Meta Description: Discover the benefits of automated order processing and learn the step-by-step process to implement it. Improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Numerous eCommerce businesses have transitioned to automated order processing methods.
It is the ideal choice since companies need to improve their order processing workflow and streamline the logistics journey right from the time an order is placed to when it is shipped.
What is Automated Order Processing?
Automated order processing is integrating technology and systems for the purpose of processing orders faster. It means eliminating manual work to reduce human error, improve operational efficiencies and ultimately speed up the fulfilment and shipping process.
Automated order processing leverages an order processing software that stores and shares data on orders. It checks the availability of stocks and tracks customer orders, all of which can ensure accurate order fulfilment.
Steps to Automate your Order Processing
1. Order Placement
Order placement begins when a customer places the order on the online store. The business receives the order details such as the shipping details, address, item quantities, etc. which are sent to the order management system.
The system will automatically allot the warehouse from where the order will be shipped after considering the location proximity and item availability in all warehouses. Automation in logistics aids you by automatically assigning warehouses and optimising delivery routes as soon as the order is placed.
2. Picking Inventory
Order picking is the process of collecting a specified inventory to fulfil customer orders. Although it sounds simple, it is a highly controlled process since it's what sets the rest of the fulfilment process in motion. It essentially impacts the productivity of the rest of the activities.
The sooner the orders are picked, the sooner the rest of the processes will follow such as order packing and shipping. Order picking is generally divided into zone picking, batch picking, and piece picking, depending on the scale and type of orders.
After the order is picked, it is separated based on its shipping locations. For example, consider if you’ve picked orders by their batches. You separate them into their shipping locations before they are packed and shipped. What role does sorting play in the order processing operations?
Sorting is critical for ensuring order accuracy. If a customer has ordered an order of a particular batch, design, or colour, this is the process where you ensure that the ordered items are available and in good condition for shipment.
Now that you have the right order at the right place, you have to ensure they’re delivered to the customers in the right condition. This is where you protectively pack the products into appropriate materials and boxes.
Packing also involves choosing the right packaging materials, weighing the package, labelling them with the delivery address, and adding delivery instructions if any. You figure out the dimensions and weights of the carton or products and choose the one that can be easily handled and is cost-effective.
This is where you transport the order to the delivery address. On the receiving end, there are either customers or other warehouses or micro-fulfilment centres that will deliver the order to the customers. They are gathered at a micro-fulfilment centre to optimise costs and minimise the total number of shipments. As an eCommerce business, you need to ensure you have a reliable tracking system in place. It helps you as well as your customers to monitor your orders.
Benefits of Automated Order Processing
1. Collects Customer Data
Automated order processing seamlessly integrates with your CRM and collects and records data in it. These include the number of orders, client order history, most used delivery locations, customer contact information, product items, etc.
This data helps businesses respond quickly to customer queries knowing the entire customer journey in a single window. You can improve customer experience, and customer satisfaction and leverage data to make strategic business decisions.
2. Eliminates Manual Entry
Most manual entry tasks are fruitless and don’t make justice to the skills of your employees. Employees are also prone to making mistakes and there is a high chance of inaccuracies. A simple product picking mistake or entering a wrong delivery number can lead to mishaps in the entire process.
You won’t face these issues with an automated ordering system. It receives and verifies customer orders and seamlessly integrates with your ERP system. It does all these tasks without any errors and speeds up the process.
3. Remote Order Fulfilment
An automated order processing system provides remote fulfilment benefits. You can track orders in real time from anywhere and anytime. Regardless of where or when the customers place an order, the system automatically processes it without any human intervention. The warehouse that is required to fulfil the order gets an immediate alert and starts working on order fulfilment.
4. Decreases Fulfilment Costs
Automated order processes have the ability to reduce fulfilment costs by 15%. The reason is quite simple. You reduce human involvement in mundane tasks, streamline processes through technology, and scale your operations without high costs. Integrating tools only require an initial investment and regular maintenance, but that is nothing compared to the overall costs you save in the supply chain in the long term.
5. Streamlines Order Tracking
Automation in logistics involves building a software ecosystem where different tools integrate with each other to gather data under a single platform.
Your automated order fulfilment software integrates with your inventory management system or warehouse management system through which you can access significant data control. You can track orders, inventories, order status, and updates from a single platform. It organises the order-tracking process and leads to higher customer satisfaction too.
As you integrate technology at each step of logistics, you’d witness a positive turnaround in your supply chain. Automated order fulfilment has the ability to boost your eCommerce sales to new heights and allows you to take up a higher number of orders without so much of an investment or hiring new employees.
As order processing automation is the key to survival for most eCommerce businesses, it is best for you to opt for a third-party logistics partner like PACK & SEND. Contact us to get complete assistance in advancing your order management process to reduce discrepancies in the supply chain and set yourself up for scalability.
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