Order fulfilment comprises of goods receiving, storing, picking, packing and dispatching them against orders received within an agreed time. Efficient order fulfilment greatly contributes to the success of a supply chain as it assists in achieving higher sales for business owners. In our work as a 3PL, we are asked many times by customers how they can improve their order fulfilment rates. It is an important questions as an inability to maintain order fulfilment rates to a desired level often results in stock-outs and loss of sales. Maintaining high fulfilment rates and implementing continuous improvements is likely to sustain or improve order fulfilment rates.
Many factors like order accuracy, sustainable packaging, changing business requirements, kitting, consolidated shipments, same day shipping/delivery, lower shipping cost and order visibility impact order fulfilment in many ways. Experienced 3PL providers in Australia have developed capabilities to assist businesses achieve high order fulfilment rates; however, the third party logistics provider needs to be fully engaged and aligned to achieve a desired result.
Read on to learn 5 ways a 3PL provider can assist you to achieve your desired order fulfilment rate for a business.
Clearly defined turn-around-time and cut-offs
Having well defined and clearly communicating the turn-around-time and cut-off requirements to your 3PL provider is essential for committed deliveries. Undefined or miscommunicated timelines regarding delivery or shipping may lead to slow follow-ups, delayed shipments and is likely to impact order fulfilment rate. Smart businesses know the importance of turn-around-time and cut-offs and proactively share their timelines with 3PL providers to achieve high order fulfilment rates. They also ensure that these parameters form a part of daily reporting and periodic performance reviews to ensure the 3PL provider can propose performance improvements.
Provide complete-accurate-timely (CAT) information
Information plays a significant role in the order fulfilment processes and flows along with the product. Insufficient information flow may lead to an incomplete order, delays and higher costs. Information flow ideally follows the CAT principle being ‘Complete, Accurate and Timely’ to meet service delivery timelines. An expert 3PL provider in Sydney or Brisbane is likely to request information relating to order details, packaging requirements, delivery, dispatch and related documentation to ensure efficient handling and movement of orders to create higher fulfilment rates.
Information technology provides important tools such as tracking, real-time inventory levels, shipping schedules and order status to keep you up to date. It also supports communication and can assist in resolving issues due to delays in production, insufficient raw material, vessel rerouting and any other disruption in a supply chain. Expert providers are likely to ensure important data is feed into supply chain management systems for a complete end-to-end view of a supply chain. In order to achieve this end-to-end visibility seamlessly and on real-time basis, IT Integration of your system with 3PL provider’s system is imperative.
Provide sales forecast
A sales forecast assists all involved in supply chain execution to prepare themselves for the peaks and lows of the business. Supply chain managers understand this and prepare sales forecasts based on past data and trends. 3PL providers are an important link handling critical points in your supply chain where sales forecasts greatly assist them to plan their own operations and be prepared for any changes in order flow. This ensures you can plan higher resources during anticipated peaks so your order fulfilment rate remains high when sale volumes are high.
Provide future requirements proactively
Every successful plan requires some preparation and the same applies with your 3PL provider. Once a new order is initiated for fulfilment, 3PL providers require time to understand safe packaging requirements, faster shipping requirements, correct documentation and transit time to meet the delivery timeline for desired order fulfilment rates. Proactive logistics solutions Managers are likely to discuss all new requirements with their 3PL providers to ensure they understand and can deliver the services required.
A few 3PL providers in Australia are well positioned to assist your business achieve your desired order fulfilment rate, however, your ability to engage a provider is equally important to achieve these results. Industry guidelines can assist you in choosing what information to share with your providers to enable them to assist you in achieving higher order fulfilment rates while using their vast resource network, professional team, IT resources and years of experience. Shared information also brings alignment in your supply chain strategy and ensures the planning and execution is seamless through-out the supply chain.
For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).