Monday, September 9, 2013

Fulfillment Warehouses: Supporting an Enterprise

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Order fulfillment is one of the three main pillars of an enterprise, alongside product development and customer service. Under these pillars are the foundations formed by different departments working as one for an enterprise to stand its ground. It starts with receiving the orders and ends with delivering them to the customer.

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Order fulfillment can be broken down further into three processes: order management, manufacturing, and distribution. Well-staffed fulfillment warehouses fall under distribution, which handles inventory and logistical functions. The warehouses, therefore, are part of a broader system that ensures that the demand for products is being met all the time.

Fulfillment equals customer satisfaction; the desired outcome for fulfillment must be nothing short of a steady supply of products for buyers. Studies show that one in two companies find customer satisfaction as the most crucial challenge to order fulfillment. These studies also found that much of the cost driving order fulfillment involves meeting the deadline, not necessarily failing to do so.

Businesses can’t risk losing on order fulfillment; losing on logistics is no different from severing a vital pipeline. Costs are associated with loss from the severance, in addition to the time lost due to repairs. Most companies outsource transportation and logistics services to help save time and money vs creating and staffing their own system.

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There’s hardly any time to develop your own system of order fulfillment, given the rapid change in market environment. Supply and demand go up and down, unforeseen circumstances ground trucks and support vehicles, and the economy swings toward and against the business’ favor, among other things. These changes in the environment can affect order fulfillment as a whole; and with it, customer satisfaction.

This highlights the need for a solid supply chain, which will enable companies to earn more and manage revenue better. Logistics subcontractors such as Legacy fuel many companies’ success in order fulfillment, allowing them to save more while assuring quality delivery of orders. This solution fares better than having to develop a company’s in-house supply chain system.

Order fulfillment will remain an important aspect of any enterprise long into the future. Customer satisfaction hinges on whether or not the company can meet the buyers’ orders on time.

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