Knowing the components of an efficient eCommerce fulfillment system can help you make the best decisions about structuring your supply chain’s order fulfillment arm. A functional and efficient print on demand fulfillment strategy is one of the most important components of a successful business. It isn’t much of an issue if you own a retail store; customers can take what they need right off the shelf. However, if you rely on shipping to deliver products to customers, the eCommerce order fulfillment process can become much more difficult. Fortunately, a streamlined and optimized strategy combined with a warehouse management system can help. Let’s take a closer look at the print on demand fulfillment.
ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS + 3 TIPS TO DO IT RIGHT
Print on demand fulfillment encompasses the entire process, beginning with the sale and ending with delivery to your customer. The process of receiving, packing, shipping, and delivering an order to a customer is known as order fulfillment. A successful retail print on demand fulfillment process is critical for eCommerce businesses to remain competitive and build customer loyalty.
1. Your receiving processes are key.
If you are in charge of the receiving portion of your order fulfillment processes, you should ensure that it is optimized so that you can act quickly. Any shipment should be processed as soon as possible so that your customers can receive their orders as soon as possible.
2. Have a backup strategy in place.
When it comes to shipping products, there are many avoidable shipping mistakes to avoid, but there are also many external factors over which you have no control. Goods may be damaged; carriers may decide to raise their fees. Unusual weather conditions may impact your delivery, and so on. A solid backup plan for order fulfillment can help you avoid late deliveries.
3. Make every effort to anticipate demand.
To keep up with demand, you must keep adequate supplies in your inventory. If this is not your first year in business, you could begin by analyzing your previous year’s data (orders, inventory, etc.) to see any seasonality in your market.
PRINT ON DEMAND FULFILLMENT STRATEGIES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
1. Adopt Alternative Shipping Methods
As more customers place online orders this year, keeping your order cycles short may become increasingly difficult. As shipping carriers become overburdened, a backlog of orders can form, turning what could have been a few days of waiting for customers into a week or more. Fortunately, you can add alternative methods to your arsenal to make the shipping faster and easier this holiday season. Dropshipping your products, for example, may require you to rely more heavily on your suppliers’ shipping network. Alternatively, if the bottleneck is the final leg of the shipping route, you may involve a print on demand service provider to share the load.
2. Embrace Last Mile Tracking
While it has previously been popular, it should come as no surprise that the prospect of last-mile tracking is gaining traction this holiday season. It is because last-mile tracking allows customers to see exactly where their package is and predict when it will arrive with a reasonable amount of certainty. As a result, there is less chance of package theft or frustration and wondering. Incorporating last-mile tracking or upgrading your current version to be more user-friendly and detailed can significantly improve your customers’ perceptions of your business and increase the likelihood that they will continue to buy from you.
3. Spread Inventory Strategically Across Your Organization
If you ship all of your inventory from a single location, many customers may not receive their orders for an extended period. However, if you receive a large volume of orders at the end of the year, this extended waiting period may quickly become unacceptable to your customers. However, by analyzing your customers’ purchasing habits, you can more accurately predict future sales across your organization and choose the best locations to store your inventory — a regional warehouse or local brick-and-mortar locations. As a result, regardless of where your customers want their print on demand products shipped, you can ship inventory faster and more cost-effectively.
4. Simplify Logistics for Reverse Fulfillment
When there is an increase in online orders, there is also an increase in product returns. That means your reverse logistics must run like a well-oiled machine. Otherwise, it can clog internal processes and make inventory management a nightmare. An order management system that can easily log products back into your general inventory, whether scanned by an in-store POS system or barcode or RFI scanners in your warehouses, is one way to make reverse fulfillment easier for your team. At the same time, an omnichannel OMS can provide your customers with free shipping labels, making returns much easier.
5. Implement Slotting Optimization
This strategy is difficult to implement, but it is also one of the most effective. The goal of slotting is to manage the picking processes in your distribution centers. NetSuite defines slotting as “managing and determining available slots from which items can be picked and packed.” Slotting optimization is storing your products efficiently to speed up the picking process. To speed up the print on demand fulfillment process, a popular and effective solution is to place popular items near shipping areas. Furthermore, storing these popular items in locations that don’t require a lot of bending or reaching can help things move along quickly.
Maintaining a smooth print on demand fulfillment process is critical to the health of supply chains and businesses. Consider what your company requires to thrive, and then develop a strategy that works for you.
Leave order fulfillment to the pros.
Need help with order fulfillment? Fulfillplex is a top eCommerce fulfillment company that stores inventory, packs boxes, and ships orders for eCommerce businesses of all sizes. Contact us to see if we’re a good fit for your company’s specific requirements. Request a price quote right now.