Every day, millions of products are shipped by online retailers to their eager customers. Some of these products are ordered from popular sites like Amazon, Jet or eBay and typically are fulfilled by third-party vendors that run successful online businesses. What you may not know is that most online stores you order products from are not large stores but are “mom and pop” shops; or stores that are family owned.
If you happen to be one of these store owners, there are certainly some aspects of your day that might get to you. We’re talking about all the tedious elements you deal with. Ask any online retailer what the longest, most arduous part of their day is, and hands-down, fulfillment will be at the top of the list.
Good thing you found this article. In just a few minutes, we’ll show you how you can streamline the fulfillment process at your online store in just three easy steps.
1.) Update Your Fulfillment Checklist
The first place you are going to want to start with is your fulfillment checklist. How does it look? Is it unkept, unorganized or confusing? Have multiple people made updates to this checklist week in and week out until it’s become barely legible?
Let’s correct this.
- Create an efficient checklist that addresses your pick and pack process from the start.
- Carefully organize your packing supplies to make your packing effort more progressive.
- Create and maintain a pick and pack inventory list so you don’t run low on supplies.
- Create or update a calendar for outbound item pickup or drop-off dates and times.
Organization is the key to success. All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease and you can easily revamp your fulfillment process checklist to great success.
2.) Revamp Your Pick & Pack Station
How does your pick and pack station look? Is it messy and disorganized? Is it difficult to find all the things that you are looking for? If so, it’s time to rethink how your pick and pack station looks and functions.
- Organize everything in order of the process you use to fulfill.
- Make sure everything is clean, easily accessed and in good working order.
- Update any outdated items or replace worn items with new ones.
By ensuring that the most important part of your fulfillment process is in good working order, you’ll already be well on your way to more efficient order fulfillment.
3.) Create a One-System Process
Many retailers use a two-system process to pick and pack items for order fulfillment. But there is an easier, faster and more automated way to do this. First things first, using a one-system process require that you have the right shipping software in place to facilitate this. Newer solutions let you print all-in-one shipping labels that include your invoice, comment card and peel-out shipping label on an 8” x 12” sheet.
When you use a system like this, it eliminates one step. That’s because you simply prepare your boxes for fulfillment, print out the labels you need and match the label to the box – peeling and placing it on the box for shipment while sliding the packing slip into the box before securing the box with packing tape. Using this simpler, faster system, you can reduce fulfillment time by 25% or more while increasing accuracy. What would you do with all that extra time in your day?
Get to It!
That’s all there is to it. It goes without saying that fulfillment is time consuming. But it’s even more time consuming to replace inaccurate orders or deal with unhappy customers after the fact. So, while fulfilment may not be your favorite chore in the world, at least there are ways to make it faster, easier and more accurate.