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Welcome to the Business Insights Newsletter

Order Delivery Can Make or Break Your Business

November 7th, 2012

Category: ERP Enterprise Resource Planning, Online Retailing, Point Of Sale Systems, Retail Innovations

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If you’re an online retailer or a wholesaler with nationwide customers, one of your biggest challenges is order fulfillment. It’s so important that if not done well it can negatively impact business profitability.

What’s at stake is your customer’s expectation that what they order from you is delivered on-time, and for a reasonable fee. Now while you need to offer your customers a great fulfillment service at a competitive price, it’s equally important to ensure the cost of order fulfillment is minimised.

This means that as soon as you get an order from your online store, you need to efficiently schedule the order picking and dispatch.

Streamline and speed up your order-picking process!

If the volume of your online orders is small, then you might be happy to re-key the online orders into your Order Processing and Inventory system. But – as your online order volume grows, you’ll likely appreciate having your online store orders automatically flow into your Order Processing and Inventory systems. Automation streamlines and speeds-up the order picking process. This is important regardless whether you’re picking the orders in house or using a 3PL (Third Party Logistics) company.

Streamlining order picking is just one of the challenges in order fulfillment. To reiterate, you need to ensure the delivery is efficient and offers value to the customer – all at low cost to the business.

If you’re selling small regular sized items to a select number of customers then it’s easy to get your third party delivery systems sorted.

Access innovative technology to assist you with order delivery

However, if you’re delivering nationwide, or you’re selling items of varying weight and volume, then ensuring you’re accessing the best-value delivery service for all orders is frankly, difficult. And choosing the wrong carrier for a particular delivery could mean the difference between profit and loss on a sale.

There are a number of websites that will allow you to enter all the details of a required delivery and give you a quote on the delivery. Some of these will give you a delivery quote from a number of competing carriers. However, this can be quite laborious as you will need to enter the dimensions and weight of each item being shipped as well as the destination details!

A much better solution is to have a freight management system fully integrated into your order processing system. For example, the integrated Freight Management System in CONTROL allows users to obtain accurate freight quotes and book carriers directly from the order processing system.

When you want to book a carrier or just get a freight quote, you simply select the appropriate option. CONTROL then presents you with a selection of best value freight quotes based on the details of the order and up-to-date freight schedules for over 200 carriers. Then, to book a carrier at the quoted price, you simply select the desired carrier from the list.

All required carrier documentation is then produced automatically, and all carrier details including consignment note number are automatically recorded on the customer order in CONTROL.

So what are some of the benefits using an integrated freight management system like the one in CONTROL?

  • Orders are processed quickly and efficiently
  • The customer gets a great delivery service at a competitive price
  • The cost of delivery is accurately recorded as part of the cost of each delivered order
  • The costs of order fulfillment are minimised.

Other compelling reasons to improve order fulfilment

There’s a reason why many retailers focus on excellence in fulfilment. They understand why people shop online. While the consumer might profess, ‘it’s to get a good/better/cheaper price’, there’s more to it than that. The real reason has to do with the ‘convenience’ factor and instant gratification. Thus if you can deliver on these important psychological pulls, you’re more strongly positioned to attract higher sales and even get away with charging a premium price for your products.

Popularity of online shopping is only increasing with the latest stats predicting it is set to grow in Australia ‘by 37 percent to $37.1 billion in 2013’. And while driving traffic to your ecommerce site and converting visitors into paying customers is hugely important, if you can’t deliver products on time and at reasonable cost to your business, expenses can blow-out while customers will bow-out. This is where a shipping solution is a good investment for any online retailer that delivers product throughout Australia or overseas.

To find out more, contact us, or phone Bernie Hogan on 1300 646 536 to learn how CONTROL can assist you to offer better shipping services while still maintaining profitability.