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When it comes to delivering on your stakeholders’ expectations, there is only one action that defines success in the world of commerce. That is getting the right products to the right customers at the right price. Achieving the goal while keeping costs to a minimum and efficiency to a maximum is what manufacturers, distributors, and retailers strive for. In the case of many enterprises, only a quality ERP solution can tackle each challenge of order fulfillment head-on.
The commerce ecosystem, whether it be in traditionally grounded retail or exclusively an online operation, is a delicate one that relies equally on manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers delivering the product to customers the way they want it and when they want it. Order fulfillment is the key performance indicator that illustrates when these systems are operating in harmony and out of order.
Creating the perfect order for customers will satisfy everyone in the commerce chain from end to end and there are crucial components that every enterprise needs to deliver to reach that harmonious result.
If you are shipping customer-direct or sending components to a trading partner for the next stage of the process, your product needs to be where you say it will, when you say it will. Dependable delivery is not just a selling point, it’s a contract that can make or break future business between parties and even open you up to legal ramifications in certain situations. Ensuring that your deliveries meet their recipients on the expected dates is one of the best ways to maintain working relationships and secure the business of your customers for the foreseeable future.
The last thing anyone wants to deal with in commerce is additional back and forth through shipping. If your order is delivered with the wrong components or in a quantity other than what was agreed upon at purchase, it speaks volumes to the recipient about how you do business. Purchase order change requests are supply-side hassles and are often the latter in a ‘fill or kill’ scenario. End customers have lives too, and demanding schedules don’t leave much time to work around reordering and returns. Getting it right the first time will ensure there is a next time for you to fulfill orders.
So, you got the shipment where it needed to be when it needed to be there, in the right quantity and all, only now the box is bashed in because of poor handling and your packaging didn’t do enough to protect the precious cargo. Placing blame on the shipping company doesn’t do for a customer who needed their order intact. Next time, account for problems that can arise even when the order is out of your hands and en route to its destination. Whether you’re flying it freight or hand-delivering, make sure the packaging can stand up to whatever the journey may throw at it.
From start to finish, documentation should be spot on and detail every aspect of the purchase from entry to delivery. There are plenty of places within the chain where the process can go awry, but making sure documentation on your end is on the up and up will ensure that the final component of your perfect purchase order is in place.
Beyond the four pillars of perfect order fulfillment, maintaining your stride with modern tools will help you streamline your efforts and remain competitive. Antiquated and manually maintained systems of packing, shipping, and documenting leave too much room for human error and incorrect data to find their way into the pipeline. By implementing an effective ERP solution, your operations will maintain an efficient process from start to finish while giving you the competitive advantage of functioning with the latest in tools and systems built specifically to support your enterprise.
Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.