff know what protocol takes precedence to avoid mis-picks or costly separate deliveries.
- Use smart space allocation: Along with your SKU scanners, make it easier for order pickers to avoid picking the wrong size or color. Separate similar products and leverage software to simplify allocation when replenishing stock. This helps streamline the order-checking process, ensuring the right product is always where expected.
- Improve flow: Use technology to create an organizational structure to improve SKU allocation. This includes moving top sellers to the closest packing stations and laying out the warehouse to minimize walk distances. The fewer steps, the less risk of mistakes. As a result, you reduce mistakes caught in the order-checking process and time-consuming corrections.
Forward Thinking Fulfillment
Always looking for ways to improve fulfillment ensures your order-checking process is optimized. Technology tracks and prepares reports on order data that allows you to plan for growth:
- Where are you seeing volume increases most likely to impact your team’s ability to keep up?
- Where are your bottlenecks?
- Where do you see the highest returns?
- Where do you see the highest complaints?
- How much time does order checking add to the process?
- Can further steps be automated?
- How many more pickers and packers would you need if your orders increased by a certain percentage?
Tracking these KPIs can ensure you remain scalable.
Improving Customer Service with Automation
Automation also helps improve customer service in the following ways:
- Parcel tracking: You can integrate your order fulfillment and management system with your carriers to allow customers to see where their packages are in real time.
- Integrate CRM: If you encounter issues at the picking level, such as low inventory, shipping conflicts for multiple item orders, or a color that is out of stock, you can create a more streamlined process by alerting customers about the issues in advance. You can even automate agreed-upon offers to make up for errors, such as sending an automatic discount, applying refunds for missed items, or providing a coupon toward the next purchase.
- Route improvement: With multi-facility 3PLs, you can streamline the process by sending orders to the closest fulfillment center. This speeds up the process, saves money, and ensures delivery dates are honored.
Technology allows you to automate manual tasks that tend to contribute to order errors. You also streamline your order fulfillment process, keep your services scalable for your clients, and improve customer service through software integration. These steps help you maintain your reputation as a reliable 3PL delivering superior customer service.
VeraCore is SaaS order and warehouse management software trusted by top fulfillment companies and 3PLs. Affordable, flexible, easy to use; VeraCore is everything you need to keep clients happy and run a lean operation.
With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. Rules-based automation enables you to control all aspects of your warehouse operation and satisfy each of your clients’ unique requirements.
Hundreds of fulfillment service providers and 10,000+ fulfillment clients place VeraCore at the “core” of their business to get the job done right, for over 40 years.