Fulfillment and Packaging

Apr 21 2022

Packaging and fulfillment are crucial business processes for many product-based enterprises. Both services are not exclusive to e-commerce. Several steps transpire once a customer places an order. The seller must prepare and ship the purchased item through sequential events cumulatively known as order fulfillment.

The order fulfillment process/steps include

  • Sourcing Inventory - Businesses get goods from multiple sources like manufacturers, wholesalers, farms, or the company's warehouse
  • Inventory Inspection - The fulfillment and packaging company inspects the goods to verify quantity and quality and prime them for temporary storage and tracking purchases
  • Order Processing - The customer's order details inform the picking and product packaging services. It determines the characteristics and quantity of the products. The product also gets stamped with the order ID and other important identifiers.
  • Picking - Designated personnel pick up the purchased goods from the warehouse according to the specification on the slip
  • Product Packaging Services - The packing team or automated machinery contains all purchased items for security and safety during shipping
  • Shipment -The packaging and fulfillment business delivers the packed order to a transportation channel or shipping node, which determines the shipping or carrier costs
  • Delivery - The final process of the fulfillment process/steps is when the customer receives their package and approves it as the initial purchased good
  • Reverse order fulfillment strategies - If the customer opts to return a product due to defects or other queries, set the channels to ensure swift return processing

Follow this steps through this order fulfillment process flow chart

From the order fulfillment process flow chart, it is easy to follow through the entire after sale process. One order fulfillment example entails a customer logging on to an e-commerce site, taking the virtual cart and buying items. The product fulfillment process begins once they pay. The online store accesses the products from their warehouse, provides their product packaging services and ships the items to you.

However, not all order fulfillment and packaging processes start on an e-commerce website. For instance, in this order fulfillment example, a customer can purchase a product in a physical store and require shipping to their location. The store then provides product packing services and fulfillment for an additional fee or complimentary service.

Aside from after sale service management, the fulfillment process/steps are essential for tracking inventory to account for every product and handler. A lot of mishaps can occur during the order fulfillment process. The structure streamlines the process and eliminates confusion - this also makes identifying the liable entity easy.

Furthermore, customers can also track the fulfillment process. Most businesses provide last mile tracking features on their site or apps where customers can follow the after sale service until delivery. The efficiency of the order fulfillment process makes it easy to plan on receiving their package.

  • Businesses can adopt additional order fulfillment strategies to maximize their service efficiency.
  • Upgrade the last mile tracking feature. A basic plan only builds on the anxiety of waiting. Let the consumer know through a detailed fulfillment process/steps when to expect their package.
  • Distribute inventory across multiple stations to reduce the delivery period. Use the customer behavior to know the location of most orders.
  • Ensure the return fulfillment logistics functions splendidly, especially during peak ordering seasons when reverse orders increase.
  • Diversify the business' shipping methods. Reduce the backlog of orders by embracing alternative shipping means like drop shipping or using your supplier's shipping network.

Fulfillment Meaning

What does fulfillment mean?

Order fulfillment is receiving products and storing them in a warehouse, then processing and delivering the order according to the customer's specifications. However, fulfillment begins when a customer places an order for a product and ends when they receive and approve the delivered package. Thus, the fulfillment meaning encompassess the process between a consumer placing an order and their package arriving at their door-step.

On the other hand, fulfillment status meaning and definition refer to order information regarding processing before shipping. If the product has not been picked from the warehouse, assessed, marked, or packaged, its status will still be pending. Customers use the fulfillment status to track their purchased items.

Fulfillment complete meaning

Once the seller picks the product from the warehouse, manufacturer, wholesaler, or any other source, ascertains its quality and quantity, and packages, ships, and delivers it to the customer's address, the fulfillment becomes complete. Contrary to popular belief, this process does not only cover order processing. Fulfillment is complete when the customer gets the package.

What does awaiting fulfillment status mean?

When the order is awaiting fulfillment, it is yet to be shipped. The picking and packing process is still ongoing. Customers get confirmation emails once their item is ready for shipping. The entire process can end here or delay the fulfillment process. For instance, the operation can stall or halt when the purchased product is out of stock or defective.

What does unfulfilled mean in shipping?

The order remains unfulfilled when the product is not in the customer's hands. Once shipping occurs, the customer receives a confirmation email and a tracking number. The process will only become fulfilled when the customer receives their goods.

What is order fulfillment in supply chain management?

Order fulfillment describes the process between a consumer making an order and receiving their package. It entails warehousing, order processing, packing, shipping, delivery, and return fulfillment. The customer's order sets the chain in motion and gives fulfillment meaning.

Fulfillment process meaning

All the steps a company takes after a customer makes an order placement to the delivery of the purchased item describe the fulfillment process. It comprises inventory sourcing, warehousing, order processing, packaging, shipping, and delivery. The process usually takes a day to several business days for fulfillment.

What is order fulfillment process?

It is the seamless order delivery of goods by a company to its consumers through packaging, shipping and delivery. The company temporarily stores the goods in a holding facility, then distributes the goods according to specifications by the consumer. The entire process begins with the consumer making an order.

Fulfillment status unfulfilled meaning

The fulfillment status remains unfulfilled when the process is incomplete. The fulfillment status remains unfulfilled when the product has not left the warehouse, the order is still pending processing, or shipping is underway. The status only changes to ‘fulfilled' when the customer receives the purchased item.

Order fulfillment definition

Order fulfillment is the storing, processing, assessing, packaging, shipping, and delivering of a customer's purchase online or in a physical store.

What does ‘fulfilled' mean in shipping?

In shipping, the process changes to ‘fulfilled' when a customer receives their dispatched order. It occurs after delivery confirmation.

Order Fulfillment Software

It is easy to manage the supply chain processes with order fulfillment technology. The fulfillment process is intricate and requires constant monitoring, updates, confirmation, and assessment for products to reach customers at the specified time and in the expected quality and quantity. The order fulfillment software is essential in maintaining efficiency during fulfillment.

Order fulfillment technology

Streamlines Operations - Every step in the fulfillment process gets quickly executed, enabling the product to reach customers faster

  • Automates Functions - The software eliminates redundancies in the fulfillment process. Personnel gets instant notifications on changes and progression, making it easy to track the processes.
  • Sale Increase - Quick and efficient services are boost sales exponentially because the faster orders get processed, the quicker the customers receive their product
  • Error Reduction - Technology carries out functions with precision minimizing errors and omissions risks significantly
  • Platform Integration - The platform eliminates the need of running several physical offices by centralizing functions. Thus, the entire system works cohesively - even remotely.
  • Efficient Inventory Management and Distribution - It is much easier to track stock volume, minimize backorders, forecast order volume, improve the dispatching process and keep records electronically
  • Easy Access to Analytics - Information from the fulfillment software enables companies to analyze consumer behavior, frequent shipping destinations, accurately estimate and improve shipping and delivery time, and fine-tune their services to improve efficiencies
  • Cost-effective - It is less costly to perform most supply chain operations using technology. It eliminates the need for hiring personnel, managing whole departments, and other operational expenses.

Order fulfillment technology is essential in every step of supply chain management. In Warehousing, the software eliminates the need to search through product isles to find the ordered items. It also makes it easy to track inventory volume and restock decreasing volumes.

In order processing, technology avails order details as soon as the customer makes the payment. Thus, the fulfillment process begins immediately or without significant lag time. Automated machines make product capture, location, scanning and packing quick and easy. The swift process reduces backorders and errors from the accumulation of pending orders.

Order fulfillment technology is also significant in shipping and delivery. Customers receive instant updates of their order's fulfillment stage and track the movement of the goods from the warehouse to their doorstep in real-time. The accuracy in monitoring the process makes them plan their time toward receiving their purchased items.

Efficiency in the supply chain is an essential marketing strategy. Customers want assurance of quality and fast distribution. With order fulfillment technology, customers get top-notch service delivery. Products get an accurate features description - the material, dimension, quality, and quantity. They also get fast delivery for their purchases with the ability to track every stage of the supply chain. Furthermore, companies can analyze data from inventory volume distribution patterns, market dynamics, and customer-specific needs to improve and fine-tune their marketing strategies.

It is possible to manage an order fulfillment process without technological intervention. However, the process is cumbersome and expensive. The best way to increase the efficiency of your company's supply chain management is by incorporating order fulfillment technology.