eCommerce success today is intricately tied to customer satisfaction. That in turn, is dependent on a streamlined fulfillment process. Automated fulfillment is the key to achieving that satisfaction by eliminating manual handling and ensuring accuracy with every order.
A lot of third-party fulfillment companies promise automated fulfillment. But when you actually start working with them, you realize that they’re not really living up to that promise.
Today, we will help you understand what automated fulfillment is all about and the difference that it can make to your business.
As an eCommerce brand, automated fulfillment stands for a workflow where the entire fulfillment process runs on autopilot. That means the moment an order is placed, it is automatically routed to the right department and the corresponding tasks are triggered.
This differs from traditional fulfillment processes where orders are handled manually and can often lead to errors. With automated fulfillment, you can be assured that every order is handled with precision, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Microfulfillment is the fulfillment of inventory to small, strategically located fulfillment centers generally close to the end customer. Inventory is first sent to a warehouse or a redistribution center.
From here, it is then distributed to a network of micro fulfillment centers. The last-mile delivery can be completed using a courier service or the customer can drive down and collect it themselves.
Automated fulfillment requires extensive investments in technology, people and infrastructure. A network of warehouses, machines that streamline pick and pack, software for inventory management and workforce skilled in operating them – are some of the key requirements.
Most businesses are not equipped to set up such a system and that’s where third-party fulfillment companies come in. 3PL Fulfillment services specialize in setting up and managing order fulfillment processes for businesses.
They have the required infrastructure, technology and workforce in place and can manage your entire fulfillment process for you, leaving you to focus on growing your business.
Generally, the fulfillment workflow goes like this.
- You integrate your eCommerce store with the Third Party Fulfillment company’s platform.
- The Third Party Fulfillment company then receives your inventory in one centralized warehouse or network of warehouses across the country (or world)
- The inventory is verified and logged into the company’s software
- When an order is placed, the software automatically routes it to the relevant department and the corresponding tasks are triggered
- A team of pickers will ensure that the order is packed and shipped according to your specifications
For a business, it takes away the headache of managing an inventory, a warehouse and the cumbersome fulfillment process.