Warehouse Management System
E-commerce fulfillment is an inevitable part of every e-commerce business. Putting the jargon aside, what e-commerce fulfillment means in simple terms is the series of processes that begin as soon as an order is received for your e-commerce business. It involves all the operations you do after receiving an order, which may include picking the product, packing it, shipping, and the end delivery of the product to the consumer. In short, without e-commerce, your business wouldn’t be a business.
Since order fulfillment requires a series of processes before it can reach the ned consumer, businesses require strategy, proper execution, and tracking of the fulfillment operations to ensure maximum efficiency. Optimizing these operations is integral for keeping the business operations smooth and the end consumer happy with the overall service. Before talking more about e-commerce fulfillment and its scope in the future, let us take a brief overview of the primary processes of fulfillment services.
Primary E-Commerce Fulfillment Services:
Warehousing for goods storage
Warehousing is an essential process to store your inventory in an optimum manner. You need to store your inventory at a safe, accessible location, and keep it organized at all times. Some other processes related to warehousing include maintaining your inventory and keeping records of the same. Warehousing also includes unloading and loading the goods and storing them at the right location.
Inventory management for supply chain efficiency
Keeping a record of your inventory helps keep the stock-in-hand visible at all times. By being aware of what products your inventory currently holds, you will be able to manage it better. Optimizing the inventory can help you predict future demand, and replenish the stock at the right time. You will also be able to track the consumer demand better and keep stock that sells the most in the store at all times. Efficient inventory management directly helps in streamlining the demand and supply processes.
Order management for timely delivery
Managing the orders received on the website or online store to deliver the right product to the right person at the right place is another important task concerned with e-commerce fulfillment operations. Good warehousing and inventory management practices automatically optimize your order processing operations. You can also take the help of automated software, RFID devices to track and update the information about your inventory. The next processes can only begin smoothly when order management is on point.
Order picking and packing for transit
This process involves picking the order from the right location in the warehouse and sending it for packaging. To make this process faster, you must keep the inventory nicely organized and labelled. Once the goods are packaged with the appropriate material, they are ready for the next process, which is shipping. Note that the packaging material should be good enough to keep it in the best condition during transit. The product must also labelled to distinguish it from the rest of the orders.
Shipping and Post-delivery operations
This is the next most important part of order fulfillment. The packaged order is picked up by a delivery agent from the location in the warehouse to load it up on a vehicle for delivery. This is where the need for tracking packages arrive. Because the package is going to be with a third-party delivery person (most of the time), there arrives a need to track the shipping progress. This is possible through technology today with the use of tracking software and devices. Post-delivery operations such as order returns, exchanges are also to be managed once the product is delivered to the end consumer.
Future of E-Commerce Fulfillment
Let us now see some upcoming trends that the e-commerce industry is going to witness in 2022. According to the current big trends, and the prediction of experts, the following three factors will help the e-commerce fulfillment services in the coming time.
Automation of services
Automation trends are set to improve in the coming years. Technology is now an inseparable part of the e-commerce industry. It connects the end-user and the seller like it was never possible before. Software that makes it possible to track and monitor the products will be the norm in the industry in the future. This will help with improving the overall efficiency of operations.
The use of data has already transformed the e-commerce industry. Come of the areas where data use has helped the industry is monitoring the user preferences, introducing payment gateways, bridging the gap between courier partners and the customers.
It is possible now for sellers to integrate all the information related to their products, stores into a single centralized network. It streamlines the whole process of supply chain management to make the buying and selling process more efficient.
What Have We Learnt?
By investing in your e-commerce fulfillment processes, you will be able to optimize your entire business operations. The future of e-commerce fulfillment lies in technology and data. Make sure you’re incorporating these in your operations as an e-commerce business to streamline it and improve your sales.